Smoking is an addiction, challenging to quit. But if you weigh the benefits of quitting against the hazards to your life, the benefits certainly outweigh. Of course, it won’t happen overnight. But one hour after the last cigarette you have smoked, the body will begin its journey to recovery. And twenty years of having quit the vice, you will be as healthy as a complete nonsmoker. To a smoker, twenty years of going without that wrapped up evil may seem an uphill task, but sheer willpower, the expectation of a healthy life and the hope and prayers of your loved ones will make it easy. So, begin the journey to recovery now.
Surprising Benefits of Quitting Smoking Over Time
Smokers may not be aware of what happens when you stop smoking. After quitting smoking, within two days, you will feel a positive change taking place as the days go by. You will find it easy to breathe. You will start relishing the dishes at the dining table, which seemed to be bland otherwise because now you can smell them and feel and enjoy the taste as well. You will feel fitter and energetic. The condition of your hair, mouth, and teeth will improve. Fighting off the common cold and other ailments will become easy. Inside also the body is healing itself. You are gradually eliminating the risk of getting stricken with killer diseases such as many kinds of cancer, heart diseases, asthma, and for a woman smoker, pregnancy risk or giving birth to underweight-pre-mature babies is minimised. So, with time, your overall health improves and there is a general feeling of well-being. The following quitting smoking timeline will explain how it happens.
Just After 1 hour of Your Last Cigarette
The healing process begins only 20 minutes after your last cigarette. Following is the effect after one hour.
- The blood pressure, the temperature of the limbs, and the pulse rate will normalise.
- The fibres in the bronchial tubes(tubes that let air in and out of your lungs ) start moving again, throwing the irritants and bacteria out.
- Excess carbon monoxide inhaled starts getting cleaned out.
- Oxygen level increases, healthy tissues, and blood vessels.
After 12 Hours
- The carbon monoxide ( the harmful gas in cigarette smoke that prevents oxygen from entering the lungs ) level becomes normal
- The body’s oxygen level increases.
- The heart can pump enough oxygen to your body.
After A Day
- There is a decrease in the risk of heart attack and strokes as blood pressure becomes normal.
- Nicotine level in the bloodstream decreases to an insignificant amount.
- Physical activities become more comfortable to perform, to promote heart-healthy habits.
2 Days Later
- The damaged nerve endings, responsible for the senses of taste and smell, start regrowing.
- In consequence, the dulled senses become sharper. You begin to realise that you can smell and taste things better.
3 Days Later
- The lungs can take in more air.
- Earlier problematic breathing becomes more comfortable as bronchial tubes inside the lungs open up and are relaxed.
- There is a depletion of the nicotine levels in the body as the nicotine passes out from your body with urine. Initially, this can result in irritability, headache, and moodiness just like drug withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms subside gradually in 3-4 weeks.
- There will be a craving for smoking, but you have to resist it. The desire is not a command to put a lighted cigarette to your lips.
After 1 Month
- Many smoking-related symptoms like congestion due to sinus, coughing etc. will start disappearing.
- You start to feel more active and energetic.
- While exercising, shortness of breath that you experienced earlier, will have decreased a lot.
- The fibres that keep the healthy lungs start growing back to protect against bacteria-induced infections.
After 2-3 Months
- Blood circulation continues to improve.
- Within three months of quitting, a female smoker’s fertility improves, and the risk of delivering a premature baby will be much reduced.
After 9 Months
- You stop feeling the need to smoke whenever you are under any stress.
- You will cough up much less mucus and phlegm than before.
- Lungs will have healed themselves.
- You will not fall prey to too many colds and other illnesses.
- The energy level will have increased a lot.
- Cilia (the microscopic, hair-like structures ) regrow in the windpipe to sweep dirt and mucus out of your lungs.
A Year Later
- Dramatic improvement in the health of your lungs by way of their capacity and the way they function.
- Your risk of coronary heart disease will have decreased by half and will continue to drop.
- You will cough much less than when you smoked.
After 5 Years
The benefits after five years of quitting smoking are many.
- Your risk of a heart attack will have decreased to that of a nonsmoker.
- Your risk of death from lung cancer will have dropped by half.
- The arteries and blood vessels that had narrowed will begin to widen again so that the blood is less likely to clot, minimising the risk of stroke.
- Your chances of being struck with cervical cancer will be the same as a non-smoker.
- Your chances of getting cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus (a long, hollow tube that runs from your throat to your stomach) or bladder will be halved.
- Your risk of subarachnoid haemorrhage ( an uncommon type of stroke caused by bleeding on the surface of the brain) will have declined to 59 %.
- For female quitters, the risk of developing diabetes will be that of a nonsmoker.
After 10 Years
- The likelihood of developing pancreatic cancer, cancer of the larynx, decrease significantly.
- Your risk of dying from lung cancer will be that of a person who has never smoked.
After 15 Years
- At this milestone, your risk of heart attack, stroke, pancreatic cancer, has all declined to that of a nonsmoker.
- You will have lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and your blood will be thinner.
Over 20 Years
- Finally, you can live a healthy life as that of a nonsmoker, with the same risks.
Additional Benefits That You May Notice Once You Stop Smoking
There are many other sound effects of quitting smoking. You….
- Save money on hospital bills.
- Save money by not buying cigarettes.
- Have a better appearance.
- Save your family from being passive smokers.
- Have a better sex life.
- Have more sleep and less stress.
Temporary Side Effects of Quitting Cigarettes
- Tingling in hands and feet
- Increased appetite and weight gain
- Intense cravings for nicotine
- Irritability, frustration, and anger
- Headaches and nausea
- Coughing and sore throat
- Anxiety, depression, and insomnia
After quitting smoking, the road to recovery may be long and arduous, but the result of living a healthy life is something that you and your well-wishers have always dreamt of.