Benefits of Quitting Smoking

| May 20, 2013
Benefits of Quitting Smoking

There are many negative effects caused by smoking on your health. These health effects may get as worse as cancer or heart diseases. Also, smoking decreases your life expectancy.

However, these health risks are enough for anyone to take a step forward to quit. Still, the withdrawal symptoms after quitting make the process worse, and the determination of quitters zero. The withdrawal symptoms may include strong cravings for nicotine, headaches, and irritability.

Even if quitting is a bit difficult, but the benefits of quitting smoking on your overall health are worth taking the risk.

Health Benefits When You Quit Smoking

Some of the health benefits of quitting smoking are:

  1. The broken cycle of addiction: Within one month after you quit smoking, the receptors of nicotine in your brain get back to normal. It helps in breaking the cycle of addiction.
  2. Better blood circulation: Within 2 to maximum 12 weeks after you quit smoking, your blood circulation gets improved. Better blood circulation helps in making your physical activity better and easier. It also reduces the chances of a heart attack.
  3. Improved smell and taste: People who smoke regularly have damaged nerve ending in their mouth and nose. It dulls the senses of them to taste and smell. Within just 48 hours of quitting smoking, these nerve endings start growing again, resulting in improved smell and taste.
  4. More Energy: As you will get better physical activity and improved breathing, the increased oxygen level will also provide more energy to your body.
  5. Boosts the Immune System: When you quit smoking, it reduces inflammation, improves breathing, and improves blood circulation. All this helps boost your immune system, which will make it easier for you to fight any illnesses.
  6. Clean teeth and mouth: People who smoke are more exposed to oral infections, bad breath, and yellowing of teeth. Within just 7 days of quitting smoking, you will see a huge difference in your mouth and teeth.
  7. Lowered cancer risk: It may take several years but quitting smoking really lowers your risk of having cancer in the future.

    The types of cancer which you will be less likely to have after quitting are:

  • Esophageal cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer

Side Effects or Withdrawal Symptoms of Quitting Smoking

The after-effects of quitting smoking get extreme to some people. They may have a feeling as if they have flu when they are going through the withdrawal phase. It happens because smoking has a negative impact on every part of your body. So, when you quit, your body will have to manage or adapt without having nicotine intake. However, these side effects are temporary, but they cause major discomfort in quitters.

Some common side effects are:

  1. Headache and Nausea: As smoking has its effect on every part of your body. So after withdrawing, it causes nausea, headaches, and other physical symptoms too.
  2. Tingling in feet and hands: This happens because the blood circulation in your body will get better after quitting smoking. So, you may feel a tingling sensation in your hands and feet.
  3. Sore Throat and Coughing: Quitters may also have a cough or sore throat. It is because after quitting smoking, your lungs will start clearing out the debris or mucus collected in there due to smoking.
  4. Increased Appetite: The energy boost you will get after quitting will also increase your appetite. It may also lead you to gain weight.
  5. Strong cravings for Nicotine: Every smoker’s body gets used to nicotine, and when you will go without taking it, your body will ask for nicotine. These intense cravings get on a peak between the second week to the fourth week after quitting.
  6. Frustration, irritability, and Anger issues: This is a huge change for your body, and your body will take time to adapt accordingly. It commonly causes anger issues and irritability in people.
  7. Difficulty in concentrating: All the side effects of aggregation will make it difficult for you to concentrate.
  8. Constipation: Nicotine also affects the colon and bowel movements. So, when you withdraw nicotine, you may also have constipation often.

What Happens to Your Body When You Quit Smoking?

Quitting smoking gives just instant benefits for our health. As soon as one quit smoking, their body starts with the process of recovering the damage caused in the given ways:

  • After one hour: After 20 minutes of smoking a cigarette, your heart rate starts getting back to normal and drops. Blood circulation starts improving, and the blood pressure goes down to normal.
  • After 12 hours: Cigarette smoking leads to the accumulation of various toxins inside your body. One such toxin is carbon monoxide which is there in cigarette smoke. This gas is very harmful and fatal for us when taken in high doses. Over time, this gas prevents the oxygen from coming inside the body to the lungs and blood. Larger doses in shorter periods may also cause suffocation due to lacking oxygen.

    After just 12 hours, the body decreases the level of carbon monoxide and brings it back to normal. Thus, increases the oxygen level of the body.

  • After 1 day: After 1 day of quitting smoking, you may start decreasing your risk of a heart attack. In just 1 day without smoking, a person’s blood pressure goes down, making the person less likely to have heart diseases. Also, the higher levels of oxygen make it a person easier to do exercise and physical activity. These capabilities draw a person to a healthy life.
  • After 2 days: After 2 days, the damaged nerve endings of the mouth and nose start regrowing. It helps people in having a better sense of smell and taste.
  • After 3 days: This nicotine withdrawal starts causing symptoms as the nicotine level inside the smoker decreases. The symptoms may include severe headaches, moodiness, irritability, or cravings. These occur because the body is readjusting its functionality without nicotine intake.
  • After 1 month: After this period, one’s lungs start functioning properly because they are under the process of healing now. It also aids in enhancing lung capacity. People may have lesser shortness of breath and coughing than earlier.
  • After 1 to 3 months: In these months, our body keeps working on improving circulation after quitting smoking.
  • After 9 months: After this period, when you quit smoking, your lungs will be completely healed. The hair-like structures present in the lungs called cilia recovers well till now. It all helps mucus to get out of the lungs to fight frequent infections. By this time, smokers will see that their frequency of infections decreases to a great extent.
  • After one year: The risk of coronary heart disease in ex-smokers decreases by even half after one year of quitting.
  • After 5 years: Cigarette has many toxins that cause the narrowing of your arteries or blood vessels. These toxins are also responsible for the development of blood clots. After 5 years, this narrowing of arteries and vessels gets healed. And they begin to become wide as normal again. It, in turn, lowers down the risk of stroke and decreases blood clotting chances.
  • After 10 years: After this period, a person’s risk of developing lung cancer decreases roughly to half. Along with lung cancer, people also become less likely to develop throat, mouth, or pancreatic cancer.
  • After 15 years: People become non-smoker and are very less likely to have coronary heart diseases and pancreatic cancer.

To Sum Up

Smoking is indeed a very addictive thing and becomes fatal to anyone’s life. With so many health benefits of quitting smoking, we have learned how good it will be for everyone out there who smokes. So, you should also attempt to quit this bad habit that is bad for you and your family too.