There is no better time than now to quit smoking. In fact, if you give up the habit right away, you will experience the benefits in 20 minutes. Here is what happens to your body when you quit smoking:
20 Minutes After Quitting
Just 20 minutes after you give up smoking, your heart rate will begin to decrease and start going back to normal.
Two Hours After You Stop
If you don’t smoke for two hours, your blood pressure and heart rate will be near normal, and your blood circulation will also begin to improve. You may start noticing that your toes and fingertips feel nice and warm. However, this is the time that you will begin experiencing the early nicotine withdrawal symptoms. These include:
- Extreme craving for a cigarette
- Drowsiness or having trouble sleeping
- Increased appetite
In fact, this is the time when some smokers go back to smoking as they cannot take the early symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. However, you need to be strong to enjoy the other benefits of quitting.
12 Hours After You Quit Smoking
When you smoke cigarettes, you inhale a lot of carbon monoxide. This gas tends to combine with your blood cells, making it difficult for the cells to bond with oxygen molecules. This causes a chronic lack of oxygen in your body and results in cardiovascular issues as well as other health problems.
Twelve hours after you quit smoking, the levels of carbon monoxide begin decreasing. As a result, there is more oxygen in your blood. In fact, the levels of oxygen in the blood are close to normal after 12 hours have gone by.
24 Hours After You Give Up Smoking
Cigarette smokers have a 70 percent higher chance of developing coronary artery disease compared to non-smokers. However, if you desist from smoking for 24 hours, your risk of developing this heart disease reduces. Also, the risk of getting a heart attack also is reduced by a clear margin.
48 Hours After You Stop Smoking
Most smokers have a poor sense of taste and smell. This is one of the consequences of smoking. However, if you refrain from smoking for 48 hours, the damaged nerve endings that control smell and taste begin to regenerate and you will notice an improved ability to taste and smell. With time, these senses will develop further and go back to normal, allowing you to enjoy and experience the finer things in life.
Three Days After You Quit
This is a time to rejoice since most of the nicotine has been flushed out of the body. However, the downside is that three days after you give up smoking, you will experience severe withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be physical and emotional, and include the following:
These symptoms can make it very difficult to give up smoking. If you can go three days without lighting a cigarette, reward yourself so that you can stay motivated to continue on your journey to be nicotine-free. The money you would have spent over three days can be used to treat or buy yourself something that you like.
Two to Three Weeks After You Quit
Two to three weeks after you stop smoking completely, you will notice that you can engage in physical activities without experiencing shortness of breath. This is because your body has had time to heal itself after being damaged by the act of smoking.
At this stage, the working of your heart and blood circulation will improve dramatically and your lungs will be clear of smoke, letting you breathe without difficulty. Also, after two to three weeks of quitting, you will not experience withdrawal symptoms that badly and will be able to continue on this path more easily.
One to Nine Months After You Stop
A month after you give up smoking, the tiny hair-like structures in your lungs, known as cilia, begin to regenerate. Cilia are responsible for warding off infections and pushing mucus out of your lungs. With the cilia repaired, your coughing and shortness of breath will be reduced significantly and you will find it easier to breathe. Depending on how long you were smoking and how many cigarettes you used to smoke, most of your withdrawal symptoms will disappear around nine months after stopping this terrible habit.
As you continue on this path, you should reward yourself on your one year anniversary. This is because your chances of heart disease have been reduced by half compared to if you continued to smoke. While it is not easy to give up smoking, the numerous physical and emotional benefits make it worthwhile. On top of this, your bank account will thank you too!