What Happens to Your Body When You Quit Smoking

Do you want to quit smoking?
If your answer is “yes”, you have improved health to look forward to.
That’s because 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.
quit smoking - cigarette on ashtray
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 theylearned 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 a 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 of a healthy lifestyle. If you fight through your withdraw 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.

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 blood stream 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.

So, if you’re a current smoker, how can you quit so you can start to see these health benefits?

Deciding to quit smoking is the most important step in the process. Whether you’ve already made the decision to live a smoke-free life, or are on the path to doing so, it’s important to follow proven steps to help you quit. If you’d like to begin living smoke-free, sign up for free email updates with tips & tricks to help you stop smoking for good.

The Takeaway
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.

Image by meddygarnet

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