You know it won’t be easy, but, OH, the immediate benefits of putting down that lighter will take you by surprise…
Consider these immediate benefits of putting down that lighter:
➡ 20 minutes after you stop smoking, your heart rate slows down to a calm, steady beat, lowering your blood pressure.
➡ Eight to twelve hours later, the dangerous levels of carbon monoxide that smoking causes in your blood have now dropped to a normal level (Carbon monoxide causes flu-like symptoms – from everyday fatigue to headaches, sleepiness, and nausea).
➡ Two days later, your heart attack risk is lower and continues to decline over the next three months.
➡ You’ll suddenly notice you don’t need as much salt (thanks to a return in the sensitivity of your taste buds) – and the air smells fresh (now that your sense of smell has returned).
➡ Three days later you might feel like going for a jog – because your energy is going to skyrocket.
➡ After the first month, you have fewer instances of that annoying, hacking smoker’s cough because your bronchial tubes are on the mend. Whenever your bronchial tubes are irritated, they produce excess mucus, so eliminate the cigarettes, and you say goodbye to the need to clear your throat constantly.
➡ A few months later, you’ll be taking the stairs without gasping for a breath. When you move more, your circulation will benefit more because the cigarettes haven’t constricted your blood vessels.
Just one cigarette reduces the blood flow throughout your body for an hour.
The health improvements continue long after you quit smoking:
➡ Your gift on the first anniversary of quitting is that your risk of coronary heart disease becomes half that of what you risked as a smoker.
➡ Make it to your fifth year smoke-free and, amazingly, your risk of stroke has become the same as a non-smoker.
➡ In ten years, your lungs become stronger and your chances of dying from lung cancer are only half as great as if you continued to smoke.
Here’s another of the immediate benefits of putting down that lighter – You’ll keep aging signs at bay.
Other risks decrease when you end your smoking habits. Here are a few more to consider:
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Erectile Dysfunction (ED), Impotence
- Macular Degeneration
- Periodontal Disease
Aside from the fact that smokers take more sick days than non-smokers, resulting in a loss of productivity, smoking is considered the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
All of these health woes put a drain on the healthcare system.
Read this section again and think about how much you’ll improve your health each and every day that you choose not to be a smoker. This doesn’t even include the way it affects your loved ones – either through secondhand smoke or just because they want you to stick around for a long time.
The Battle to Stop Smoking Begins With You
Summoning the willpower to quit smoking is one of the most challenging tasks that many adults will face. Cigarettes are easily accessible and socially accepted, and it can be hard to stay away from them.
With other forms of chemical dependency, addicts must remove themselves completely from the culture that supports their habit. When you can buy your drug of choice at the local supermarket though, this becomes a much greater challenge.
Perhaps the most important thing that you can do if you have decided that you want to stop smoking is to enlist the help of a friend or family member to hold you accountable.
➡ Having someone there to provide encouragement along the way will be more valuable than any stop-smoking product that you can buy because smoking can be as much an emotional addiction as it is physical.
That’s why you need to make sure that you enlist great support to be around you for encouragement and validation.
There are, of course, a number of products on the market to help you stop smoking. Everything from chewing gum, to arm patches to prescription medications, to curb your cravings for the next cigarette.
Some smokers have found these products to be helpful in varying degrees, but it is important to remember that they’re only tools. The ultimate decision to quit must still come from inside of you.
In my opinion, if you feel a need to use any of these products, your best bet is to speak to your primary doctor and ask for a prescription medication or patch.
And I would encourage you to do plenty of research ahead of time so that you know what to expect.
➡ Familiarize yourself with the dosages, as some decrease gradually over time and others stay constant. You should also make it a point to discuss any potential or present side effects with your doctor.
In the battle to quit smoking, the responsibility ultimately lands on you.
While you can utilize the best products available and surround yourself with a strong network of support, none of that will help if you haven’t made a commitment to yourself to stop smoking.
Take the first step. Decide that you won’t be a slave to addiction and that you will do whatever it takes to improve the quality of your life, and in turn, the quality of life for your loved ones.
For Once…It’s Good to Be a Quitter!
Coming Up: Part 3 – What To Expect During Withdrawal