Why Quit Smoking
I’ve quit smoking multiple times over the last 10 years. Some lasted days others lasted months. One time lasted a few hours when my wife and I got to Heathrow Airport, planning to give up while we were on holiday, then realised we were sat in an airport for hours with nothing to do. At the time of writing this (July 2019) I’ve given up for 7 months.
My reason for giving up was in preparation for our new baby girl, and not wanting to smoke around her. There are also health risks to babies being around smokers from Thirdhand smoke.
There are so many benefits to giving up smoking that most people don’t know about, we just think we wont smell bad anymore and are less likely to get cancer. So I thought I would write this to highlight the benefits to giving up and different ways of doing it.
This is what happens after your last cigarette
20 minutes – Your heart rate drops back to normal.
12 hours – Oxygen levels increase as your body cleanses itself and your carbon monoxide levels return back to normal.
1 day – The risk of heart attack begins to decrease. Blood preasure also begins to drop reducing the risk of heart disease.
2 days – Nerve endings responsible for the senses of smell and taste start to heal and you may feel a heightened sense of smell and taste.
3 days – Nicotine levels are depleted, unless you are using a nicotine product to help you quit. Lung function starts to improve.
2 weeks – Breath becomes fresher and as circulation to your gums improves your teeth will become whiter.
1 month – Cilla in the lungs start to regrow which helps to push mucus out the lungs and fight infections.
3 months – Total body circulation is improving and risk of heart attack and strokes are reducing. Blood flow to the brain improves and helps function and mood.
1 year – Risk of heart attack and strokes are half that of a smoker
5 years – Arteries and blood vessels begin to widen again which means you are less likely to get blood clots and lowers the risk of strokes.
10 years – The risk of dying from lung cancer is half that of a smoker. The risk of pancreatic cancer is reduced as well as mouth and throat cancers.
15 years – The risk of heart disease is that of a non-smoker. The risk of pancreatic cancer is also on the same level as a non-smoker.
How To Quit Smoking
There are now so many different ways to quit smoking, its just a case of finding the best choice for you. Here are the most popular ways of quiting.
Cold turkey is a saying which means straight up quitting with no help what so ever. This has to be the most difficult way to quit with around on 6% of people succeeding this way. Without help giving up you will most likely suffer some withdrawal symptoms such as, irritability, feeling angry, depressed mood, feeling anxious, trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating and increased appetite.
Vaping is a great way to rid your body of all the other toxins found in cigarettes and carry on enjoying a smoke. It allows you to still have the social side of smoking or if you just like the habit of sitting outside and having a quick puff to chill out. You can use this method to slowly reduce the nicotine you intake by buying lower strengths of juice or you can even buy juice with no nicotine in if you just enjoy the habit of smoking.
Some people believe vaping as jsut as harmful as smoking cigarettes, however this isn’t true. Cigarette smoke contains over 7000 chemicals. Vaping removes tow of the most harmful elements of smoking, tar and carbon monoxide.
This is the method I’ve used to give up, i like the act of smoking and having a quick 5 minutes every now and then to think or socialise. It doesn’t have to be too expense either. You can buy cheap vape juice from even poundshops, it’s just a case of finding a brand of juice you like.
There are a few different tablets available that help you quit smoking. Champix is one that’s only available from the NHS on Prescription and you would need to discuss it with your doctor. They work by reducing the effects cigarettes have on you while also reducing your cravings. You start taking the tablets two weeks before you quit and then another ten weeks after and they will help reduce the affects of nicotine withdrawal.
Patches are another type of nicotine replacement therapy. They are applied directly to the skin first thing in the morning and last the whole day. Patches slowly release nicotine into your bloodstream to reduce the symptoms of quiting smoking. Over time you can reduce the strength of the patches to wean yourself off.
Gums such as Nicorette are used to suppress cigarette cravings. Every time you get a craving just chew a peice of gum and the nicotine will absorb into your mouths lining. With Nicorette you can have up to 15 peices a day and reduce the amount over time. Like the other nicotine replacement therapies, gum also comes in different strengths and flavours.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is not normally significantly affective on its own to stop smoking but is very successful when combined with the other options above. It is a psychological intervention to change and restructure the though process with new behaviours to help quite smoking.
Making A Decision
With so many different options available it can be hard to choose which is best for you. You don’t have to choose just one option, you can combine a few together to help you get the result you want.
Have You Quit Smoking?
Have you quit smoking? Let me know your story or leave some advice in the comments below.