Are you a smoker? Have you ever considered to stop smoking?
It’s not a secret that smoking causes more than 4,000,000 deaths every year around the globe.
This number will increase dramatically in the future. In the Western countries, smoking is the primary cause of cancer and many conditions associated with premature death. It is estimated that the deaths caused by homicides, drugs, alcoholism and car accidents are less than those who caused by smoking each year globally.
Smoking is responsible for lung cancer, throat cancer, and mouth cancer. Also, smoking increases the chances to have heart disease and respiratory problems.
The tobacco of cigarettes has more than 4000 chemical substances, and the most known of them is the infamous nicotine. Nicotine is an odorless and colorless substance which is immediately absorbed by the lungs of the smoker. It enters the bloodstream and within 6-7 seconds reaches the brain. Nicotine has tonic and sedative effects on the human body. Initially, causes euphoria the same exact way as the natural brain substances do.
Furthermore, nicotine stimulates memory, increases alertness and enhances rapid response capabilities to external stimuli. It also reduces stress, relieves boredom and reduces aggression. These “positive” nicotine effects last only a few minutes.
Now, in order to get addicted to this substance, the smoker’s body requires taking it regularly in approximately same dosage. Otherwise, the body will show withdrawal symptoms. Many researchers believe that the addictive effect of nicotine resembles the effects of taking drugs and alcohol. For this reason, many scientists in various countries recommend their governments to include nicotine in the category of prohibited addictive substances.
But if you decide to fight your addiction, you need to know that the most difficult period is going to last less than a month. You will be able to see immediate and lasting improvement in your health. Unfortunately, the addictive properties of nicotine make quitting tough for some people.
So, what happens when you stop smoking?
In the first 20 minutes without a cigarette, the heart rate and blood pressure will drop to the normal rate. The temperature of your limbs will be normalized, and you will feel a sudden power increase.
If you stop smoking for 2 hours, the blood pressure will drop nearly to normal levels. Usually, the withdrawal symptoms of nicotine start two hours after the last cigarette.
The early withdrawal symptoms tend to have an emotional nature, and may include:
- Cigarette cravings
- Anxiety, tension or frustration
- Drowsiness or sleeping difficulty
- Increased appetite
What will actually happen to your body?
Within the first 8 hours, the levels of carbon monoxide in your bloodstream will start dropping. After that, the oxygen levels will return to normal.
After 48 hours your chance of a heart attack will be decreased. All nicotine will vanish from your body. Also, the sense of taste and smell will come back to normal.
If you continue restraining the cigarettes for 72 hours, you will feel that you breathe differently. Also, you will sense the ability to inhale more air, and the capacity of your lungs will increase.
When you reach 15 days and continue to 2 months without cigarettes, you will be able to breathe better, walk more quickly and not get tired.
After the whole year without smoking, the risk of heart disease decreases by 50%. Your organism recuperates, and your overall health improves.
In the end, after 5 to 15 years without smoking, your risk of stroke will be as low as the non-smokers. The biggest step in your decision to stop smoking should be overcoming the symptoms in the beginning.
For such a decision, you have to put your mind in the state of determination. You will have to be very stubborn and not fall into temptation. It may seem difficult at the beginning, but tremendous health improvements and benefits are more than worthy. It’s all in your power. Believe in yourself, and talk to others who have succeeded. Sometimes talking to other people who have succeeded in quitting can be the best motivation.
By Apollonas K.