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It's Never Too Late to Quit Smoking!
Health benefits begin as early as 20 minutes after quitting.

By MassachusettsHealth.com writers. Not doctor reviewed. Read disclaimer.

If you're a smoker or know someone who smokes, there's good news!
It's never too late to quit smoking: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), within 20 minutes after you smoke that last cigarette, your body begins a series of changes that continue for years.

Time after quitting   Health benefits
20 minutes   Your heart rate drops.
12 hours   Carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
2 weeks to 3 months   Your heart attach risk begins to drop.
Your lung function begins to improve.
1 to 9 months   Your coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
1 year   Your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's.
5 years   Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker's 5-15 years after quitting.
10 years   Your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker's.
Risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases.
15 years   Your risk of coronary heart disease is back to that of a nonsmoker's.

But that's not all! Compared to smokers, your: dangers of smoking

  • ulcer risk drops after quitting.
  • bladder cancer risk is halved a few years after quitting.
  • peripheral artery disease risk goes down after quitting.
  • cervical cancer risk is reduced a few years after quitting.
  • risk of developing diabetes decreases and, for someone who already has diabetes, managing the disease becomes easier.
  • risk of developing osteoporosis decreases.
  • low birth weight baby risk drops to normal if women quit before pregnancy or during your first trimester.
  • sex life improves (men because they are less likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction).
  • breath, clothes and hair smell better and teeth become whiter.
  • food tastes better.
  • blood oxygen level increases so muscles become stronger and tire less easily. Also, non-smokers experience less pain and muscle aches.
  • body experiences a wide range of health benefits.

With all these health benefits, there's never been a better time to quit! The good news is that over half of all adult smokers have already successfully quit. Plus, if you are one of the nearly 3 out of 4 current smokers who is serious about kicking the habit, many tips and resources available to help you quit smoking.

Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for help or ask your healthcare provider to help you make a plan for quitting.

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From the Research Desk...

Vitamin D deficiency linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancers, obesity, autoimmune deseases and even premature death

Kansas City, Kansas - Vitamin D deficiency was associated with cardiovascular disease risk and death, whereas Vitamin D supplementation was associated with better survival, according to researchers in the American Journal of Cardiology.

In the study, scientists from the University of Kansas analyzed data on 10,899 patients and found that 70% of them were deficient in Vitamin D. Those who were D-deficient were 40% more likely to have hypertension, 30% more likely to have cardiomyopathy, and twice as likely to have diabetes than those without a deficiency. Plus, they were three times more likely to die from any cause.

Patients who took Vitamin D supplements had a 60% lower risk of death from any cause, especially those who had previously been deficient.

The cause of the problem, according to a Boston University School of Medicine paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is that:

  • most of us do not receive a moderate amount of sun exposure
  • very few foods are naturally rich in Vitamin D
  • foods that have been fortified with Vitamin D often contain inadequate amounts

Since they feel that Vitamin D deficiency has reached pandemic proportions, they also suggest that both children and adults consider taking Vitamin D supplements.

Oat fiber helps lower cholesterol, says Health Canada

oat fiber lowers cholesterol

Ottawa, Ontario - In a recent decision, Health Canada concluded that scientific studies support the claim that consumption of oat fiber is linked to a reduction in blood cholesterol. As a result, they announced that beta-glucan oat fiber products -- that meet set criteria -- can claim they help lower cholesterol.

The sources of oat fiber eligible for the claim are oat bran, rolled oats (also known as oatmeal) and whole oat flour that are either food themselves (oat bran and rolled oats) or are ingredients in formulated foods (oat bran, rolled oats and whole oat flour).

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Today's World Health News...
BBC News - Health
BBC News - Health
The latest stories from the Health section of the BBC News web site.

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NHS 'needs extra cash and overhaul'
The NHS in England needs extra money and drastic changes to the way services are organised if patient care is not to suffer, health bosses say.
10/23/2014 08:24 AM
Ebola blood-therapy team set up
An international team of scientists is set up to determine the effectiveness of using the blood of Ebola-survivors as a treatment.
10/22/2014 04:46 PM
NHS acting as 'barrier to families'
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10/22/2014 04:47 PM
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President Barack Obama expresses cautious optimism about the Ebola situation in the US, as new screening rules are introduced in the country.
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Living With Schizophrenia: Coffee and Friends
Getting to trust people well enough to call them a friend takes a lot of work. It’s especially hard when you are living with schizophrenia and think everyone is making fun of you.
10/23/2014 07:54 AM
Giving the Doctor a Second Chance
“Someone had said you were a good doctor,” my patient said derisively, “but I was not impressed.” What had I done?
10/23/2014 06:10 AM
Milk Choice May Affect Vitamin D Levels
Children who drink rice, almond or soy milk instead of cow’s milk may have insufficient levels of vitamin D.
10/22/2014 09:50 AM
Share Your Best Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes and Stories
This year’s “Vegetarian Thanksgiving” will be a selection of reader's recipes and the personal stories behind them.
10/22/2014 09:00 AM
Stressed? This Dog May Help
A cortisol detection dog helps students in New Jersey by sensing their anxiety.
10/21/2014 09:01 PM
How Music Can Boost a High-Intensity Workout
Volunteers were able to exercise harder when they listened to their favorite songs.
10/21/2014 02:33 PM
Dangerous Dietary Supplements Return to Store Shelves
The Food and Drug Administration frequently recalls dietary supplements that are found to contain banned substances, but many of these products are back on the market months later, a new study found.
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It’s Time to Try Nutty, Sour Trahana
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All Mayo Clinic health information topics
All Mayo Clinic health information topics
Mayo Clinic offers award-winning medical and health information and tools for healthy living.

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Pregnancy due date calculator

Are you expecting? Use this calculator to find out when your baby is due.


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