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Making the decision to quit smoking is perhaps the most difficult step in the process. Congratulations! You are taking a big step towards a healthier life. The Lung Association -Ontario has tools, tips and support that can help you on your journey to quit.
Reasons to quit
A great motivator as you make the decision to quit smoking is to write down the reasons you want to quit. Every smoker has their own reasons for quitting. Some common ones include:
Benefits of quitting
Your health improves within 20 minutes of quitting smoking, as your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
After eight hours: Your body’s carbon monoxide (a toxic gas) level drops and the oxygen level in your blood increases back to a normal level. Carbon monoxide in your blood causes shortness of breath and increased heart rate.
After 48 hours: Your chances of having a heart attack start to decrease. Your senses of smell and taste begin to improve. The airways in your lungs relax allowing you to get more air into them to breathe easier.
After two to three months: Your blood circulation improves and your lung functioning increases by up to 30 per cent.
After one year: Your added risk of a smoking-related heart attack is cut in half.
How to quit
Ready to take the first step? We have the resources to help you get ready. The Lung Association-Ontario has videos, toolkits, leaflets, worksheets, DVDs and other valuable resources. Find Smoke-Free Resources here.
The Lung Health Information Line: 1-888-344-LUNG (5864) is available to all residents of Ontario, Monday to Friday, from 8:30am-4:30pm. Certified Respiratory Educators are available to answer any questions and provide smoking cessation counselling.
Talk to your healthcare provider
Your healthcare provider can discuss medications to help you quit and educate you about local resources or support groups. They can help you create your quit plan and offer strategies to prevent future slip-ups. You also have the option to arrange follow-up visits or phone calls to assist you on your quit smoking journey.