Q is for Quit Smoking

Snuff Out That Dirty, Dangerous Habit

About 14 percent of Solano County adults still smoke, despite the increased awareness of the health risks associated with the habit. Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“I encourage my patients to quit smoking because their health starts to improve immediately,” said Ehsan Ghods, D.O., who practices family medicine at the Center for Primary Care in Green Valley.

Quitting is not easy because nicotine is highly addictive. There are more than 5,000 chemical components found in cigarette smoke and hundreds of them are harmful to human health, according to the CDC.

“The average smoker tries to quit smoking eight times before being successful,” Dr. Ghods added. “The important thing to remember is that it’s never too late to quit.”

Still trying to decide to quit? There are many healthy reasons to give up the habit.

I encourage my patients to quit smoking because their health starts to improve immediately.

–Ehsan Ghods, D.O.

As soon as you stop smoking, your blood pressure decreases, your pulse rate lowers, and more oxygen gets into your blood. You will have more energy for physical activity. Just three months after quitting, your circulation will have improved and your lung function will have increased by as much as 30 percent.

You’ll also sleep better. Smokers are four times more likely to report feeling unrested after a night’s sleep than nonsmokers.

Without a cigarette, food will taste better, because smoking dulls the acuteness of your senses. And, your teeth will be whiter. The tar and chemicals in cigarettes and other tobacco products cause the teeth to turn a stained yellow color.

You’ll protect your other senses as well. One study shows smokers are four times more likely to become blind due to age-related macular degeneration than those who have never smoked. Smokers have a 70 percent greater chance of losing their hearing than nonsmokers.

And think of the money you’ll save to reward yourself for quitting!

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