It may be difficult to do, but there are almost immediate health benefits once you quit smoking. After only 20 minutes, your heart rate goes back to normal. Within a day, your blood’s carbon monoxide level also falls back into place. In just 2-3 weeks, you will start to lower your odds of having a heart attack. In the long run, you will also lower your chance of getting lung cancer and other cancers.
Here are a few steps to help you do it
Find a powerful reason or motivation to quit. It may be to protect your family from secondhand smoke or to lower your chances of cancer—or just to look and feel younger.
It is not just about tossing the cigarettes, it is about fighting an addiction—breaking the nicotine hook into your brain. Without support lined up in advance, you’ll go through withdrawal difficulties. Consider some therapy to replace the nicotine your brain has been hooked on. The craving for just one drag is tough. Studies show that nicotine gum, lozenges, and patches improve your chances of success when you’re also in a quit-smoking program.
Medicines can curb cravings and may also make smoking less satisfying if you do pick up a cigarette. Other drugs can ease withdrawal symptoms, such as depression or problems with concentration.
Tell your friends, family, and other people you’re close to that you’re trying to quit. They can encourage you to keep going, especially when you’re tempted to light up. You can also join a support group or talk to a counsellor. Behavioural therapy is a type of counselling that helps you identify and stick to quit-smoking strategies. Even a few sessions may help.
Find new ways. One reason people smoke is that the nicotine helps them relax. Once you quit, you’ll need new ways to unwind. There are many options. You can exercise to blow off steam, tune in to your favorite music, connect with friends, treat yourself to a massage, or make time for a hobby.
Avoid triggers. Alcohol is one of them, and makes it harder to stick to your no-smoking goal. Likewise, if you often smoke when you drink coffee, switch to tea for a few weeks. If you usually smoke after meals, find something else to do instead, like brushing your teeth, taking a walk, texting a friend, or chewing gum.
Effects of smoking
Here are some health consequences of smoking you might not have heard before.
- Going Blind : Smoking doesn’t do your peepers any good. Smoking increases your risk of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in adults over the age of 65.
- Type 2 Diabetes : Smoking contributes to type 2 diabetes and increases the risk of complications from the disease— including poor blood flow to legs and feet. This can lead to infection and result in the need to amputate a limb. Yep–you could lose your foot or leg!
- Erectile Dysfunction : Male sexual function is affected when you smoke. Tobacco causes narrowing of blood vessels all over your body, including those that supply blood to the penis. Good news is that quitting will make a big difference.
- Ectopic Pregnancy : Ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening reproductive complication in women that is more likely in smokers. It occurs when a fertilized egg implants somewhere other than the uterus. The egg can’t survive and it puts mom’s life at serious risk.
- Colorectal cancer : Colorectal cancer, which forms in your intestines (colon or rectum), is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. One of the reasons? Yup, cigarette smoking. Smoking is linked to an increased risk of developing and dying from this type of cancer.
- Gum disease : As if potentially losing a limb isn’t enough ,you also risk losing your teeth from smoking. Smoking contributes to periodontis—a gum infection that destroys the bone that supports the teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults.
- Fertility issues : Moms-to-be take note: Smoking can affect your ability to conceive. It causes infertility in women and can contribute to other problems during pregnancy