||Many smokers in their 50s, 60s, or older have been smoking for years. It isn’t uncommon to hear some of these folks say "I’ve smoked since I’ve been 15 and I’m as healthy as a horse!" |
While that may sometimes be true, older smokers as a whole have higher risks from smoking because they have smoked longer, tend to be heavier smokers, and are more likely to suffer from smoking-related illnesses.
No matter your age, you will have immediate health benefits if you quit smoking.
Medicare Part B will cover up to eight face-to-face counseling sessions in a 12-month period.
- Within 20 minutes of smoking your last cigarette: your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
- Within 12 hours: the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
- In 2 weeks to 3 months: your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
- In 1 to 9 months: coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, & shortness of breath decrease and energy increases.
- Within 1 year: the risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker.
- Within 5 years: the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus and bladder are cut in half. Stroke risk can fall to that of a non-smoker after 2-5 years.
- Within 10 years: the risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a person who is still smoking.
- Within 15 years: the risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker's.
Additionally, smokers are more than twice as likely as nonsmokers to develop dementia of any kind and Alzheimer’s disease. Smokers also have two to three times the risk of developing cataracts, the leading cause of blindness and vision loss.
There are a number
The Nebraska Tobacco Quitline is a free and confidential resource that connects you with trained quit coaches. The toll-free number is 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669).
Medicare Part B will cover up to eight face-to-face counseling sessions during a 12-month period. The sessions must be provided by a qualified doctor or Medicare-recognized provider. Contact your doctor to get started.
For those receiving benefits from Medicare Part D, check your plan. Some insurance plans cover the cost of prescription nicotine replacement therapies. These therapies are another tool to help you succeed in your quit attempt.
And, finally, don’t be discouraged!
Many tobacco users try to quit 5 to 7 times before they achieve long-term success. Each quit attempt teaches you a bit more about what works and doesn't work for you. Remember, you CAN do it and you will be healthier as a result.
Sources: American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, Medicare.gov
|For more information, contact:|
Tobacco Free Nebraska
P.O. Box 95026
Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-5026
Phone: (402) 471-2101
E-mail: TFN Info