The Benefits of Quitting Smoking

Dr. Milan Khara, MBChB, CCFP,ABAM, discusses the benefits of quiting smoking.

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Dr. Milan Khara, MBChB, CCFP,ABAM, discusses the benefits of quiting smoking.
Video transcript

Dr. Milan Khara, MBChB, CCFP, ABAM

Duration: 1 minute, 51 seconds

Patients often believe that it's too late for them to derive benefit from quitting smoking, and the reality is it that it's actually never too late and there's almost immediate benefit from quitting smoking.

So for example within eight hours of the last cigarette, your blood levels of carbon monoxide - which is a gas that you really don't want in your system - are beginning to drop. So your cardiovascular risk, your risk of having a heart attack or a stroke, is beginning to drop within just a few hours of the last cigarette.

We also know that by one year of being quit your excess risk of having a heart attack or stroke is now halved compared to those who continue to smoke. We know by five to fifteen years of being quit that your risk of having a stroke has now become that of a non-smoker.

So these benefits are both immediate and they're also in the longer term, so it's never too late to quit and we really want to encourage our patients to make quit attempts any time that they're ready to do that.

Well whenever you quit you're going to gain benefit in terms of life gain. Even if you quit at the age of 65 you will get back years of life on average. We know that quitting smoking leads to both immediate and longer-term benefits, but we also know that the sooner you quit the greater that those benefits are going to be.

So we want people who smoke to think about making those quit attempts at the earliest possible opportunity, and to lean on some of the supports, both pharamacological and non-pharamacological, that are out there to help them to quit successfully.

For those who want to quit there's a variety of supports out there. So speaking to a pharmacist, or a family doctor, or a practiced nurse is a very good place to start. And what we really want to see those who make quit attempts do is lean on the smoking cessation medications and the kind of counseling support that can be accessed out there.

Presenter: Dr. Milan Khara, Family Doctor, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Family Doctor

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.