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Quitting smoking is not easy, but it can be done. Why quitting is so important? Cigarette smoking kills 178,000 U.S. women each year. More women die of lung cancer than of breast cancer. Smoking puts women at higher risk for cervical and other cancers, infertility, pregnancy complications, early menopause, osteoporosis, emphysema, coronary heart disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal disease, thyroid disease and more. Those risks begin to decline almost immediately when you quit:
- After 20 minutes, blood pressure drops;
- After eight hours, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in blood are normal;
- After 24 hours, risk of heart attack decreases;
- After 48 hours, nerve endings start regrowing;
- At two weeks to three months, circulation and lung function improve;
- At one year, coronary heart disease risk is reduced by half;
- At five to 15 years, stroke risk reduced to that of nonsmokers;
- At 10 years, lung cancer risk cut to half that of smokers;
- At 15 years, risk of death nearly same as for those who never smoked.
To have the best chance of quitting successfully, you need to know what you're up against, what your options are, and where to go for help. Visit our friends at Cancer.org for the support you need. Why? Because you're worth it.