When I smoked, no arguments stating the negative consequences of my smoking could motivate me to want to quit. I've even seen real lungs devastated by smoking but even that could not deter me from smoking.
But the positives of stop smoking helped to change my mind to try to quit.
Although destroyed lung air sacs can never be replaced, which why you must stop smoking immediately, the body has an amasing ability to heal itself:
# 20 minutes
Your blood pressure, pulse rate, and the temperature of your hands and feet will all return to normal.
# 8 hours
Remaining nicotine in your bloodstream will have fallen to 6.25% of normal peak daily levels, a 93.25% reduction.
# 12 hours
Your blood oxygen level will have increased to normal and carbon monoxide levels will have dropped to normal.
# 24 hours
Anxieties peak in intensity and within two weeks should return to near pre-cessation levels.
# 48 hours
- Damaged nerve endings have started to regrow and your sense of smell and taste are beginning to return to normal.
- Cessation anger and irritability peaks.
# 72 hours
- Your entire body will test 100% nicotine-free and over 90% of all nicotine metabolites (the chemicals it breaks down into) will now have passed from your body via your urine.
- Symptoms of chemical withdrawal have peaked in intensity, including restlessness.
- The number of cue induced crave episodes experienced during any quitting day will peak for the "average" ex-user.
- Lung bronchial tubes leading to air sacs (alveoli) are beginning to relax in recovering smokers. Breathing is becoming easier and the lungs functional abilities are starting to increase.
# 8 days
- The "average" ex-smoker will encounter an "average" of three cue induced crave episodes per day.
- Although we may not be "average" and although serious cessation time distortion can make minutes feel like hours, it is unlikely that any single episode will last longer than 3 minutes.
- Keep a clock handy and time them.
# 10 days
The "average ex-user is down to encountering less than two crave episodes per day, each less than 3 minutes.
# 14 days
- Recovery has likely progressed to the point where your addiction is no longer doing the talking.
- Blood circulation in our gums and teeth are now similar to that of a non-user.
- begin experiencing concentration levels very close to those of never-smokers.
# 21 days
Brain acetylcholine receptor counts up-regulated in response to nicotine's presence have now down-regulated and receptor binding has returned to levels seen in the brains of non-smokers.
# 4 weeks
- Cessation related anger, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, impatience, insomnia, restlessness and depression have ended.
- If still experiencing any of these symptoms get seen and evaluated by your physician.
# 3 months
- Your heart attack risk has started to drop. Your lung function is beginning to improve.
- Your circulation has substantially improved. Walking has become easier. Your chronic cough, if any, has likely disappeared.
- Your chances to lapse decrease.
- You can expect an almost one-third improvement in your overall lung function, and are likely to experience your very first day where you never once even THINK about WANTING a cigarette! Not Once!
- Within three days of commencing recovery our cilia begin regenerating and within six months they've fully recovered
- Although destroyed lung air sacs can never be replaced, those not yet destroyed clean up nicely. It isn't uncommon to see a significant increase in lung function within six months.
# 9 months
- Any smoking related sinus congestion, fatigue or shortness of breath have decreased.
- Cilia have regrown in your lungs thereby increasing their ability to handle mucus, keep your lungs clean, and reduce infections.
- Your body's overall energy has increased.
# 1 year
Your excess risk of coronary heart disease has dropped to less than half that of a smoker.
# Two years:
Your chance of achieving long-term success with quitting tobacco increases significantly after two years.
# 10 years
- Your risk of death from lung cancer has declined by almost half if you were an average smoker (one pack per day).
- Your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas decreases
- Your risk of ulcers decreases
# 13 years
Your risk of smoking induced tooth loss has declined to that of a never-smoker (2006 study).
# 15 years
- Your risk of coronary heart disease is now that of a person who has never smoked.
- Your risk of death returns to nearly the level of people who have never smoked
- Your risk of stroke has declined to that of a non-smoker.
You can quit - it is not as hard as you might think now.
I will try, in due course, to post an article with practical tips on how to quit with relative ease.
*Sources: Most of this information can be found on http://www.whyquit.com
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