Smoking is one habit that’s difficult to kick, especially if you’ve been doing it for many years. It’s hard to stop because smoking leads to an addiction to nicotine. Once you start, your body craves more. If you don’t supply this need, you may suffer from withdrawal symptoms, including jumpiness, restlessness, or irritation. It’s important to understand how quitting smoking will improve your health to help encourage taking that first step.
What to Expect When Quitting Smoking
The more nicotine you put into your body, the more harm it does. While discontinuing use may be tricky, you can find professionals who are willing to help. Doctors can assist with medication, whereas groups can lend support and helpful advice. Don’t wait to stop this addiction. If you need the motivation to quit, here is how cutting tobacco use can help your overall health.
Improved Lung Function
Smoking for a prolonged period of time can cause permanent scarring in the lungs, which is why it’s better to quit sooner rather than later. The amazing thing about your lungs is that they start to heal as soon as you take your last puff. Because the carbon monoxide starts to leave the bloodstream, you’ll notice a significant difference when you engage in physical activities — you won’t get winded as quickly. Your airway will also start to heal, as you won’t be breathing in the nicotine and other toxins.
After a few months, you should notice clearer lungs since the cilia in the back of the throat will start working again. These tiny structures ensure you swallow mucus instead of allowing it to go into your lungs.
If you want to put a damper on nicotine cravings and give yourself the energy boost to do so, taking vitamins may help. For example, vitamin B has been shown to reduce anxiety, which is a common reason people want to smoke. If the trigger isn’t there, you’ll be less likely to grab a cigarette. Before trying any supplements, you should research possible reactions of whichever type you’re interested in, such as Thrive side effects.
A Stronger, Healthier Heart
Every time you smoke a cigarette, the nicotine causes your heart rate and blood pressure to increase briefly, which adds stress to your heart. This chemical narrows blood vessels by causing cells to become enlarged. As a result, your heart has to pump harder than usual. Additionally, carbon monoxide takes oxygen from your organs and hardens arteries, putting you at risk of having a heart attack.
Smoking even changes the chemistry of your body. For example, it causes platelets to clump together when they come in contact with the toxic components found in cigarettes. Your blood becomes thick, making it harder for your heart to pump it through the body.
Luckily, most (if not all) of these issues can be reversed. By quitting, you can reduce the risk of getting blood clots, and blood work should show a decrease in cholesterol. The chance of having a heart attack goes down in just 24 hours, and in three weeks, your blood will flow better. If you stay nicotine-free for five years, you’ll be as likely to get heart disease as someone who never smoked.
If you’ve already developed illnesses from smoking, quitting can still make a difference. For instance, if you’ve already had a heart attack, tossing out the cigarettes and leading a smoke-free lifestyle can significantly reduce your risk of having another one.
Healthier Bones and Connective Tissue
Smoking decreases the blood supply to organs and bones, which means they don’t get what they need to function properly. Furthermore, calcium is essential in keeping bones strong, but smoking disrupts the body’s ability to absorb it.
While you should quit smoking, you may also want to do other things to improve bone health. Exercising regularly and following a diet that contains extra calcium can help. Fortunately, those are changes that are easily made to a healthy lifestyle.
There are many things you can do to improve your health. However, cutting smoking out of your life should top the list since nothing about it is helpful. Quitting smoking will improve your health and you will be thrilled when you see some positive effects almost immediately. To learn about some strategies for helping to quit, check out the CDC’s page talking about how to quit smoking.