Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Quitting Smoking Timeline | More Health Benefits

Image credit to shutterstock
If you are a smoker, tobacco cravings to smoke are something that can be very powerful. This is one of reasons why you cannot stop smoking easily. However, this bad habit is not good for your health -- each time when a craving to smoke strikes, always remember that it will be short-lived (read also smoking side effects)! Quitting smoking timeline varies from person to person, but your health benefits will begin just 20 minutes after you stop smoking

You usually feel strange at first when you stop smoking. This may include feeling of tense, dull, or even you may feel that you are not yourself. These signs are normal because your body is beginning used to adapt without tobacco /nicotine -- but don’t worry, this usually only lasts about one or two weeks!

The most challenging is the strongest feelings of withdrawal after you quit. To handle your withdrawal symptoms, your doctor may prescribe some helpful medicines approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), which include: varenicline pills, nicotine skin patch, nicotine tablet, bupropion pills, nicotine nose spray, nicotine inhaler, or nicotine gum. Ask your doctor for more in-depth information. You  may  also be interested to read hypnotherapy to quit smoking!

Proven strategies /methods to quit smoking

To stop smoking, most smokers usually need to take several tries before they get what they want. Though this can be challenging, you have to believe that you can do it. Take a few minutes to read the following helpful strategies!

Write down your helpful checklists!

Consider any things about the reasons why you need to stop this bad habit and what you don’t like from smoking! For examples;
  1. Are you worried about some health risks from smoking (such as heart disease and lung cancer)?
  2. Will you feel better after quit smoking?
  3. Do you want to set a good instance for your children?
  4. Do you want to rid any bad smell of smoke on clothe, skin, and your hair?
  5. And so on!
Any time when the urge to smoke attacks, read back these checklists so thus you will be motivated again to keep focus on your goal!

Find your familiar smoking triggers and then avoid them!

The smoking triggers can be certain situations (such as after finishing a lunch) and certain places. During your treatment to stop smoking, it’s much better to provide more time to visit certain places where smoking is not allowed (such as museum, library, movie theater, etc). 

Other helpful tips:
  1. After eating get up from the table immediately! 
  2. While driving, choose chewing gum instead of smoking!
  3. When you are at home /work, left your cigarette and lighter in your car!
  4. Be familiar to say ‘No thanks, I am not a smoker’!
Each time when you want to light your cigarette, record: 
  1. The time of day?
  2. What you are doing?
  3. Who you are with?
  4. Where you are?
  5. And how you feel (bored, happy, or stressed)?
These questions can help you to find the most powerful of your smoking triggers, so thus you can prepare yourself better to avoid them!

Slow but sure!

For some smokers, they can get their success goal by setting a certain date and then abruptly stopping on that date! But if you have tried a few times without getting a satisfied result, you may need to gradually cut your smoking.

For example, if you usually smoke 2 cigarettes a day then cut it to become only 1 cigarette a day which then eventually you will completely stop smoking. Combine also with these following gradually methods:
  1. Delay your first cigarette of your day as long as possible! 
  2. Smoke only half of every cigarette!
  3. Replace one smoking break a day by a physical activity!
  4. And so on!
Take it one day at a time!

Once you decide to quit smoking, you may worry about how about with the next week /next month without cigarette! But it’s much better to concern and focus on the steps & strategies what you do in this day! 

Don’t worry the next month -- always remember that every minute without a cigarette will bring you one step closer to get your goal!

Control stress!

Your urge to smoke can increase drastically if you are stress! Therefore, it’s also very important to control your stress! In this modern living, it is very difficult to avoid stress, but always remember that you can manage it! Do some helpful physical exercises (like yoga) if necessary so thus you can control your stress as well!

Get more support from your environment!

Don’t forget to tell and share with your co-workers, friends, family, and even neighborhood if necessary that you seriously want to stop smoking -- so thus you will get more support from your environment. 

For better result, you can also invite or find a friend /family member who have the same goal of quitting smoking. This is helpful due to you will have a partner to share each other in getting your goal. Furthermore, consider also joining a support group if necessary -- there are now a lot of support groups on internet, choose one that meets to your requirements!

Consult more with a specialist!

Through your doctor, she/he may also recommend a tobacco treatment specialist! With this option, you will get more counseling to support you!

Health Benefits of quitting smoking timeline

It is undeniable that cigarette smoking is bad for the health. There are a lot of health benefits after you stop smoking. 

The duration of time after quitting smoking
Health benefits
20 minutes
The heartbeats of your heart will begin to get back on the normal levels -- even it may occur less than 20 minutes after quitting smoking.
2 hours After 2 hours from the last of your cigarette, your blood pressure and heart rate will also get back to the near healthy levels. You may also have a better peripheral circulation than before.
12 hours The volume of CO (Carbon Monoxide) begin to decrease to the normal volume, and on the other hand your body will begin to get higher volume of O2 (Oxygen).
1 day Did you know that one of heart attack risk factors is cigarette smoking? The risk of heart attack in smokers is 70 percent higher than in non-smokers. But only a day from the last your cigarette, your risk of having a heart attack will begin decrease!
2 days All nicotine in the body gone almost completely! Furthermore, you may also begin to feel a normal sense of smell & taste.
2-3 weeks In many cases, the withdrawal symptoms usually stop to occur at this point. You can also do your exercises without feeling sick & winded.
1-9 months In this period, you lungs will get better (begin to regenerate to work better).
1 year This is a big one of your health periods. Your risk of developing health problems associated with heart disease is much lower than when you were still smoking -- your risk is lowered by about 50 percent than before!
5 years Your risk of getting a stroke attack is now equal to others who don’t smoke!
10 years With other healthy lifestyles, your risk of having some serious health problems (such as cancer of pancreas, kidney, esophagus, bladder, throat, and mouth) will drop. Furthermore, the risk of suffering from lung cancer also can drop up to 50% than when you were still smoking.
Long term health advantages In fact, non smokers (if you can quit smoking completely) will live about 14 years longer than individuals who are smoker -- according to the American Heart Association.

Reference: smokefree.gov