Quit Smoking. Image Source: Quit Smoking Movement

What Happens to Your Body When You Quit Smoking?

Some habits are difficult to ditch, but the benefits greatly outweigh withdrawal. Quitting smoking can be quite a hard task. For some people, it could be the hardest thing they’ll ever do. People who have gone through the symptoms of Nicotine withdrawal said that it is tough but, at the end, it’s worth it.

Let’s see who the culprit is – Nicotine causes cigarette cravings. The longer you have smoked before trying to quit smoking, the worse cigarette cravings you can expect. When inhaled, Nicotine releases Dopamine which is a ‘feel good’ chemical. “Cigarette cravings will happen to smokers whether you smoke or not. That’s because smoking is not a habit, it’s an addiction,” says Eleana M. Conway. She is a Nurse Practitioner Specialist in Burlington, Massachusetts. Trying to quit smoking is probably the biggest challenge for some people. To successfully quit smoking, you need to distract yourself from cigarette cravings. Cravings can be a nightmare for someone who is trying to study away from smoking.

So, in order to help you in your mission to quit smoking, here are few tips you can try.

  • Take deep breaths to relax and release anxiety
  • Drink fluids to calm yourself from the cigarette cravings. Avoid coffee and alcohol
  • Exercise regularly
  • Keep yourself busy with friends and families
  • Chewing gum can be a great help, too
  • Distract yourself with games and music
  • Eat nutritious snacks
  • A hot shower or relaxing bath may help soothe cigarette cravings away

Now, let’s get back to our main topic, what happens to your body when you quit smoking? Each time you light a cigarette, over 7000 chemicals are released. All of them get into your system. But, with 1.3 billion people actively smoking, let’s see what exactly happens when you quit smoking.

When You Quit Smoking

Quit smoking. Image Credit: giphy

After you quit smoking, a lot of good things happen to your body very quickly. Within the first 20 minutes of quitting, your blood pressure and heart rate return to normal. This is because nicotine and cigarettes release Epinephrine and Norepinephrine which increases your heart rate and narrows your blood vessels. These effects also cause smokers’ extremities to feel colder but in a short time, our hands and feet have returned to their normal temperature.  Not all is good, though Nicotine cravings begin causing drowsiness, moodiness, tense feelings and difficulties in sleeping after just 2 hours quitting smoking.

Within 8 hours, the inhaled carbon monoxide clears, allowing oxygen levels in the bloodstream to return to normal. As it clears, there is more room for oxygen in your body.

However, after 24 hours of quitting, coughing will actually increase. It is your body’s way of taking out all the toxins from the lungs. At this point, the risk of developing various diseases starts to decrease. After 48 hours, the nicotine and its metabolites are completely eliminated from your body, and damaged nerve ending begins to re-grow. The taste buds with fewer blood vessels, now begin to regain their sensitivity making food taste better.

At the 72 hours mark, Nicotine withdrawal peaks with headaches, nausea, and cramps as well as emotional symptoms like anxiety and depression. After this period, the worst is officially over.

After a month, the risk of developing diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases will decrease. And within 3 to 9 months, damaged cilia and lungs will be almost fully repaired. As a result, symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath are almost completely eliminated.

Around after a year, the risk of developing heart diseases decreases almost by 50%.

In 10 years’ time, chances of developing lung cancer decrease up to 50% of someone who didn’t quit smoking. And, in 15 years, the risk of heart attack decreases to the same level as someone who has never smoked in their entire life.

However, the average amount of smoking per day or year plays a crucial role in how well your body will recover. There will always be some irreversible damage to the lungs and decreases causing various lung diseases. Ultimately, the best way to prevent this from happening is to not start smoking in the first place.

So guys, Say No to Smoking. To quit smoking is a tough challenge but, you can win over it. And you will.

And yes, smoking doesn’t make you look cool, sorry.

Do you smoke? Have you ever tried quitting smoking? If yes, maybe you could inspire others, too. Please let us know in the comments below.


Reference: Curiosity