Thousands of smokers have tried to quit and failed. But at the same time, thousands have tried and succeeded. Others fail because it could get really difficult at the beginning while others succeed because they held onto it until they finally start feeling the changes and start feeling better. If you’ve been a long time smoker, you probably always wonder if it’s still worth it when you’ve already done so much damage to your body. Well, it is.
Take a look at the timeline of the effects the moment you quit puffing:
Within 20 minutes
Your heart rate speeds up with your blood pressure rising when you smoke due to the ingredients and produced chemicals contained in the cigarette. But within 20 minutes of quitting, heart rate begins to normalize.
Within 2 hours
In 2 hours, your heart rate and blood pressure will have completely normalized. You’ll start feeling a little heat in your fingertips and extremities due to improvement in circulation. The difficult part, however, starts to slowly show up here especially if you have been smoking all your life. These symptoms more popularly known as withdrawal include irritability, sleeplessness, anxiety. Food will however immediately start to taste a little better, so your appetite is increased.
Within 8 hours – 12 hours
At this moment, any remaining nicotine in your bloodstream must have already fallen to about 6.25% of normal peak daily levels. However, this is also why early cravings start to kick in which could last about 5-10 minutes.
On a plus side, since there’s carbon monoxide chemical in cigarettes that crowds out oxygen in your blood, your oxygen also normalizes as these chemical levels drop. Your heart now has an easier time than before since it doesn’t have to pump so much just to try to get enough oxygen to your body.
After a day (24 hours)
Smoking a pack a day makes you twice as likely to have a heart attack as a nonsmoker. Your risk of heart attack is in fact 70% higher than those who do not smoke. But after trying to hold it for just a day, your risk of getting heart attack begins to decrease.
In 2-3 days
Nerve endings previously damaged now start to repair and regrow. Your sense of smell and taste are now close to normal. Your lungs also start to do some general cleaning, driving out mucus and other gunk left from cigarettes.
Since you don’t have any more nicotine in your body, this gets to be the time when the toughest withdrawal symptoms flare up. You’d feel anxious, dizzy, hungry, or even depressed. Cessation anger and irritability will now have already peaked.
In a week or two
You’ll be noticing a huge improvement this time. If you try to exercise, you’ll getter better laps since you can go longer this time without getting as winded. Your lung capacity and performance would have begun to regenerate and improved noticeably. Although you’ll probably still get cravings, you would’ve also already made it through the hardest part of withdrawal!
In a month to three
A chronic cough if you have any, has likely disappeared and you can now take deeper and clearer breaths! You also you get so much fewer colds and other illnesses now.
After a year
You would have already reached a milestone! Risk of heart disease and stroke is now half of what it was when you started.
This timeline only covers a year of changes when you quit. Imagine how great you’d feel if you went on and continue for much longer!