Smoking is a terribly unhealthy habit but if you’ve ever tried to kick it, you know how difficult that can be.
It’s been a huge part of society and there’s often even peer pressure involved, then people tend to quickly develop the addictive calm which nicotine provides. It’s a ridiculous addiction, and often the only door out reads “cancer” on the outside. Nevertheless, quitting is a must and it helps if you are supported by others and can develop a strong will to stop. You should also know what to expect.
Here’s what happens after you quit:
Your heart rate and blood pressure will go back to normal. Sensations start to come alive in your hands and legs. As your body clears itself of the nicotine, cravings kick in and that’s when your strong will needs to also kick in to counter the addiction.
Your blood cells have bonded with the inhaled carbon monoxide when the tobacco burned. This in turn prevents oxygen bonding to cells. Cardiovascular disease is the result.
But your carbon monoxide levels actually get cut in half by the 8th hour of quitting. Oxygen levels pump back up to normal and your risk of heart attack lowers.
After 48 hours your sense of smell and taste may begin to kick back in. Nerve endings re-grow and become revitalized. That food you had to over-season before (in order to experience taste) will no longer need to be spiced or seasoned as heavily.
Nicotine will be gone and this will likely cause not only some cravings, but a feeling of nausea. It only gets better if your willpower remains strong.
Lungs start to revitalize. Deeper breaths become possible.
Repair of the cilia takes place in your lungs. They start to function normally again. Heart attack risk lowers even more. Risk of kidney failure and cardiovascular disease also lowers.
Lungs clean themselves out, throwing out the toxins and nicotine. Body is able to perform repairs due to no toxins being taken in.
Physical activity becomes easier. Cardio exercises becomes easier as shortness of breath issues don’t appear.
3 to 9 Months
Skin looks better and feels soft again. Blood circulation improves. Elasticity of skin also improves as skin produces more collagen, and helps stave off wrinkle formation.
1 to 5 years
Heart disease risk gets cut in half. Typical smoker physical features go away after 1 to 5 years.
No more yellow fingers, yellow teeth. Blood now circulates more in your gums. Cancer risks lower by 50%, including lung cancer, the most common.
10 to 15 years
The need to smoke is likely no longer a factor and the results of being smoker free are a huge positive and something you are thankful about. You reach the same risk of heart disease and cancer as a non-smoker after 15 years. Your health risks associated with smoking are gone and your life expectancy will have increased.
It’s all up to you now. It begins with the first step of deciding to quit. Go for it!
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