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Step up to a Healthier You with the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit


Two hands breaking a cigarette in half

Quitting Smoking

  • The majority of smokers are motivated to quit.
  • 4 – 10 quit attempts are needed before long-term success is achieved.
  • Over 50% of Ontarians who currently smoke expressed an intention to quit smoking within 6 months and 25% indicated intentions to quit within 30 days.
  • Only about 20% of people permanently change long standing smoking habits at the first attempt. Most people revert, at least for a while, before trying to quit again.
  • Relapse is the nature of addiction, not the failure of the individual.

Short Term Benefits

20 minutes

  • Blood pressure drops to normal
  • Temperature of hands and feet increases to normal

8 hours

  • Carbon monoxide level in blood drops to normal
  • Oxygen level in blood increases to normal

24 hours

  • Chance of heart attack decreases

48 hours

  • Walking becomes easier
  • Ability to smell and taste is enhanced

2 weeks to 3 months

  • Lung function increases up to 30 percent
  • Circulation improves

Long Term Benefits

1 to 9 months

  • Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, and shortness of breath decrease. Cilia grow in lungs, increasing ability to handle mucus and clean the lungs to reduce infection.

1 year

  • Risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker.

5 - 15 years

  • Risk of stroke is reduced to that of people who have never smoked.

10 years

  • Risk of lung cancer drops to one-half that of continuing smokers.
  • Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases.

15 years

  • Risk of coronary heart disease and death returns to nearly the level of people who have never smoked.

Available Resources