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Stop Smoking - What Follows, A Follow-Through

May 13, 2008
It is important for a smoker to know what happens when he or she stops smoking. This article is a chronology of the events that takes place from the time the smoker stubs out the final cigarette.

The best way to get motivated to quit smoking is to learn what is going to happen after you quit smoking. The effect of quitting it will be obvious even as you take the last puff, off your final cigarette. The following are the events that happen in your life after you stop smoking.

The benefits will manifest themselves in just twenty minutes after you have quit smoking. Your heartbeat and pulse come back to their normal levels. As a result, you will find breathing a lot easier. Actually, a high blood pressure greatly increases the chances of you suffering a seizure. Hence within just twenty minutes of quitting, your chances of suffering a heart attack reduce significantly.

After about eight hours, the amount of two of the deadliest components that cigarettes introduce into your body - nicotine and carbon monoxide - will almost reduce by half. Carbon monoxide is a highly toxic gas. It greatly affects the body as it interferes with the ability of the body to absorb oxygen. With this deadly gas out of your system, your breathing will improve by leaps and bounds. Nicotine is the addictive drug in cigarettes. As it is removed from the body, you can expect to suffer from withdrawal symptoms. This is the time when your defences have to be at their strongest to prevent you from succumbing to the craving.

With the end of the first day, the nicotine and the carbon monoxide content will completely leave the body. This will help you breathe better, and it would have actually returned to normal. The Cold Turkey would have set in completely. You might start hallucinating, or even get depressed, especially in the case of a chain smoker until a day ago. This is the hardest phase, which, when crossed, will help you out of the habit, forever. During this period, one might experience severe stomach upsets and vomiting. This is just a sign of the nicotine leaving your body.

In several weeks, the cold turkey period will be over, and your urge for smoking will also subside gradually. The blood circulation will be back to normal, and it will remain so, keeping the circulatory problems at bay.

It will take a little more while for your heart to return back to its normal functioning. Within one year, your heart will have almost repaired to the halfway point, which means the risk of heart attacks would become half of that of a smoker. However, it will take fifteen years for your heart to become as healthy as a nonsmoker's heart.

One risk that will not eliminate completely will be the risk of lung cancer. Since the tar from the cigarette settles within the lungs, it is difficult to get rid of it. Still, in ten years, your risk of lung cancer will fall to half. If you take herbal therapies, this risk can be still further reduced.

That means, it will take as long as ten to fifteen years to return back to an almost healthy life. But what happens when you stop smoking immediately is that you feel the zest for life and you gear up for a healthier and enriched existence.
About the Author
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