Health Benefits of Quitting Chewing Tobacco
When you quit using chewing tobacco, really any kind of tobacco, regularly, you will begin to see certain health benefits near-immediately. As several hours go by, then several months, and then finally year after year, your health will only continue to improve. Below is a list of the health benefits you will see sorted by a timeline of how fast you will see results after quitting chewing tobacco or other tobacco products.
Health Benefits Post-Quitting Timeline
20 Minutes After Quitting: Your pulse rate will drop to a normal level and blood pressure will decrease back toward its normal rate. The near-instant increase in oxygen will boost your circulation, bringing the temperature of your hands and back up to normal.
8 Hours After Quitting: The carbon monoxide levels in your blood return to normal and the oxygen levels in your blood re-balances.
One Day Tobacco-Free: Your risk for suffering a heart attack decreases significantly.
Two Days Tobacco-Free: You will regain your sense of smell and taste. Your nerve endings will begin the regrowth process.
2-12 Weeks After Quitting: Your lungs will be working much better and overall circulation will have noticeably improved. Walking and general movement will become easier on both your body and your lungs. Any minor to moderate wounds you may receive will heal more quickly with your blood oxygen levels not being attacked by tobacco’s negative effects.
1-9 Months After Quitting: The negative health symptoms associated with all types of tobacco, including chewing tobacco, will be alleviated and you will find yourself in greater overall health and with an increase in physical and mental energy. You will cough less, have alleviated nasal congestion, less shortness of breath, and not be faced with daily fatigue. You will face fewer illnesses such as common colds or the flu. You will also have fewer asthma attacks and no longer find yourself having to rest because you are short of breath during your everyday activities.
Around 1 Year After Quitting: You have a 50% less chance of risk for heart disease than you would if you were still using chewing tobacco.
Within 5 Years After Quitting: You have a 50% less chance of becoming a victim of mouth, esophagus, throat, and bladder cancer. You have a 75% less chance of gingivitis.
Within 10 Years After Quitting: You have a 50% less chance of dying from lung cancer than someone who is still using chewing tobacco.
General Health Benefits of Stopping the Use of Chewing Tobacco
• Overall healthier mouth, including teeth, tongue, and gums
• Less chance of developing a wide range of cancers, including lung, mouth, esophagus, and throat
• Lower chance of developing blood clots
• Lower risk of erectile dysfunction for men; lower risk of infertility for men and women
• Lower risk of complications during pregnancy including premature babies, premature labor and miscarriages
• Better looking skin and less risk of dehydration
Conclusion: Making a Lasting Decision to Quit
Because chewing tobacco is legal (similar to smoking), many people don’t fully grasp the fact that it is just as much of an addiction as other substances. It can be very hard to quit when you go it alone. However, many resources can help you to quit using chewing tobacco and many avenues to quit. You can also make an appointment with your healthcare provider to talk about the health benefits of quitting chewing tobacco. Your healthcare provider can also review with you the different products that can help ween you off nicotine and/or control urges as you go through the process of quitting.