“Heart attack risk is halved five years after quitting smoking”

Stating that more than 19 thousand people die in a day in the world due to diseases caused by smoking, Public Health Specialist Dr. Nurten Elkin, “Two hours after quitting smoking, nicotine starts to leave the body. After six hours, heart rate and blood pressure begin to drop. In five years, the risk of heart attack is reduced by half.”

“Heart attack risk is halved five years after quitting smoking”

Indicating that about seven million people die every year in the world due to smoking, Dr. Nurten Elkin made statements about the importance of not smoking in healthy living behaviors and the its harms to the health. Underlining that smoking, hookah, pipe smoking or passive smoking create psychological and physical dependence on the person over time, Dr. Elkin said, “There are more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco products. Cardiovascular diseases, lung diseases and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease caused as a result of narrowing of the bronchi, vascular occlusion and related paralysis, gastric gastritis, ulcer and stomach cancer, yellowing of the skin, wrinkles, skin cancer, bad breath and yellowing of teeth are some of the important health problems.”


Stating that nicotine begins to be excreted from the body two hours after quitting, Dr. Nurten Elkin said, “After six hours, heart rate and blood pressure begin to decrease. After twelve hours, the toxic carbon monoxide from cigarette smoke is cleared from your bloodstream and makes your lungs work better. After two days, your senses of taste and smell become sharper. Within 2 – 12 weeks, blood circulation improves, which facilitates physical activities such as walking and running. After three to nine weeks, problems such as coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing will decrease and your lungs will become stronger. Within five years, the risk of heart attack is reduced by half. After ten years, the risk of lung cancer is halved, while the risk of heart attack falls to the same rate as a person who has never smoked."


“Decide on your quit day. Throw away all cigarettes, lighters, matches and ashtrays around you. Set small goals. Find activities to distract yourself. Brush your teeth and take a shower more often. Watch your diet, drink plenty of water. Stay away from the factors that will trigger your desire to smoke. Stop your urge to smoke by chewing gum or drinking herbal tea. Get fresh air, move. If you want a cigarette, take 10 deep breaths" said Dr. Elkin while giving advice to quit smoking.


Talking about some of the physical and psychological problems people may encounter when quitting tobacco, Elkin made the following statements:

“Headache may be experienced in the first days of quitting smoking. Dryness or a metallic taste may be felt in the mouth. This is one of the symptoms that the body shows during the period of being free from tobacco. Anxiety, restlessness, irritability, decreased heart rate, difficulty in focusing, increased appetite and weight gain, sweating, stress and tobacco craving are experienced. People should be prepared for physical and psychological symptoms that may disturb them. However, it should be noted that this is a normal and temporary situation. Quitting smoking can be challenging for many. The first step in overcoming this challenge is to make some preparations before starting this process. The aim of drug therapy is to eliminate nicotine withdrawal that occurs in the period following quitting. These drugs are prescribed by the physician.”

Edited date: 07.07.2021
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