Substance Abuse, Wellbeing

Quit smoking: the best decision

Among the leading causes of death among the Hispanic population are cancer, heart disease, and stroke, all possibly caused by tobacco smoking.

Diabetes is another of them and the risk of developing it is between 30 and 40% higher among smokers than among non-smokers.

The good news is that  Hispanics, however, still quit smoking at higher rates than other communities.

Quitting smoking has a lot of benefits

First of all, with the threat of Covid-19, it is important to switch to the group of non-smokers since a group of public health experts gathered by the  World Health Organization (WHO) on April 29, 2020, established that smokers are more likely to develop severe symptoms in case of COVID-19, compared to non-smokers.

Covid-19 is an infectious disease that primarily attacks the lungs. Smoking impairs lung function, making it harder for the body to fight this and other diseases.

This is the most important action you can take to reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease.

People already diagnosed with coronary heart disease also benefit from quitting smoking.

Quitting smoking after a diagnosis of coronary heart disease:

reduces the risk of premature death.

reduces the risk of death from heart disease,

reduces the risk of having a first heart attack or another heart attack.

Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking Over Time

Over time, people who quit smoking see many benefits to their health. 

After you smoke your last cigarette, your body begins a series of positive changes that continue for years.

Reduced risks refer to cessation in comparison to continued smoking.


Time after quitting and health benefits

Minutes Heart rate drops

24 hours Nicotine level in the blood drops to zero

Several days Carbon monoxide level in the blood drops to the level of someone who does not smoke

1 to 12 months Coughing and shortness of breath decrease

1 to 2 years Risk of heart attack drops sharply

3 to 6 years Added risk of coronary heart disease drops by half

5 to 10 years Added risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, and voice box drops by half

Risk of stroke decreases

10 years

The added risk of lung cancer drops by half after 10-15 years

Risk of cancers of the bladder, esophagus, and kidney decreases

15 years

The risk of coronary heart disease drops to close to that of someone who does not smoke

20 years

The risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, and voice box drops to close to that of someone who does not smoke

The risk of pancreatic cancer drops to close to that of someone who does not smoke

The added risk of cervical cancer drops by about half

Sources: WHO

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention



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