The Ugly Truth About Smoking 
Friday, 24 June 2011 
Everyone knows that smoking will catch up with nicotine users 40 years in the future, but do we know what the immediate benefits are when it comes to quitting? According to the American Cancer Society, there are instantaneous health effects once someone takes the plunge and quits smoking. These benefits include:

  • 20 minutes after quitting, the heart rate and blood pressure decrease.
  • 12 hours after quitting, the carbon monoxide levels in the bloodstream drop to normal.
  • 2-3 weeks after quitting, the circulation and lung function increase.


                Peter Alford, MD 

“No one claims that quitting is easy. It’s a big step - a commitment that is only possible if you have decided to put your health first,” says a pulmonologist with FryeCare Physicians, Peter Alford, MD. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that ‘an estimated 46 million people or 20.6% of ALL adults aged 18 and older in the United States currently smoke cigarettes.’ That’s unacceptable.”

Dr. Alford explains, “Frye Regional Medical Center strives to be the leading healthcare provider and educator in the Greater Hickory Metro area. We want smokers to know that it is our PRIORITY to be there for you as you quit, even when the whole world is causing you indescribable stress. We applaud you in your effort to lead a longer, happier and healthier life - DISEASE FREE - and we can show you creative ways to get there.”

The American Cancer Society has proven that ex-smokers will enjoy a higher quality of life and health, lessen their risk of illness as well as reduce rates of bronchitis and pneumonia; in spite of the many claims on the Internet that smoking risks are overblown by the media.

Teens in the United States continue to take up smoking, but they must quickly realize the shortcomings of cigarettes as 50 percent of high school smokers are actively trying to quit, another finding of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Trendsetter Tyra Banks recently banned all contestants on the show America’s Next Top Model from lighting up, which may very well signal the end of the notion that the halitosis and wheezing shortness of breath associated with smoking can possibly be glamorous.

It takes 48 to 72 hours for nicotine to leave the body and the worst withdrawal symptoms to peak. Frye encourages everyone who smokes or cares about a smoker not to suffer another quiet disappointment when trying to quit and to feel free to call whenever words of encouragement are needed.

For more information on Frye’s Smoking Cessation Classes, call 828-315-3596. For physician referral call 828-315-3391.