- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
After You Quit Smoking: The best way to quit smoking
What happens after you quit smoking?
The healthiest decision any smoker can make in their life is to give up cigarettes. Nothing else even comes close. I made the decision to quit three months ago and I can honestly say that I've never felt better. Below are some of the benefits of quitting smoking:
- After 20 min: Blood pressure returns to normal levels.
- After 8 hrs: Oxygen levels in your system return to normal and carbon monoxide levels drop by half.
- After 48 hrs: Your sense of smell and taste come back. All nicotine is now out of your system.
- After 72 hrs: Your energy levels begin to normalize.
- Between 3 and 9 mos: Lung capacity increases by 10%.
- After 1 yr: Risk of heart attack has dropped by half.
- After 5 yrs: Risk of stroke same as that of non-smoker.
- After 10 yrs: Risk of lung cancer same as that of non-smoker.
- After 15 yrs: Risk of heart attack same as that of non-smoker.
Pretty incredible health benefits. Think about it: If I told you there was a pill that could give you energy, reduce your risk of life threatening disease, make food taste better, make YOU smell better, what would you say? What if I told you that I'd give you $1,500 a year to take that pill?
You'd think you were listening to a late night infomercial. But those are the benefits of quitting smoking. Now you just have to decide to take the "pill."
Stay quit after quitting smoking
Once you've made the decision to quit, it's time to put a plan into action. Here are some quit smoking tips:
- Don't tell anyone you've quit smoking. This is controversial, as many people suggest you need a support system, but I personally felt that placed too much pressure on me. If people know you're quitting they'll keep asking how you're doing. The last thing I wanted when I was quitting was a bunch of people around me talking about cigarettes.
- Consider quit smoking aids. Nicotine replacement therapy has a proven track record of helping people kick the habit. It helps separate the behavioral addiction (the act of smoking) from the physical addiction (the nicotine). By using quit smoking products you can beat each of these difficult addictions one by one.
- The best way to quit smoking: Exercise. Staying active has tremendous benefits when you're quitting. By working out you'll be shattering many of the impediments to staying cigarette free. You'll begin to notice the positive benefits of the increased energy and lung capacity very quickly. Your body will look and feel amazing and you'll avoid unwanted weight gain. This is a powerful incentive to stay quit. In addition, your mind won't fixate on nicotine as much because it'll begin to develop a love of the healthy endorphins released during exercise! If you need an addiction, exercise is a much better one to have.
Resources for after you quit smoking
- Quitnet.com: the Web's Largest Quit Smoking Community
Don't Quit Alone! Science-based quit smoking strategies, expert resources, and thousands of former smokers will help you stop smoking, and stay stopped.
- CDC Government Resources
The CDC has a fantastic list of credible resources to help you after quitting smoking.
Smokefree.gov can help you or someone you care about quit smoking. The information and professional assistance available on this Web site can help to support your needs as you quit smoking.