What Happens When You Stub Out Your Last Cigarette?
Are you one of those conscientious smokers who luxuriate in a drag but feel that nagging guilt of killing your lungs at the same time? Trying to convince yourself that this is your last smoke of the day and then reach guiltily for another one when the going gets tough? Despite what you tell yourself, it’s never too late to kick the habit. The human body is an amazing creation and starts busily repairing itself even twenty minutes after you’ve packed nicotine suffused smoke into your body. All you creatures of habit need to know how your body starts repairing itself when you decide to stub your last cigarette for good.
20 minutes after you stub your smoke stick
The cancer stick has chemicals that speed up your heart rate and increase blood pressure. Twenty minutes after you smoke, your blood pressure drops and heart rate goes back to normal. Cold fingertips and toes warm up to their normal temperature.
8 to 12 hours of resisting the temptation
Toxic carbon monoxide borne out of lit cigarettes get into your system and deplete oxygen levels in the body paving the way for potential cardiovascular risks. You know that suffocating feeling when you’ve smoked one too many? Carbon monoxide is the culprit. Within 12 hours of abstaining from the cancer sticks, oxygen bonds with blood cells and oxygen levels are restored back to normal. Your heart doesn’t have to work twice as hard to pump oxygen into your body.
24 hours of nail-biting abstinence
In just a day your heart is thanking you. Risks of having a heart attack have decreased. Smoking cuts down on good cholesterol which is why you gasp for air after you crawl up some flights of stairs. Smoke induced blood pressure drops and oxygen levels rise making it easier for you to vault across your neighbour’s fence.
After 2 days of kicking the habit
Your foul smelling cigarette smoke deadens nerve endings but since our bodies are a glorious agency of pure miracles, nerve endings regrow after 48 hours. Heightened sense of taste and smell returns, so treat yourself to some aromatic yummy pizza. People around you will no longer be able to get away with silent discreet farts and you’ll discover what you yourself smell like, no longer mired as you are in cigarette smoke. Nicotine seeps away from your body and your lungs are cleaning out mucus and smoking debris. Withdrawal symptoms kick in, you’ll feed moody, irritated and bored and binge on cat videos. It’s okay to do whatever you need to keep yourself from lighting up and ending your misery. Be ready to feel dizzy, nauseous and experience headaches.
Holding on for 3 days
Your bronchial tubes relax and you breathe easier. You feel more energetic.
Nicotine-free for 1 to 3 months
Your lungs are fairly clean and strong and circulation of blood has improved. You’ll be back to running track and doing other physically intensive exercises without panting. You have greater stamina now and your exercise tolerance has gotten a good boost. And we all know how divine we feel after a good workout. Risk of heart attacks goes down. Good news is you’re past the stage of hissy fit throwing because the worst of the withdrawal is over.
Staying away from the stick for 3 to 9 months
At this point, you might encounter some coughing which is helpful and can take cleaner, deeper breaths. Small hair-like structures inside lungs recover from the damage by smoke from your cancer sticks and can push out mucus from lungs more effectively. You’ll see a marked decrease in lung infections.
Celebrate your freedom from smokes after a year
Throw yourself a no-smoke party, you’ve been clean for a year! Risk of coronary heart disease drops by half in a year and goes on dropping the longer you stay away from cigarettes.
After 5 years of perseverance
Smoking constricts arteries and blood vessels thereby increasing chances of strokes. After 5 years of no smoking, chances of a having a stroke decreases to that of a non-smoker. Arteries and blood vessels widen, reducing chances of blood clots and a consequent stroke. Chances of having cervical cancer drops as well, to that of a non-smoker.
Staying clean for a decade
Risks of getting lung cancer is now about half of what a regular smoker’s is. Risks of getting other types of cancers such as, mouth, larynx, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases. You’ve done yourself a huge favour by this point.
Whattay achievement! After 15 years!
Within 15 years, the body’s restorative work is complete. Risks of getting a heart disease at this point are equal to that of someone who has never smoked before.
With a slew of cool benefits waiting for you, all you need to do is quit. This is easier said than done and a lot of smokers struggle to quit before they succeed with any finality. At the end of the day, the fight is a solitary one, between you and that pack of smokes!