There are various negative effects of smoking for your health and hence, quitting will give you some health benefits. One of the thing you will improve when quit smoking is your cholesterol level. As researched, smoking elevates the risk for having higher cholesterol level. When you quit this habit, therefore, it is not only good for your lungs, but also decreases the risk for you to have cardiovascular diseases.
Quitting smoking and lower cholesterol level
People with smoking habit is exposed to variety of health risks, including raised cholesterol level, lung cancers, and cardiovascular diseases. To improve their health, therefore, quitting smoking is the best way both light and heavy smokers are advised to do. The habit of smoking is studied to give a significant role in determining cholesterol level in the bloodstream. Thus, quitting smoking, especially when done at least a year gives some benefits for overall health, such as:
- Lowers bad cholesterol (LDL), which is significant in triggering heart-related diseases, such as arteries thickening, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack.
- Raises good cholesterol (HDL), which is important for cholesterol transmission from the cells back to the liver to dispose and hence, controls cholesterol level under control.
- Lowers the risk of having lung cancers and other respiratory system-related illnesses.
- For pregnant women who are smoking, they have the risk of decreasing the level of HDL in their babies. Quitting smoking, therefore, decrease this risk.
According to numerous studies, smokers who has quitted smoking for approximately one year develop their HDL level by 5 percent compared to when they were still smoking. By improving overall cholesterol level, previously smoking people reduce their risk of heart-related diseases by 6 percent after quitting. Either heavy smokers or light ones have the same improvement with their HDL level once stop smoking for about a year. However, the effects, when compared between men and women is stronger and more dramatic in women. Although the relationship between quitting smoking and increased number of HDL is not definitely known through various studies, it is thought to lie on the number of certain proteins inside the body, which has a role of disposing cholesterol through the liver. When one is smoking, the smoke destroys these proteins, decreases the body ability to dispose cholesterol. When he stops smoking, consequently, these proteins are restored, keeping the level of overall cholesterol under control.
Other effects of quitting smoking
Other than promoting raised number of HDL and keep the level of both LDL and triglycerides under control, quitting smoking is also believed to be able to decrease one’s risk of having multiple cardiovascular and heart diseases. The risk of cancers and impotence are also decreased by quitting smoking.
However, quitting smoking, in most people, trigger something that may be unexpected. Almost all research respondents who have been quitting smoking for approximately one year gain weight for around 10 pounds. This is not a quite good news, since excessive weight gain in continuous period may also be a risk factor of elevated cholesterol level. When cholesterol level raises, the risk of having some build ups around the arteries walls also elevates. Arteries build up hence leads to the risk of stroke, high blood pressure, and heart attack.
Dealing with this, people who quit smoking should improve their lifestyle by doing exercises regularly, as well as improving their daily diet intake. If possible, a regular cholesterol level check should also be done every once or twice a year. As quitting smoking also trigger the desire of cravings for sweets, it is important to limit the intake, as sweets, when consumed excessively, may turn into high level of blood sugar, which exposes someone’s susceptibility of heart diseases.
How to quit smoking
Despite the benefits it offers, quitting smoking is not an easy thing to do for those who have been engaged to this habit for a long period. A good method of quitting smoking to consider is called START, which involves some basic steps to help you commit to your quitting-smoking plan. Here are the steps which can be helpful for either heavy or light smokers planning to cut the habit off the life as soon as possible:
S—Set a quit date. Once set, be committed to your quit plan. Do not put off your quitting-smoking plan once you have set the date.
T—Tell family, friends, and colleagues that you are quitting. Tell everyone surrounding you that you need their support to quit smoking. This includes your co-smokers friends. Telling people surrounding you is important, so that they can encourage you and remind you about your plan once you think you are not going to make it.
A—Anticipate challenges you are going to face while quitting. Cigarette cravings may be the biggest challenge during your first weeks. It is thus important to plan what things or activities you are going to take or do once you feel the need to smoke while trying to quit.
R—Remove cigarettes from your house and car. This is important to throw away the packs of cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays, and all things related to your previous smoking habit. Steam and clean your car and rooms from cigarettes smell to prevent you from returning back to smoking.
T—Talk to an expert. There are various plans an expert can offer to help you quit smoking. If you have tried several times to quit and unfortunately, failed, it may be the time to consult with an expert.