Agency App Notice

Click to learn more about our new agency app!

Our New Agency App

By Mary Beth Clark

Most people know that smoking increases a person’s risk of developing lung cancer, but after that knowledge of the harmful effects of smoking is pretty limited. Most people don’t know just how big a problem smoking still is in the United States. Smoking is linked to 1 in 5 deaths in the US. That adds up to more than 480,000 deaths each year that is caused by smoking. Cigarette smoking also causes more deaths than HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol, and motor vehicle accidents, and firearms combined. If you are currently a smoker and are debating quitting we would like to share some more information about the harmful effects of cigarettes and encourage you that quitting is the best thing you can do for yourself.

Health Concerns

Here are some facts listed by the Center for Disease Control about the health effects of smoking that some people may not know:

  • Cigarette smokers are at a higher risk of death from all causes than non-smokers in both men and women. 
  • Smoking can cause cancer in almost any part of the body, not just your lungs. 
  • Smoking causes around 80% of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and 90% of all lung cancer deaths.
  • More women die annually from lung cancer than from breast cancer. 
  • Cigarette smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to develop heart disease and experience a stroke.

What’s the point?

If you are an elderly person reading this blog post you are probably thinking, “Well if I have smoked most of my life, the damage is already done so there is no point in stopping now”. Am I right? Well, it turns out that is not actually true, and quitting, no matter your age, can be extremely beneficial for your health and wellbeing. Once you put out a cigarette (even if you have been smoking for decades) you will actually start recovering from its effects in as little as 24-hours. While quitting is not an easy task it is possible and you are a lot stronger than you think you are. The human body has the amazing ability to heal itself, and it is capable of a lot more than you think. The body immediately starts to make leaps and bounds to heal itself after you finish a cigarette, keep reading to learn more about the recovery timeline your body goes through after quitting.

After one day – 

Blood circulation increases. 

Levels of carbon monoxide in the blood decrease. 

Blood pressure decreases. 

Heart rate decreases. 


After several days or weeks – 

Your sense of smell and taste begins to improve. 

Lung capacity increases making breathing easier. 

After your 2-week mark, your withdrawal symptoms should have begun to drastically decrease.


One to nine months – 

Lungs are much more functional.

Feeling shortness of breath less frequently. 

Sickness such as colds and upper respiratory infections become less frequent.

Noticeable increase in energy levels.


Long-term benefits – 

Decreased risk of heart attacks.

Risk of developing cancers decreases. 

Risk of premature death decreases. 

The chances of strokes, dementia, hearing loss, chronic lung disease, and osteoporosis decrease.

How to Quit Smoking

If you do make the decision to quit smoking, here is an overview of the options you have available to help you out along the way. First of all, it is important to remember that there is not going to be a “one-size-fits-all” path to quitting smoking. Something that worked for your cousin and her friend may not necessarily work for you, and that’s okay! It is also important to go into this with an open mind and to have realistic expectations for yourself. Most smokers are unable to simply quit cold-turkey and it may take some trial and error to figure out what is going to be the best fit for you. The Mayo Clinic did a study and found out that it takes smokers an average of 8-12 weeks to completely quit smoking. So, be easy on yourself, you’ve got this!


Types of Quit-Smoking Products

Nicotine gum – Nicotine gum contains a small amount of nicotine. While chewing the gum the nicotine is slowly absorbed into the bloodstream through the lining of your mouth. When you are first trying to quit you can chew up to 24 pieces of gum a day. The goal is to start with a higher dose and slowly decrease over time. Read the instructions to make sure you are using the nicotine gum correctly.

Nicotine patch – The nicotine patch has the same concept as the gum except it releases small amounts of nicotine through the skin rather than via the mouth. This helps reduce nicotine cravings throughout the day. Also similarly to the gum, the dosages slowly decrease over time as your cravings decrease. The patch comes in over-the-counter (nonprescription) dosages and prescription dosages.

Join a group – It can be helpful to find local in-person groups, or groups via social media of others also trying to quit smoking. Having a support system of people that can relate to your feelings and experiences while being there to help build a support system can be very important for your success. To find local groups in your area speak with your local health department.

Apps for support –  Nowadays there are plenty of apps available for download that are tailored to help you successfully quit smoking. The American Lung Association and Pfizer created an app to help called Quitters Circle. The website Smokefree.gov also offers support to those trying to quit, they even offer an option to receive text messages with tips and encouragement.

Prescription medications – There are also a number of prescription medications available to help you quit smoking, simply speak to your doctor and they can give you all the information to figure out what option is right for you.

Need more information?

Today we only touched on a tiny percentage of the benefits that come from quitting smoking. You deserve to live a long and healthy life. The best strategy to effectively quit smoking is to combine the right products with a good support group to relate and encourage you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle. You’re never too old to quit smoking. If you are interested in learning more about quitting smoking for elderly adults check out this article from the National Institute on Aging.


Dwell at Home is bringing in-home senior care into the palm of your hand with a mobile application that values convenience, personalized mentorship, and trust.  You can download the app in the Apple App store today by clicking here!

Dwell at Home is not a licensed medical professional and all information provided is provided “as is” with no warranties. You should consult a licensed physician for any questions related to your health.  Dwell at Home makes no guarantee about any application or third-party website mentioned in any article on this website