How Can You Quit Smoking
According to the Surgeon General's report, “people who quit smoking live longer than those who continue to smoke.” Quitting smoking increases life expectancy because it reduces the risk of dying from smoking-related diseases. In an article entitled “Health Consequences of Sustained Smoking Cessation” the authors conclude that there is no significant difference between ex-smokers and people who never smoked if smokers quit and remain smoke free.
Once smokers quit, their chance of developing smoking related illnesses are the same as for someone who has never smoked, the only exception being lung cancer. Nevertheless, ex-smokers have a much lower risk of contracting lung cancer than smokers who continue smoking.
The consequences of these reports conclude that the health benefits of quitting apply to both women and men, young or old and to those who are sick or who are well. Smoking cessation represents the single most important step that smokers can take to enhance the length and quality of their lives.
The benefits of quitting smoking occur very soon after a person stops. According to Health Canada: “Within eight hours [after you stop smoking the] carbon monoxide level drops in your body, and oxygen levels in your blood increase to normal.
Within 48 hours your chances of having a heart attack start to go down [and] the sense of smell and taste begin to improve. Within 72 hours bronchial tubes relax making breathing easier and lung capacity increases. Within 2 weeks to 3 months circulation improves, lung function increases up to 30 percent. Within six months coughing, sinus congestion, tiredness and shortness of breath improve. Within a year the risk of smoking related heart attack is cut to half. Within 10 years, risk of dying from lung cancer is cut in half. Within 15 years, your risk of dying from heart attack is equal to a person who has never smoked.”
By stopping smoking you will no longer expose people around you to second-hand smoke and therefore reduce their chances of becoming ill.
There are additional benefits of quitting smoking:
- “You will have more money to spend on things that you were not able to afford because that money was spent on cigarettes.
- Your costs of cleaning clothes, carpets, and furniture may go down.
- Your clothes and hair will smell better.
- Your life and house insurance premiums may go down.
- You will look and feel younger. Smoking causes fatigue, wrinkles and premature aging.
- You will have more time and energy to do the things that you love.
- Your teeth will be whiter and fingers will no longer be yellow.
- You will feel proud of yourself for having achieved something so challenging.
- Quitting might increase self-confidence in undertaking other challenges.
- Many smokers remember the day they quit, because it is a milestone and a source of great pride.
- You will be free from cigarettes that will no longer control your life.
- You will be setting a great example for your family, friends and other smokers.
- No need to worry about which place you go to or when or whether you can smoke in a particular place.
- No more feeling guilt, shame or hiding, because you will no longer smoke.
- You will attain a sense of great pride and assurance at having conquered cigarettes."
As you can see, these and other benefits far surpass the initial time spent on quitting smoking. Ask yourself, what would I gain if I were to quit? And begin outlining your personal reasons for wanting to quit.
When you come up with a list 3 to 5 reasons that are sufficient to motivate you to quit smoking, you are ready to continue, otherwise read over the previous posts and come up with a list of reasons that will compel you to embark on a journey to become smoke free. It’s worth the effort! So focus on the benefits of quitting as you further prepare for a designated quit day. To find out more, you can check out How Can You Quit Smoking.
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