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4 Everyday Habits That Wreck Your Health

  • Mary Lynn Blasutta

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  • Mary Lynn Blasutta

    Break This Habit, Live Longer

    Nearly 20% of women smoke, despite a mountain of research linking smoking to heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and a dozen other cancers. Here's some motivation to stop.

    20 minutes after quitting: Your blood pressure drops.

    12 hours after quitting: Levels of toxic carbon monoxide in your blood decrease.

    2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your lung function increases.

    1 to 9 months after quitting: You cough less.

    1 year after quitting: Your heart-disease risk is cut in half.

    5 to 15 years after quitting: Your stroke risk is that of a nonsmoker.

    15 years after quitting: Your heart-disease risk is the same as a nonsmoker's.

    Check out the step-by-step guide to quitting at smokefree.gov.

    Originally published in the August 2010 issue of Family Circle magazine.

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