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Smoke-Free Policy

Tobacco-Free & Smoke-Free Policy

Benefits of Quitting

Want a fast return on a health investment? Quit Smoking!

  • Studies show the body begins changing within 20 minutes after not smoking. Both your blood pressure and pulse rate will drop, and your feet and hands will actually get warmer.
  • After eight hours, carbon monoxide levels in your body will drop and oxygen levels will rise to normal.
  • After 24 hours, your chances for heart attack have been reduced and, after 48 hours, atrophied nerve endings in your body actually begin to grow. At this point, you may notice your ability to smell and taste has improved slightly.
  • Within three months, your circulation is better, and your lung function has increased. Meanwhile, coughing, sinus congestion and shortness of breath have slowly begun to decrease.
  • By one year, you've cut your risk of coronary heart disease to half that of a smoker. From five to 15 years after quitting, your stroke risk drops to the same levels as people who never smoked.
  • After 10 years, your risk of lung cancer is half that of a continuing cigarette smoker, and your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas have gone down.
  • Then, at 15 years, your risk of heart disease and death is about the same as people who have never smoked.

Smoking is not the only way to use tobacco. There is the smokeless variety, and the most common way to use it is referred to as chewing or dipping. Many of the same benefits that come after someone quits smoking happen when someone quits dipping.

  • Within hours after you stop, your blood pressure and heart rate begin to return to normal.
  • Your breath begins to improve and you've stopped dying your teeth an unnatural color. You've taken an important first step toward preventing gum disease, loose teeth and mouth sores.
  • You've also stopped increasing your risk of contracting oral and nasal cancer, or suffering a heart attack or stroke.

Another important benefit of being tobacco-free occurs in your wallet.

  • The tobacco habit is expensive. Figure out how much you spend on tobacco a week. Multiply that number by 52. Take that number and multiply it by the number of years you've been smoking.
  • Then, imagine what you could have bought with the money.

Source: American Lung Association, American Cancer Society.