While it can be difficult to quit smoking at any age, it can be much tougher for older adults addicted to nicotine. The added difficulty often comes from the mistaken belief that it’s too late to benefit from giving up smoking.
Older adults who continue to smoke into their sixties and seventies often believe that the damage has been done and that it’s too late to reverse it. Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. There are positive benefits from giving up smoking no matter how old you are.
Why It’s Never Too Late to Benefit from Giving up Smoking
If you or an older adult in your life wants to quit smoking, keep two things in mind. First, you can quit no matter how many times you’ve been unsuccessful at it in the past. Second, you will experience health benefits almost immediately after quitting.
Here are just a few of the benefits you’ll experience in just the first 3-4 days after you stop smoking:
- Within 30 minutes after you stop smoking, your heart rate and blood pressure return to normal
- Your lungs will begin to clear after less than 48 hours
- In less than 72 hours, your body will be free of nicotine
- Within 4 days, it will be easier to breathe and your energy level will increase
These benefits do not depend on age— you will experience them no matter how old you are.
The Long-Term Benefits of Quitting Smoking at Any Age
Four long-term smoking cessation benefits you or your senior loved one will experience include:
- Reduced Rates of Common Illnesses
Non-smokers get sick much less frequently than smokers do. They have significantly lower rates of colds, bronchitis, and the flu. This is just as true for someone who quits when they’re in their seventies or eighties as it is for a 30-year-old.
- More Money in Your Pocket
Smokers begin to save hundreds of dollars a month the moment they give up the habit. This is definitely a benefit that doesn’t depend on age. And having a few thousand dollars extra each year is a good thing no matter how old you are!
- Decreased Risk of Heart Disease
Smoking is the number one cause of heart attacks and smokers are at much higher risk for them than non-smokers. No matter what age you are when you quit smoking, the risk of heart disease begins to decrease within 24 hours and continues to decline as long as you abstain.
- Reduced Cancer Risk
Giving up smoking at any age will help to immediately reduce the risk of several forms of cancer, including cancer of the lung, colon, esophagus and throat. Even those who have already been diagnosed with cancer will benefit from an improved immune system.
This is just a small sampling of the benefits associated with smoking cessation. And remember—these benefits have nothing to do with age.
Quit Smoking, Start Benefitting
Do not let anything deter you or your senior loved one from experiencing the wide array of health benefits that come from giving up smoking. Even if you’ve tried to quit a dozen times before, you can still succeed and improve your quality of life significantly.
The team at Heritage Senior Living hopes this information serves to encourage and inspire you. We also hope you’ll return to our Senior Care Blog often for more tips on aging well.
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