No matter what can be said about tobacco companies, one thing can be said about their product: Smoking is unhealthy. If you have made the decision to quit smoking, then you should applaud yourself. You may wonder what happens when you quit smoking. Here are a few things you should know.
The effects of quitting start to take place as early as twenty minutes after you quit. Your pulse rate and blood pressure will decrease, and since smoking slows blood flow, the temperature in your hands and feet will increase due to better circulation. Eight hours later, your blood oxygen level returns to normal as the amount of carbon monoxide in your blood has returned to that of a nonsmoker. The improvements do not stop there. In twenty four hours, your risk of a heart attack drops, and by forty eight hours, your sense of smell and taste are enhanced due to the beginning re-growth of nerve endings.
The benefits to your health continue into the long-term, as well. Between two weeks and three months, breathing becomes easier, since your circulation is increasing continuously. Walking is less strenuous and you will find that there is less coughing and wheezing. This is due to increased and improved lung function. Reaching massive improvement at nine months, you will find that you have less fatigue, shortness of breath, coughing, and phlegm. The cilia, tiny hairs in your lungs responsible for moving mucous out of the lungs, begin to function normally.
Your risk of coronary disease and heart attack are reduced to half of the risk of a smoker’s by one year after you quit.
There are improvements even later still. By five years, your risk of smoke drops to that of a non-smoker. In ten years, your risk of the following cancers will decrease: Lung, throat, mouth, esophagus, bladder, pancreas, and kidney. In fifteen years, the risk of heart disease and heart attack returns to that of a non-smoker.
You may notice some weight gain when you quit smoking. This is due to the increased appetite that quitting smoking ultimately gives you. This weight gain, if not properly managed, could easily get out of hand. To make sure that doesn’t happen, discuss a healthy quit smoking diet plan with your doctor. Healthy diet management is so important, because trading a food addiction for a nicotine addiction can also have horrendous results.
It is also a good idea to consult a therapist when quitting smoking. Smoking is an addiction, and the withdrawal symptoms can include aggressive tendencies, mood swings, and angry outbursts. A therapist can help you make sense of what is going on in your head, as well as help your family adjust to and cope with all of the changes you are going through. Any time there is a big change involving the health of a family member, it is useful to have someone who can help all of you sort things out. Above all else, remember you’ve made the right choice.