Stop smoking: The Good and The Bad


If you have decided to stop smoking you probably made this decision with the health benefits in mind. The financial cost of these products may also play a role in this process, because in many areas a pack of cigarettes can be as high as $10-$12 which is very expensive. It is important that you understand both the positive side and the negative effects that you may experience when you finally kick the habit once and for all. If you have only focused on the good things then you will not be prepared for the negative effects that you experience, and this could cause you to take up the old habit again as a result.

Be fully prepared for any withdrawal symptoms and you will be more likely to reach your goals and quit tobacco once and for all. You can minimize the unpleasant side effects of smoking cessation efforts before they get severe. Many of the positive benefits start to occur within the hour after you finish your last cigarette, and these increase as time goes on. The negative symptoms can also start to occur within this time frame as well though, and you need to be aware of what to expect.

Do not be discouraged if you relapse. Beating yourself up over a secretive puff or two will not help. If you backslide then start again, and take comfort in the fact that most who successfully quit may require several attempts before succeeding. Within 20 minutes you will notice a decrease in both blood pressure and heart rate, and your extremities will feel warmer and have better blood flow. After 8 hours of no tobacco use your blood will normalize the levels of oxygen and carbon monoxide. Within the first 24 hour period your risks of having a heart attack will decrease and your lungs will start to clear out the debris and garbage that your smoking has allowed to accumulate. This can cause you to cough more after you quit as your body tries to clear these substances.

After about 2 days you will notice that you can taste food more, and your sense of smell has improved significantly. Within 2-3 weeks you will find that you have more energy and your oxygen levels are higher. Exercise and physical activity become easier to perform and difficulty breathing is no longer a problem. After a month or two your phlegm production will decrease as your lungs are cleared and wheezing will not occur on a regular basis.

During the first few days of your smoking cessation efforts you may experience a headache, and intense cravings may last longer. You could also have anxiety, insomnia, digestive issues, nausea, and other potential side effects caused by a lack of nicotine in your system. Withdrawals indicate an addiction that needs to be addressed, and having a support person can be very beneficial during your recovery. When you are prepared and you have a support system in place then you are far more likely to succeed and reach your goals. You need to completely understand both the positive and negative effects of quitting tobacco.