Smoking

The sooner you quit smoking, the better. Even smokers who quit at 60 can reduce their chance of getting cancer and other diseases.

Time to read: 2 minutes

 

Do you want to quit smoking?

Quitting is the most important thing you can do for the health of you and your family. The good news is, it's never too late to quit

Around 15% of Australian adults are daily smokers. Evidence suggests that smoking is more prevalent among veterans, particularly younger veterans.

Quitting smoking will improve your quality of life. Whether you're concerned about:

  • the high cost of smoking,
  • you want to start a family,
  • you're battling anxiety, or
  • you want to ensure you are as healthy as possible to see your children grow up.

Although the physical health risks associated with smoking such as cancer, reduced cardiovascular health and chronic diseases like emphysema are well known, impacts to your mental health aren't.

In the long term, smoking can actually exacerbate existing mental health problems by affecting mood, arousal levels and sleep. 

Benefits of quitting

The benefits of quitting smoking — for your physical and mental health — begin almost immediately.

Your heart rate and blood pressure will drop. Within days, you will notice improvements to your sense of taste and smell. Breathing will also become easier.

Quitting can also:

  • reduce stress and improve your mental health,
  • save you money,
  • boost the effectiveness of some anxiety and depression medication,
  • make it easier to stop using drugs and alcohol,
  • increase your energy,
  • reduce your risk of cancer,
  • lower your blood pressure and cholesterol,
  • improve your lung function, skin and night vision,
  • strengthen your immune system, muscles, and bone, and
  • limit the exposure of loved ones and pets to second-hand smoke.

Start quitting today

If you want to quit smoking, now is the best time to start.

Start by visiting Quitnow or call the Quitline 13 QUIT (7848).

Select a quit date, ideally within the next two weeks. The sooner you start to quit, the better.

Use your social supports like family, friends and other veterans to get you through the hard days.

Additional support

If you have trouble quitting, you might benefit from additional support.

Your GP can help you recognise signs of poor health related to smoking and make quitting easier. They can also help you plan the best strategies or refer you to a specialist for further support if necessary.

It's not easy to quit smoking, but it's worth the effort.

Visit healthdirect to find your nearest GP.