Do you want to quit smoking?
If your answer is “yes”, you have improved health to look forward to. But you need to know what happens to your body when you quit smoking in the short term.
No matter how long you’ve been a smoker – whether 30 days or 30 years – your body CAN recover from the toxic chemicals you’ve inhaled.
You see, smoking cigarettes is one of the unhealthiest things you can do to your body. Cigarettes have been linked to lung, throat, and mouth cancer and have been proven to increase a person’s risk for heart troubles and respiratory difficulties.
Unfortunately, thanks to the addictive qualities of nicotine, stopping the habit of smoking cigarettes can be especially hard for some people.
Some lack the motivation, others easily relapse thanks to stress or other factors and then have to restart the whole quitting process again. But for the most part, many probably do not understand just how much healthier their lives would be if they learned how to stop smoking, for good.
Unfortunately, you should note that there are some setbacks that may occur when quitting, most notably these 4 effects of withdrawal.
4 Effects of Withdrawal
1. Digestive: You may experience heartburn, indigestion, nausea, and diarrhea. Symptoms usually get worse before they begin to improve.
2. Respiratory: Sinus congestion, coughing, phlegm, and slight hoarseness can occur.
3. Circulatory: You may feel dizzy, stiff, or even tingling in your toes and fingers.
4. Sleep: You may experience insomnia as well.
These effects are a direct result of your body repairing the damage that smoking has caused, and starting to smoke again will only set back your plans for a healthy lifestyle. If you fight through your withdrawal stage (which should only last 3-4 weeks) you will see immediate and long-lasting health improvements.
To give you an idea of the benefits that you will experience once you quit smoking, the American Cancer Society has created a timeline that describes what you can look forward to in your new, smoke-free life. In addition to this, it’s a great guide to discover what happens to your body once you quit smoking.
Health Benefits Once You Quit Smoking
After 20 minutes: your blood pressure will drop back down to normal.
After 8 hours: the carbon monoxide levels in your bloodstream will drop by half, and oxygen levels will return to normal
After 48 hours: your chance of having a heart attack will have decreased. All nicotine will have left your body. Your sense of taste and smell will return to a normal level.
After 72 hours: your bronchial tubes will relax, and your energy levels will increase.
After 2 weeks: your circulation will increase, and it will continue to improve for the next 10 weeks.
After 3 to 9 months: coughing, wheezing, and breathing problems will dissipate as your lung capacity improves by 10%.
After 1 year: your risk of having a heart attack will have dropped by half.
After 5 years: your risk of having a stroke returns to that of a non-smoker.
After 10 years: your risk of lung cancer will have returned to that of a non-smoker.
After 15 years: your risk of heart attack will have returned to that of a non-smoker.
Breaking any habit can be difficult. If you want to quit smoking you’ll have to be completely resolute in your new routine, and need to be strong when it matters most – especially when you experience strong cravings, or even if you happen to relapse. Long-time smokers will battle a stronger addiction than others, but the immediate and long-term benefits are more than worth the trouble.
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