what happens when I quit smoking

What happens when I quit smoking?

It’s really hard for a person can do, and it takes a high level of will power and determination to be able to complete this task as it’s not an easy feat. The main benefit you will reap from quitting smoking is your health will vastly improve, and relatively quickly as well. On top of this, you lower your chances of contracting deadly diseases associated with smoking like cancer, lung disease or having a heart attack or a stroke.

In this article, I’m going to look at what will happen to your body when you quit smoking, as well as giving advice on how you can make the task of quitting smoking easier, and why using a form of Nicotine Replacement Therapy is essential to make this process as easy as possible!

What to expect when you quit smoking

As I mentioned, you will start to notice the effects on your body within a matter of hours once you stop smoking, and the effects will continue and get better the longer you go without smoking a cigarette. I’ll document them below in an abbreviated timeline

8 Hours

The amount of carbon monoxide in your blood will have halved by this time, and your oxygen levels will begin recovering to get back to a normal and healthy reading. Carbon Monoxide is one of the deadly chemicals produced and ingested in cigarette smoke and can seriously affect your oxygen levels within your body.

48 Hours

All carbon monoxide would have naturally dispersed from your body, and flushed out of your system. The amount of mucus and gunk in your lungs will begin to disperse and clear out as no more tar from cigarettes is being added to reside in the base of your lungs. And your taste will start to come back and regulate to it’s normal ability, so this would definitely encourage me to get something tasty as a reward!

72 Hours

Breathing becomes easier than previous, as your Bronchial tubes have started to clear of all tar, mucus and the carbon monoxide being gone certainly will help. You might even notice you have a bit more energy than previous, so going for a walk outside in the fresh air will be easier than ever!

Up to 12 Weeks

Your risk of having a heart attack would have dropped significantly by now! And your lungs, heart rate, and blood flow would have drastically improved so physical exercise would be no hard task! And getting to the 12 week mark means you’ve finally made it through the hardest part of quitting smoking, the only way is up from here!

After 1 Year

Your risk of a heart attack is less than half of that what a Smokers is!

After 10 Years

Your risk of death from lung cancer will have halved compared to that of a smoker

As you can see, the rewards and benefits from quitting smoking is quite significant, and you might not have realised just how quick you will start to feel these effects until now!

Ways to quit smoking

There are several different ways a person can give up smoking, and it all comes down to the individual and what they want to do. There is no “right or wrong” method of quitting smoking in my eyes, but there are some more effective ways of quitting than others, which I will document below;

The “Cold Turkey” method

This is a method that is adopted by some, and the term going “cold turkey” means just outright stopping smoking and consuming nicotine instantly. No nicotine replacement therapy, no cigarettes, just a full stop to consuming anything related to smoking.

Whilst this is effective for some, it does carry quite a significant risk of nicotine withdrawal symptoms setting in, and in a fairly quick time frame also. When a person has smoked for a long time, they likely will have quite a big dependency on Nicotine as their body has become accustomed to having it in their system, so to complete dead stop taking Nicotine on board can cause withdrawals to set it.

Symptoms can include sudden weight gain, insomnia, anxiety, depression and becoming restless or agitated easier. Not all of these symptoms apply to people, and some will experience them more severely than what others might, and some might even not experience any of them whatsoever (lucky!)

Using a “traditional” Nicotine Replacement Therapy

When I say traditional, I mean using one of the forms of NRT that has been around for a while, essentially the original line up of NRT options. This means using Nicotine Patches, Nicotine Gum, Nicotine Lozenges or Nicotine Gum. All of which are options once a person has been to see a Stop Smoking Consultant, they then can be referred back to their GP to be prescribed some of the aforementioned listed to help them quit smoking.

These options have been available for people wanting to quit smoking for a long time, and they are moderately successful in helping people quit smoking for good, thanks to still being able to consume low levels of nicotine to curb their cravings without the need to smoke a cigarette. But there’s recently been some newer additions to the Nicotine Replacement Therapy options that are fast becoming more popular, and recommended to try by GPs and Stop Smoking services…

Using an E-Cigarette or Nicotine Pouches

In recent years, more people have found using an E-Cig or Nicotine Pouches as their preferred Nicotine Replacement Therapy option to be more enjoyable and successful than using other traditional NRT options.

This comes down to a couple of reasons really in my opinion. An E-Cigarette is the closest replica of smoking a cigarette without actually smoking which people enjoy, and also can provide a sharp nicotine kick from the nicotine content in the vape juice they use, and also the options for different flavours to try are almost endless with so many options available now.

Nicotine Pouches are relatively new to the market, having only really been launched in the UK in 2019, but they are becoming fairly popular amongst ex smokers, as these are a small and discreet way for people to get their nicotine fix as they are a smoke/vapour free alternative for Nicotine. They also come in various different flavours and nicotine strengths which the user of them has full capability to pick what the right one for them would be!

Quitting smoking doesn’t just improve your physical health

As well as all of those benefits listed above of how quitting smoking can improve your physical health, did you know quitting smoking can also improve your mental health also?

It has been proven that quitting smoking can give a huge boost to your mental health and wellbeing. Quitting can improve your general mood, as well as relieving stress, anxiety and depression.

The NHS UK website says that studies have shown that quitting smoking can be as effective as a person taking antidepressants to help improve their mental health. Even more reason to consider quitting if you hadn’t already!

Don’t be disheartened if you don’t succeed first time

As I’ve stressed, quitting smoking is one of the hardest things to do and actually succeed at it, and most people are not successful at the first attempt, so don’t be disheartened if you don’t succeed the first time! You do need a high level of willpower and actually want to quit smoking if you want to succeed. And I would definitely recommend using a form of Nicotine Replacement Therapy to help you along the way rather than opting for the cold turkey method.

As mentioned, Nicotine Pouches are becoming a much preferred method for NRT over more traditional methods, and you can shop our fantastic range that we offer here at Snusmail by visiting our online shop. And check out some of our other blogs about starting to use Nicotine Pouches and knowing what strength would be right for you to use!

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