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The Center for Disease Control and Prevention offers some very compelling reasons for a former smoker to stay nicotine-free. In fact, there is a whole list of reasons that should prove to be excellent incentive.
The benefits of quitting are tremendous and start with a heart rate that drops just 20 minutes after having the last cigarette.
A mere 12 hours after that last cigarette, the carbon monoxide in your blood stream will be at a normal level.
Within the first few months, the risk of heart attack starts to drop and the former smoker's lung function begins getting stronger and better.
Also within the first months, breathing will be easier and there will be less coughing. When you have not smoked for a year, the
coronary disease risk becomes half of what it was when you were smoking.
If you still need more incentive, just remain a non-smoker for 5 years and your risk of stroke begins reducing greatly. Somewhere between 5 and 15 years after quitting, although you won't know the exact moment it happens, you will suddenly not have more risk of having a stroke than a non-smoker always had!
Within a decade, your risks of various types of cancers is decreased. Last but not least, when you have reached your 15 year anniversary of being smoke-free, you can celebrate the fact that your risk of coronary heart disease has returned to an equal level as someone who has never smoked.