According to the CDC, tobacco is the number one cause of preventable deaths. 1 in 2 smokers die because of their addiction. This should be encouragement enough to get you to want to never smoke if you haven’t, or quit if you are among those that do. Your body will begin to feel the positive impact of your decision to quit as quickly as 20 minutes after your last cigarette. Unfortunately, if you’re already addicted, your body has probably become dependent on getting its daily dose of nicotine. Your brain has learned to depend on the nicotine, just like it depends on food. If you don’t feed it (literally and figuratively) it sends signals out to your body that make it think that it’s dying. If you’ve ever been addicted to anything, you know what I’m talking about. If you’re struggling with addiction and want to learn how to overcome your problem, check out this Addiction Recovery Course to learn some steps that will help you to overcome your addiction. Just remember that regardless of whether or not you decide to quit today, tomorrow, a month from now, or a year from now, it’s never too late to break your nicotine addiction.
Anyone who has struggled with addiction of any type will know and be able to tell you that quitting isn’t easy. Some addictions are easier to give up than others of course, but it still requires a change of mentality and a change of lifestyle. With quitting an addiction, the first 3 days are usually the hardest. Those first 72 hours will be a doozy, but once you get through them your body will begin to adjust and your brain will begin to think normally again. You’ll be cranky, irritable, anxious, restless, unfocused and feel like you would do anything for a cigarette. You may even feel an insatiable hunger. You will begin to eat to try and fill the nicotine void and may find yourself eating a lot more than usual. Learn to identify and prevent binge eating by enrolling in this Emotional Eating course. Speaking of eating, you may also feel dizzy and light headed when you first stop smoking. This is your body’s response to getting its normal amount of oxygen. One of the things that nicotine does to the body is that it restricts the amount of oxygen that is sent to your brain. Those first few days your brain goes back to getting the normal amount, it doesn’t know what to do with it. You are having to readjust to that normal amount of oxygen every time that you breathe and the side effect is slight dizziness. It’s almost like a slight bout of altitude sickness. Meditation may help to calm your nerves and help you relax, especially during those first 3 days. Learn how to control your stress by using the techniques you will learn in our Breathing Made Easy course.
Another no-so-lovely side effect that you may experience is bloating and constipation. Yup, you’ll feel full and you’ll also feel like you can’t get it out. So, now you’re stuffing your face to ward off the never ending hunger you’re feeling, you’re restless, irritable and now add to that about 5 pounds of water weight and a blockage in your stomach. Nicotine acts as an accelerant throughout your whole body. It speeds everything up, from your heart rate to your bowels. So, when you stop smoking all of a sudden all of those processes slow down as well. Try drinking lots of water and eating a diet rich in fiber to help get your bowels back on track again. Although it sounds counter intuitive, drinking a lot of water will also help you feel less bloated. Don’t be discouraged when you gain a few pounds during your first weeks of being nicotine free. It’s mostly due to water weight and maybe slightly due to your new appetite.
Now that we’ve gone over some of the downsides of what you will experience once you decide to ditch the cigarettes it’s time to review how quitting will positively impact your life. Join thousands of others who have decided to quit smoking by enrolling in How to Quit Smoking Forever.
Our body is such an amazing thing that it begins to heal itself almost immediately after your last cigarette. As soon as 20 minutes after your last drag your heart rate and blood pressure will decrease since your oxygen levels and blood can be circulated normally.
12 hours after your last puff of a cigarette the Carbon Monoxide levels in your body will drop back to within normal levels. Carbon Monoxide is a toxic gas that is only one of 4,000 or more chemicals that enter the body when a cigarette is burned. Carbon Monoxide is inhaled into our blood stream and binds itself to our blood cells. Effectively sending less oxygen to parts of our body through our circulatory system.
2 Weeks to 3 Months
Your risk of heart attack begins to drop. You’ve reduced the amount of carbon dioxide in your body, which in turn begins to send red blood cells full of oxygen to vital organs that were being poisoned with carbon dioxide before. Your lung function also begins to improve thanks to all of the healthy and unpolluted oxygen it’s been able to take in.
1 to 9 Months
If you’ve ever smoked you know that when you catch a cough it’s not likely to run its course as quickly as if you didn’t smoke. Within 1 to 9 months of taking your last puff your cough and shortness of breath should improve. Your whole body is healing, and that includes your lungs.
Cancer sucks. I don’t think that we’ll ever come across anyone who disagrees with that. Well, after ten years of being cigarette free you’ve reduced your risk of lung, throat, mouth, esophageal, bladder, kidney, and pancreatic cancer have all decreased to be half of a smokers. Congratulations!