Holiday classics often mention peace, joy, and comfort, but the sad truth is that this season can also be a very stressful time. Whether it’s holiday shopping, travel, or cooking, stressors can sometimes get the best of us, and even keep us from making healthy changes… like quitting cigarettes or tobacco.
While using tobacco products might make users feel better about stress levels in the short term, the stress usually comes back quickly afterward and often at a higher level since it’s combined with nicotine withdrawal.
However, stress is just the tip of the iceberg compared to tobacco use consequences. Tobacco use can increase your risk for diseases that affect the heart and blood vessels, damage your airways, lead to the development of cancer, almost anywhere in your body, and diminish overall health.
While quitting might be difficult at first, the benefits truly pay off down the road. When smokers quit, the following benefits occur.
- Within 20 minutes – heart rate and blood pressure decreases.
- Within 2-3 weeks – circulation improves and lung function increases.
- Within 1 to 9 months – coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
- Within 1 year – risk for coronary heart disease is half of what a current smoker’s risk is.
- Within 5 years – risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half.
You don’t have to do it alone. Free help is available through the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT NOW or wiquitline.org. Contact the Quit Line today and make your plan for a tobacco free holiday season.