In Australia, over 11% of adults smoke cigarettes every single day. A common New Year’s resolution is the promise to quit smoking once and for all. Unfortunately, because of the addictive nature of nicotine, quitting cigarettes can be quite difficult for many individuals.
Is it time for you to quit smoking?
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know plus 10 tipsto help you succeed.
Why Should I Stop Smoking? The Benefits of Quitting Smoking
If you’ve ever tried to quit smoking cigarettes, you know that it is easier said than done. It’s never too late to class, however, and there are countless benefits to ending this habit.
When you quit smoking, you can:
- Lengthen your life expectancy
- Decrease your risk of a number of diseases including heart disease, lung cancer, emphysema, throat cancer, ulcers and reflux, high blood pressure, kidney disease, sexual dysfunction, and other conditions
- Decrease the chances of your children becoming sick
- Reduce the risk of anesthesia or respiratory complications during surgery and decreasing the risk of readmission or infection after an operation
- Improve your sense of smell and taste
- Feel healthier with increased energy levels, improves exercise tolerance, less frequent coughing, and less frequent that the noses and sore throats
- Improve the way you look by avoiding the wrinkles, dull skin, and staying this that cigarettes give you
- Save money
As you can see, there are a lot of very compelling reasons why you should quit smoking. Because of the addictive nature of cigarettes, however, they can be quite difficult to do. Each individual will have to find the most effective way for them to quit smoking, as everyone is different.
What Happens When You Quit Smoking?
When you smoke a cigarette, thousands of chemicals are being released into your body. These chemicals can damage your lungs, your heart, and many other parts of your body. You can start to experience health benefits right away after you quit smoking, even if you smoke for many years.
Remarkably, you will start to experience positive health effects only 20 minutes after you have your last cigarette. At this time, your pulse on your blood pressure will begin to return to more normal levels.
Additionally, essential fibres in your bronchial tubes will heal and start to move around again, as the constant exposure to smoke impacted their ability to move properly. The movement of these fibers is very beneficial to your lung health as they can help to reduce the risk of infection by moving bacteria and irritants out of the lungs.
Roughly 8 hours after your last cigarette, the carbon monoxide levels in your body will start to return to normal level. This chemical is found in cigarette smoke and leads to your tissues receiving less oxygen.
What this means is that your oxygen levels will start to rise to reach more normal levels.with more oxygen in your bloodstream, your blood vessels and tissues will be nourished with the oxygen they were previously lacking.
After about 24 hours, you might be surprised to learn that you will already have a decreased risk of heart attack. Increase oxygen levels and reduce constriction of arteries and veins can help to boost the functioning of your heart. At this point, there are only negligible amounts of nicotine left in your system.
Once you have quit smoking for two days, your body will start to regrow previously damage nerve endings. You also might start to experience that your sense of smell and taste are starting to improve.
72 hours after last cigarette, you likely notice that you are breathing more easily than before. This is because the exchange between oxygen and carbon dioxide is easier as the bronchial tubes found in your lungs have started to open up and relax. On top of this, your lung capacity should improve after three days.
Reaching the one week point is quite a milestone indeed in your journey to quitting smoking.At this point, you are nine times as likely to quit successfully.
After two weeks, you might notice that you are both reading and walking easier. Your lung function will improve and your circulation and oxygenation will be much better.
By the time you have quit smoking for one full month, you will of are the experience a number of positive health changes. You will likely notice your overall energy has increased and that many of the symptoms you’re experiencing such as sinus congestion and difficulty breathing during exercise have decreased.
On top of these other benefits, important fibres in your lungs while started to go back. These fibres are essential in protecting your lungs from bacterial infections and excess mucus buildup.
More and more benefits of quitting smoking will stack up over time. By the time you have quit smoking for 15 years, you have reduce your risk of stroke and heart attack about of a person who had never previously smoke cigarettes.
How Long Does It Take to Quit Smoking?
Nicotine is an incredibly powerful chemical. Even if you have only taken up smoking for a couple of weeks, you will likely experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop smoking. How long your withdrawal symptoms last will depend on how many cigarettes you have every day and how long you spoke for. The symptoms can last anywhere from a couple of days to several weeks.
The withdrawal symptoms of nicotine include mental, emotional, and physical symptoms. You’ll find that the first week after quitting, particularly days three, four, and five, are the hardest. That’s because at this point the nicotine has finally completely cleared out of your system.
If you can make it through those most difficult days, the physical symptoms will start to fade away. However, the emotional and mental challenges such as irritability, depression, anxiety will likely continue on for a few weeks. Once you have passed the point of having physical symptoms, the important challenge for you is to remain mentally strong in your commitment to being cigarette free.
10 Ways to Stop Smoking
Each individual is going to have to find what works for them when they are figuring out how to quit smoking. These tips can help you to create a plan that will work for you.
1. Find a Powerful Reason to Quit
Having a powerful reason to quit can be one of the most motivating things on your journey to being cigarette free. Whether your reasons has to do with your family, your health, or something else entirely, you need to connect with why it’s important to you to stop smoking.
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2. If You’re Going Cold Turkey, Prepare First
Going cold turkey can work for some people, but you want to prepare ahead of time. Lineup support for yourself before your final cigarette so that you have everything you need. Consider utilizing methods such as a quit smoking app, familiarizing yourself with stress-relieving activities, and classes.
3. Nicotine Replacement Therapy
For some people, nicotine replacement therapy can help them to pass through the nicotine withdrawal stage. Using lozenges, gum, or patches with nicotine can help to improve your success.
4. Quit Smoking Hypnosis
Hypnosis might be a viable option for you if you are trying to quit smoking. A hypnotherapist can also help to teach you self hypnosis, so you can continue to practice on your own.
5. Identify Your Triggers
Different people will have different triggers. Things like alcohol, coffee, or being used to having a cigarette after meals can lead you to smoke a cigarette even when you’re trying to quit. Understanding your triggers can help you to avoid them during the initial quitting phase.
6. Get Some Exercise
If you feel the craving for a cigarette, consider getting outside and getting some exercise. It can help you to ease your withdrawal symptoms and curb cravings.
7. Add More Fruits and Veggies to Your Diet
You won’t want to try and diet at the same time is quitting, as this could cause you to go through too much deprivation. Adding more fruits and vegetables your diet, though, in addition to lean proteins and whole grains can help support your body while you’re quitting.
8. Reward Yourself
When you quit smoking you’re going to save so much money. Figure out how much you were spending on smoking before and pick out a reward for yourself for when you reach a certain milestone.
9. Clean Your Home and Your Car
You want to get rid of all of your letters and ashtrays want to smoke your last cigarette. Giving your house and car a good cleaning and washing any clothes that might smell like smoke can help to ensure that nothing triggers your desire to have a cigarette.
10. Find Healthier Ways to Relax
A lot of people smoke because I find it relaxing. However, smoking is the only way to relax. Consider trying breathing techniques, meditation techniques, various exercises, or picking up new relaxing hobbies.
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Congratulations, You’ve Taken the First Steps on Your Journey to Quit Smoking!
The effort to quit smoking is a commendable one. Remember to hold your motivating reasons close by, so that you never forget why it is that you want to quit.
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