Of all the habits ever known to man, smoking is the worst and provides no benefit of any kind. But quitting the habit can have immediate and positive results.
Besides the addictive qualities of nicotine, the smoke produced from burning tobacco contains some 4000 different chemicals, 50 of which are highly toxic. The act of smoking raises blood pressure, forces the heart to beat faster and raises the breathing rate.
To curb the habit, many people switch to “light” and “mild” cigarettes. But these do little to help as they contain the same amount of chemicals as regular cigarettes. The only difference lies in the filter that is used. The addictive quality remains.
Unfortunately, the smoker is not the only one to suffer the consequences of his habit. Those who must live and work in the same environment are at similar risk of contracting disease due to second-hand smoke. It has been shown that second-hand smoke is the third leading cause of deaths due to cancer and affects many whose health is of no concern to the smoker. Many a waitress has come down with cancer and heart disease even though they were non-smokers but had to work in a smoke-filled bar and tavern. Parents who regularly smoke in the home threaten to shorten the lives of their children who must live in the unsafe home environment.
It is never easy to throw out the weed. Whether there are psychological factors or the habit is due to the addictive quality of nicotine, life becomes valueless to the smoker. Once those cigarettes are thrown away forever, some positive effects begin to occur as the body begins the process of healing itself.
Effects After 20 Minutes
Blood pressure drops and the heartbeat returns to normal. The temperature of hands and feet normalize.
After 8 Hours
Carbon monoxide levels in the bloodstream drop.
After 24 Hours
The chance of a heart attack is reduced.
After 48 Hours
The ability to smell improves and food begins to taste better.
After 72 hours
The ability to breathe improves and lung capacity increases.
Between Two Weeks to Three Months
Lung function increases. Walking becomes easier, and circulation improves with more feeling in the hands and feet, a particular advantage for people with diabetes.
Between One to Nine Months Later
Coughing is lessened. Shortness of breath dissipates with less sinus congestion. The cilia that line the lungs begin to regrow helping the lungs to purge out toxins and reduce the chance of infection from colds and flu.
After One Year
Half reduces the risk of a heart attack.
Besides the financial benefits, the act of smoking leads to improved relationships with friends and family who don’t need to put up with the smoker’s breath. The atmosphere of the home environment improves as the smoke ceases to linger on every piece of furniture and clothing. Mental alertness is greatly improved.
Quitting the habit is not easy to do, but there are methods available, from counseling to government programs that can help kick the habit for good. Withdrawal symptoms take between 7 to 10 days for the smoker who attempts to quit, a most important time for the help and support that family, friends and professionals can provide. But the rewards are a longer and more productive life, well worth suffering the discomfort of withdrawal.