Health Benefits to Quitting Smoking
I have quit smoking many times in my life and recently agreed to quit again with my daughter who brought home this document outlining the immediate and long term benefits of quitting smoking.
I know that quitting smoking is the hardest thing, as it is the strongest addiction, you will ever do in your life. Staying off demon cigarettes, however, is harder still for some.
I had no trouble quitting when I was with someone who did not smoke or when I was pregnant. It would seem I had no trouble quitting for someone else but not for the benefits I would derive myself.
I was a “crutch” smoker. I would be going along fine until some disaster or perceived disaster would loom on the horizon and I would reach for a cigarette. My excuse was that I did not inhale which made me a lousy pot smoker but, of course, I was ignoring the fact that mouth or throat cancer can easily occur without inhaling.
Here are some facts that I found extremely interesting and I think you might as well:
After you quit smoking – in the first two days the healing begins.
At 20 minutes after quitting your blood pressure decreases, pulse rate drops and body temperature of your hands and feet will increase.
At 8 hours the carbon monoxide level in blood drops to normal and the oxygen level in your blood increases to normal.
At 24 hours the chance of a heart attack decreases.
At 48 hours nerve endings begin to regrow and the ability to smell and taste improves.
Between 2 weeks and 3 months your circulation improves, walking becomes easier and lung function increases.
So for those of us that thought it is too late to quit smoking for it to do any long term good has been forever and clearly refuted. It is never too late to quit and derive many immediate and long term benefits as we return to health.
As many of you who know me know, I am of many strong opinions and here is another one of my strong opinions. Quitting smoking is not the hard part. DECIDING to quit smoking is what is so difficult. Once you have made that decision you will find a way to make it happen. Whether it is the patch, pill, support program, liquid anti smoking syrup or cold turkey. I suggest cold turkey is the best way to proceed as all other programs just wean you off nicotine slowly so it takes longer for the benefits to kick in.
The addiction, like any addiction, can be very wily. Some people are afraid to quit smoking, which is completely normal, and is a by-product of addition. For me, I used to think that I needed a cigarette in a crises situation which again is the addiction playing tricks on my usual very orderly mind.
In actual fact most of us of don’t really enjoy smoking but powerful links in the chain of the psychological dependence we have on nicotine make us think of cigarettes as a friend, a companion, a buddy if you will. We thought smoking helped us have more fun and enjoy life more fully. Although, logically, we knew better, but addiction can make people rationalize and justify all kinds of crazy notions.
It is very important to have some kind of support while you are trying to quit smoking. I had a friend who quit and every Friday her husband and two of their non-smoking friends would take her out to dinner to celebrate another week of not smoking.
When I would quit, however, I would come home and not be able to hear myself think for the click of lighters and would virtually be a pariah in my own home as I longer was part of the smoking team as it were.
I suggest that knowledge in this case is power and although we all think we know all the pros and cons of smoking there is much more very useful and helpful information to access.
Google nicotine addiction for a start and you will be deluged with lots of information to help you in your quest to become smoke-free.
The first week is definitely the worst from a mood swing point of view which is why it is so important to have support. If you have support rather than killing someone who looks at you the wrong way you can laugh at what you are going through and take great pride in the fact you have made this momentous decision to finally grab the reins of your life and health.
Buena Suerte and read all the research you can get your hands or eyes on. Something will capture your imagination as the immediate health benefits derived from quitting smoking got to me.