Cancer prevention goes beyond lowering your risk. Your body undergoes unexpected changes when you stop smoking.
Hospital, asks: Are you considering quitting smoking? You’ll benefit from top to bottom if you do.
You can quit smoking at any time, whether you’re a first-timer or have been smoking for years.
What happens when you stop smoking?
As soon as you stop smoking, your body changes. Quitting smoking can be done within minutes, and you’ll start seeing results right away.
1. The pressure drops in your bloodstream.
Cigarettes contain nicotine, which increases blood pressure, putting you at risk for heart attacks and strokes. You don’t notice a change in your blood pressure for 20 minutes after you quit smoking.
2. The level of oxygen in your blood rises.
The oxygen level in your body increases within 8 hours of quitting smoking. You will also notice a marked improvement in lung function. Your lungs may improve as follows:
- You may feel less short of breath
- or cough less
3. You are less likely to develop cancer.
Once you’ve taken that last puff, your chances of developing lung cancer are cut in half. You will also have a decreased risk of developing pancreatic, esophageal, and bladder cancers.
4. You will have healthier skin, hair, and nails.
A yellow film forms on your teeth and nails when you smoke. Additionally, your hair will become brittle and your skin will appear dull. As a result, your skin will look more radiant when you quit smoking. Additionally, your smile will look brighter after you give up smoking.
5. Your sense of smell and taste will improve.
Smoking dulls the sense of taste and smell by deadening your mouth and nose nerve endings. However, you can regain these senses when you stop smoking. Taste and smell are also restored when you cease smoking. After your tastebuds are back to normal, you may find yourself appreciating your favorite foods in a whole new way.
Quitting smoking has further benefits
Quitting smoking has many other benefits beyond lowering cancer risk and increasing oxygen levels, including:
- Improved breath
- Reduced costs
- Improved immune system
- Reduced stress
Tips for quitting smoking
If you want to quit smoking, you don’t have to be overwhelmed by the idea. Set a plan to quit before you begin. There is no evidence that cold turkey quitting is the most effective method of quitting.
Slow and steady wins the race. Consult a doctor first. In addition to pointing you in the direction of free resources, these professionals can help you develop a plan to quit smoking.
Among your other options are:
- You can avoid temptation by throwing away your ashtrays, cigarettes, and lighters. Furthermore, you can request that friends and family not smoke near you.
- You can replace a craving by chewing gum, drinking water or going for a walk when you feel the urge to light up. By distracting yourself, you can reduce cravings.
- Using a stop smoking app can help. You can find one on the app store. You can track your mood, cravings, and progress through it. Some provide live chat support so that you stay accountable. Look for an app that works for you in the app store of your smartphone or tablet.
- Become a member of a smoking cessation support group: Find a support network of other people who are trying to quit, too. Your confidence will soar and you will see that you are not alone when you join these support groups. You can find a local support group on the Internet. Alternatively, you can join a virtual support group.
- Using nicotine replacement therapy can help you gradually reduce your nicotine intake. Among the most popular options are:
- Nasal spray
- Your doctor may recommend prescription medications if you need extra support.
- Through one-on-one sessions, a health coach can help you work through the psychological and physical effects of quitting smoking.
If you have smoked for a long time, you’re likely to have a few missteps along the way. You’re not alone. Be kind to yourself and stop smoking when you’re ready.