What Happens After You Quit Smoking?
Some people who smoke cigarettes wish deep inside their heart to quit cigarettes, but are they confident about it? Perhaps not! They have doubts on themselves for how long they can live without smoking.
Well, this behavior is common. People should focus on getting permanent freedom from nicotine addiction once and for all.
While smoking, thousands of chemicals are released into your body. Not only it damages your lungs, but it also can harm the heart and many other body organs.
But, the good thing is - No matter if you've smoked for years, you can still reverse its effects. And you’ll start experiencing the benefits within an hour of quitting.
Cigarette smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the United States of America. Many people have a misconception that the reversal effects of quitting is very slow. Read the blog further and know the benefits you’ll experience in a specified time after you’ve smoked your last cigarette.
The benefits of quitting are instant. As soon as you give up a cigarette, your body starts to recover. Consider the following sequence:
1 Hour After Your Last Cigarette
Within 20 minutes to 1 hour after your last cigarette, your pulse and blood pressure rate will be inclined more towards normal levels. It improves the blood circulation in your body.
Additionally, the fibers in your bronchial tubes that once were stuck due to frequent exposure to smoke, will start moving again. This can be advantageous for your lungs. These fibers flush out harmful bacteria and irritants out of the lungs, which help lower the risk of infection.
12 Hours After Your Last Cigarette
Cigarettes contain plenty of harmful chemicals, including carbon monoxide, a gas that’s present in cigarette smoke.
High doses of the chemical can be harmful and deadly as it prevents the entry of oxygen in the lungs and blood. When you inhale the smoke containing carbon monoxide for long, you may feel suffocated due to the lack of oxygen.
Just 12 hours without cigarettes can help reduce the carbon monoxide levels in the body. With a decrease in its levels, there increase the body’s oxygen levels.
1 day After Your Last Cigarette
Within just one day after quitting, the risk of heart diseases starts decreasing.
Smoking increases the risk of developing coronary artery disease (CAD) by reducing the levels of good cholesterol, which can make you incapable of doing healthy exercises properly. Smoking also elevates the risk of blood clots and high blood pressure, which can raise the risk of stroke.
You’ll experience a substantial drop in your blood pressure within just a day after your last cigarette. It will reduce the risk of heart disorders from smoking-induced high blood pressure.
In this brief time, the person’s oxygen level will boost up, making physical activities and exercises simpler to do.
2 Days After Your Last Cigarette
Smoking can adversely affect the nerves responsible for smell and taste. Within two days of quitting, your nerves can begin to heal, and you will notice an elevated sense of different tastes and smells.
3 Days After Your Last Cigarette
The nicotine levels in a person’s body get exhausted within three days after quitting. Although it's good to have no nicotine in the body, this initial exhaustion can cause nicotine withdrawal. As a result, most people experience irritability and moodiness. You can also have sudden cravings and headaches as the body readjusts.
1 Month After Your Last Cigarette
After one month, the person’s lungs start functioning well. As lungs heal and its capacity enhances, the former smokers will have less breathing difficulty and coughing.
1-8 Months After Your Last Cigarette
For up to nine months after cigarette smoking, your blood circulation will continue to improve.
9 Months After Your Last Cigarette
After nine months of quitting, lungs have substantially healed themselves. The tiny hair-like projections in your lungs called cilia have been restored from the toll the cigarette smoking has taken on them. It helps eradicate mucus from the lungs and combat several infections.
Cilia are now performing their functions well and so the former smokers may experience a drop in the frequency of lung infections.
1 Year After Your Last Cigarette
After one year of smoking cessation, a person’s chances of developing CAD reduces by half. The risk will then continue to drop at a gradual pace.
5 Years After Your Last Cigarette
Cigarettes have many toxic chemicals that can narrow down your blood vessels and arteries. These chemicals can also increase the chances of blood clotting.
Five years without cigarettes is a great time where the arteries and blood vessels can start widening again. It ensures that you are less likely to develop blood clots, thereby reducing your risk of stroke.
10 Years After Your Last Cigarette
After 10 years, there’s a reduced risk of developing and dying from lung cancer as compared to someone who still smokes. You are now at a lower risk of throat, mouth and pancreatic cancer as well.
15 Years After Your Last Cigarette
After 15 years of quitting, your risk of developing coronary artery diseases becomes comparable to that of a non-smoker. In the same way, the risk of developing pancreatic cancer also reduces to the same level.
20 Years After Your Last Cigarette
After twenty years of quitting, the risk of death from smoking-associated causes including cancer and other lung-related disease reduces to the level of a person who has never smoked. This goes with the risk of pancreatic cancer as well.
Tips For Quitting Smoking
Find Your Reason: To get motivated, you need a strong reason for quitting. As for yourself why have you decided to quit smoking? It may be to reduce the risk of different types of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, etc. Or, to protect your beloved family from second-hand smoke. Or to look or feel younger. Choose a reason that is strong enough to overcome your urge to light up the fire again.
Quitting cigarettes is not easy. It is an addiction that can leave you irritated upon initial phases of quitting. You can ask your doctor some of the best ways that can help, including medication, counseling, hypnosis, quit-smoking classes and apps. You need to be ready for the day you decide to quit.
Consider Nicotine Replacement Therapy
When you quit smoking, nicotine withdrawal can cause severe headaches, sap your energy or change your mood. Nicotine replacement can control your urges to smoke. Studies suggest that nicotine gum, patches, and lozenges can increase your chances of success while you’re on a quit smoking program.
Know About Prescription Pills
Several medications are available that can curb your cravings and also make you feel less satisfied even when you pick up a cigarette. Other drugs can relieve withdrawal symptoms such as depression or sleeping difficulties.
Lean On Your Loved Ones
Tell your family and close friends that you’re trying hard to quit. They can motivate you to keep going, especially when you’re enticed to light up. You can also enroll in some behavioral therapy can help spot and adhere to quit smoking
Take A Break
Some people smoke as the nicotine present in it helps them relax. There are many alternatives, including listening to music, treating yourself to a massage, connecting with friends, or developing a new hobby.
Avoid Alcohol And Other Substance Use
Alcohol and drugs can make it very difficult for you to stick to a no-smoking goal. Some people have a habit of drinking coffee while smoking, for those people switching to tea for a couple of days, can make the difference.
If you have a habit of smoking after you take dinner, try engaging yourself in some other activities like taking a walk, chewing gum, texting a friend, or brushing your teeth.
Once you’ve smoked your last cigarette or decided to quit, toss all your lighters and ashtrays out of the home. Some of your clothes may be smelling of smoke, wash them off. Clean your carpets, upholstery, and draperies. Use an air freshener to ward off that smokey smell. If you’ve recently smoked in your car, wipe it out too. You should keep yourself away from anything that reminds you of smoking.
Try, Try And Try
Some people have already tried and failed many times to quit smoking. Don’t get discouraged. If you light up sometimes. Instead, you should think about what made you smoke again - is it your emoting or the atmosphere you were in. Use it as an opportunity to expedite your commitment to quitting.
Eat Fruits And Vegetables
While you give up smoking, don’t diet as it can easily backfire. Eat more fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains.
Choose Your Reward
Quitting smoking offers a number of benefits as we have discussed in the previous section of the article, moreover, you can also save a lot of money. Calculate the sum of money which you have saved from not smoking, and you can use a portion of that in something fun.