It is no secret that tobacco smoking is addictive and harmful to our health. Smoking is associated with higher risks of heart disease, chronic lung disease (e.g. emphysema), lung and other types of cancer, and many other medical conditions. Quitting smoking can be a very challenging, but very rewarding thing to do.
Importance for PLHIV50+
People living with HIV (PLHIV) and those in the LGBTQI+ community are more likely to smoke than the general population. Stopping smoking is particularly important for PLHIV, who are already at an increased risk of some of these health conditions.
The benefits of smoking cessation start shortly after you quit as your body begins to repair itself. Stopping smoking at any age is associated with substantial health benefits and can help you live longer. To name a few benefits, smoking cessation leads to a:
- Reduced risk of premature death
- Reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
- Reduced risk of lung disease and pneumonia
- Reduced risk of many types of cancer
- Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and hip fracture
- Financial benefits
It is important to try to understand what your motivation is for stopping. Challenges in the short term include nicotine withdrawal, some weight gain, a temporary cough, and some mood changes. Many of these symptoms are temporary.