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Why Is It Important to Quit Smoking for Healthier Lungs?

19-07-2022 |

Smoking is a craving habit that everyone finds difficult to quit. However, while the urge will surpass slowly, the damage caused to your lungs will last during the long term. Therefore, it is important to understand the harmful effects of smoking on the lungs and quit it as early as possible to ensure healthy lungs and live longer. Here is a detail to help you understand the benefits of quitting smoking for healthier lungs.



Harmful Effects on Lungs After Smoking

Smoking is a dangerous habit that can affect your lungs and other organs.

  • Smoking can damage the arteries in the lungs reducing the amount of oxygen transported.
  • Reduces the level of good cholesterol and increases the level of bad cholesterol in the blood.
  • It can increase the homocysteine levels, which can cause vascular damage.
  • The carbon monoxide levels in the blood will deteriorate the blood's ability to carry the oxygen to the tissues.
  • A prominent cause of lung cancer.
  • Emphysema causes inflammation that narrows and swells airways, leading to permanent damage and affecting liver function.


Why is it Important to Quit Smoking?

Smoking is considered a leading cause of lung damage, failure and cancer. Here are a few pointers to help you understand why it is important to quit smoking to ensure healthy lungs:

  • Cigarettes contain many toxic chemicals that affect the lungs and important airways. When you quit smoking, carbon monoxide will reduce gradually and move out of the bloodstream. It helps the lungs heal automatically and reduces dangerous symptoms like shortness of breath.
  • When you stop smoking, you will reactivate the lung's cilia. These are small hair-like structures on the surface of the cells that will move the bacteria and mucus to the throat, where it can get swallowed. It will ensure the mucus gets removed to clear the lungs.


Difference Between a Healthy Lung and Smokers Lung

Compared to a healthy lung, the smoker's lung will differ based on varied characteristics. Here is a detail for your reference.



Feature

Healthy Lung

Smoker’s lung

Colour

Pink

Black or fray

Size

Normal

Hyperinflated

Inflammation

No

Patches

Diaphragm

Dome-shaped

Muscle loss of the diaphragm

 

When the lungs get affected, mucus production will increase. It can also result in developing chronic cough and wheezing in extreme cases. Smoking can also cause thickening of the capillary walls of the lungs. The capillaries are the primary small blood vessels that pass oxygen through them and transport it to the various tissues. When the capillaries get damaged, it interferes with the passage of the gas, leading to low oxygen levels. 



Lung Recovery After Quitting Smoking

When you quit smoking, your lungs will resume their normal function, and the differences can be observed over a while. Here is a detail about the recovery:

  • Twenty minutes after quitting, your blood pressure and heart rate will drop to normality.
  • After a few days of quitting, the carbon monoxide level in the blood will reduce.
  • Between two weeks and 3 months after quitting, the blood circulation will improve, and the lung function will increase.
  • After one year, the tiny hair-like structures(cilia) will move the mucus out of the lungs. It will help the lungs regain their normal functionality.
  • After 5 to 10 years of quitting, your risk of lung cancer reduces by half.
  • After 10 years of quitting, the risk of getting affected due to lung cancer will reduce by half compared to a person who is still smoking.

While the risk of lung cancer and the associated diseases and illnesses can be reduced, it may not be ruled out in certain cases. Therefore, financial preparedness becomes an ultimate necessity.

Purchasing a life insurance plan can be ideal for all such cases. It provides a lump sum death benefit to your loved ones in case of unexpected death during the policy term. And, if your family has a history of developing cancer, you can purchase the life insurance plan with the critical illness benefit. In addition, it will provide an additional financial benefit to pay for your medical and other hospitalisation expenditures.

Life insurance in India provides flexible features to enhance the life insurance plan to suit individual needs. For example, with our Tata AIA life insurance plan, you can customise the payout benefit from the rider# based on your needs, such as choosing between the regular income, lump sum or a combination of both. So, in the case of lung cancer, you can get a regular income to pay for your treatments, such as the chemotherapy that occurs at regular intervals. 



Conclusion

Smoking is a dangerous habit that can cause serious illnesses to your body, especially the lungs. However, lung improvement after quitting smoking can be evident completely in the long term. Blood pressure and heart rate will turn normal. In addition, carbon monoxide will reduce, blood circulation will stabilise, and the lungs will improve their functionality. And, after ten years of quitting, the risk of getting affected due to cancer will reduce to half compared to a person who is still smoking.

Therefore, quitting smoking is a hard decision but an ultimate necessity for having healthier lungs. However, if there is a possibility of developing lung cancer due to family history, purchasing a life insurance plan can certainly be the ideal decision. It can protect your family's future in case of your unexpected demise and pay for the hospitalisation expenses if customised smartly!


L&C/Advt/2022/Jul/1545

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Tata AIA Life Insurance

A joint venture between Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd. and AIA Group Ltd. (AIA),  Tata AIA Life Insurance  is one of the leading life insurance providers in India. We post everything you need to know about life insurance, tax savings and a variety of lateral topics such as savings and investments in this space. You can access and read a host of different blogs, articles and pages at the Tata AIA Life Insurance Knowledge Center or get in touch with us with any queries or questions!

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