Quitting smoking is not a renunciation, but a gain from different points of view:
you save a lot of money: just think of those who smoke about a pack of cigarettes a day, once the smoke is eliminated you can save up to more than 1800 euros a year you live better: when you stop smoking, you get more energy and reduce the risk of getting sick with life-threatening diseases like heart attack and cancer you protect your family: the children of smokers have twice the chance of becoming their own smokers compared to the children of non-smokers, so if you stop, you reduce the risk of your children becoming smokers.
Now let’s see what exactly happens to our body once we stop smoking:
- after 20 minutes: blood pressure and heart rate resume normal values.
- after 2 hours: the amount of nicotine present in our body is halved, the desire to smoke is very high, we must resist.
- after 8 hours : circulating carbon monoxide is eliminated and halved while oxygen levels return to normal levels. That’s why you feel better when you wake up.
- after 24 hours : the lungs begin to resume their normal activity, the breath improves and the risk of respiratory infections is greatly reduced.
- after 48 hours : nicotine is no longer present in the body, this is the peak of nicotine withdrawal and one of the hardest moments for a smoker who has just stopped smoking.
- after 1 week : the acute phase is ending, the brain is getting used to the absence of nicotine and also taste and smell improve.
- after 2 weeks : blood circulation improves along with physical fitness in general, playing sports will be less and less tiring.
- after 3-6 months: lung capacity improves by 5-10%, weight is established and acute and chronic respiratory problems decrease.
- after 2 years : the risk of stroke is comparable to that of a non-smoker, the risk of cerebral hemorrhage drops by 41%.
- after 5 years : the risk of contracting a tumor in the lungs, esophagus and throat is halved compared to an active smoker and the risk of brain attack is reduced by 50%.
- after 10 years : the risk of contracting all respiratory tumors is halved by 70%, the probability of contracting diabetes is comparable to that of a non-smoker and the risk of cerebral vascular accident (eg stroke) is at same level as non-smokers.
- after 20 years : one can consider oneself as a non-smoker, the risks of contracting diseases are comparable to standard statistics.
Quitting is not easy especially because in the first few days the lack of nicotine makes itself felt: in addition to the strong desire to smoke, it is normal to feel restless, irritable, depressed or tired; many find it hard to sleep and concentrate. At this stage, in addition to helping yourself with nicotine replacement products or medications prescribed by your doctor, it is good to focus on the benefits you want to get and the reasons that led to the decision to quit smoking. It is good to prepare yourself for these moments by dedicating yourself to pleasurable activities that can help you distract yourself, better if in company and in the open air. Even a walk with an “ally” friend in this venture can help overcome critical moments.
The alibi of possible weight gain is a common excuse to avoid giving up smoking. health advantages following the abandonment of the cigarette are much higher than the risks associated with a small weight gain. Furthermore, the accumulation of a few extra pounds does not necessarily occur and is usually transitory. To avoid shifting to food the desire for gratification first satiated by cigarettes, you can resort to low-calorie foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and accompany the choice to stop smoking in any type of physical activity, provided it is pleasant, amplifying the benefits of the cigarette farewell