Harvard Heart Letter

Health tips for former smokers

Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Learn how you can capitalize on these gains for years to come.

You did it! You gave up cigarettes. Just by quitting, you've made a huge stride in improving your health and extending your life. After all the hard work you've done, make sure you take all steps necessary to reap the benefits of a smoke-free lifestyle for years to come.

The well-documented health risks of smoking include heart attack, stroke, lung and other cancers, insulin resistance, and tooth loss. However, your body begins to repair the damage from smoking within minutes after you've had your last cigarette. Over the following months, years, and decades, your overall health will approach the level of someone who has never smoked.

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