September is Healthy Aging Month–the perfect opportunity to assess your health and make some positive lifestyle changes. One sure-fire way to improve life expectancy immediately: Quit smoking as soon as possible.
You can eliminate almost all of smoking’s long-term negative effects when you quit by 30, and smokers who quit between 35 and 44 can add nine years to their lives.The Link to Healthy Aging
Quitting tobacco doesn’t just make life longer—it makes it better, too:
- Your heart rate and blood pressure decrease just 20 minutes after quitting.
- It decreases the risk of major heath problems.
- It can reduce the risk of dementia.
- Within five years of quitting, the chance of a heart attack drops 50 percent.
- After 10 years, the risk of lung cancer is about half that of a smoker and the risk of cardiovascular disease is nearly the same as someone who never smoked.
At any age, going tobacco-free is the best medicine for a longer, healthier life. You are never too young or too old to do it.
Take a positive step on the road to healthy aging: For a personalized quit plan and on-going support, call North Shore-LIJ’s Center for Tobacco Control at 516-466-1980. For phone counseling, call the New York State Smokers’ Quitline at 1-866-NYQUITS (1-866-697-8487).
This post was written by Patricia Folan, RN, DNP, director of the North Shore-LIJ Center for Tobacco Control.
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