Body & Fitness

Giving up smoking

If you are a smoker, you’re no doubt sick of hearing about how bad cigarettes are for you. You know that they can cause cancer and contribute to other disease and that each puff you take is reducing your lifespan. You probably try to avoid reading all the scary statistics about how many people die from smoking-related diseases, and refuse to listen to doom and gloom lectures!

oany people who quit smoking are frightened into it but sometimes they need to actually get sick before they do anything about breaking their cigarette habit.

If you are one of those people who really wants to give up, yet finds themselves switching off when the dangers of smoking are discussed, perhaps you need to look at it in a different way.

Instead of focusing on the bad things smoking is doing to your health, try concentrating on the good things that will happen when you give it up.

And if you tend to justify your habit by saying, “I’ve smoked for so long now, my health is probably ruined anyway,” then please read on. It’s true quitting may not undo some of the lung damage you may already have sustained, but it may help to slow further damage.

Plus, your chance of getting cancer form smoking will begin to shrink. Within about 10-15 years of quitting, your risk of lung cancer and heart disease is almost as low as that of a non-smoker.

But it doesn’t take that long for your body to begin feeling the immediate benefits of giving up. in fact, you’ll begin noticing some changes within hours.

Within 2 hours

The nicotine is out of your system. The by-products will take a few days longer to leave your body.

Within 6 hours

Your heartbeat slows to normal and your heart rate goes down.

within 24 hours

The carbon monoxide is out of your system and your lungs work more effectively. Your chances of having a heart attack decrease.

Within 2 days

Your taste buds come alive and your sense of smell returns. Your nerve endings start regrowing.

Within 2 months

The blood flow improves to your hands and feet.

After 12 months

Your circulation improves, lung function increases and coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath decrease. Your risk of sudden death from heart attack is almost half that of a smoker.

After 5 years

That risk is almost the same as for non-smokers.

After 10 years

The risk of lung cancer drops by 50 percent. risks of cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decrease.

After 15 years

Risk of heart disease is now similar to that of people who have never smoked. Risk of death returns to nearly the level of people who have never smoked.

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