15 May The Effects of Smoking on Your Body
Do you know the effects of smoking on your body? Our Quality Coordinator, Tanya Sutton, says that quitting smoking is the single most effective step you can take to make a drastic improvement on your body and prevent the onset of the associated lifestyle diseases.
At One You East Sussex, your specialist Health Coach will work closely with you for 12 weeks to support and motivate you to understand the effects of smoking on your body, and help move you towards a successful quit.
“Our support, along with medication means you will be 4 times more likely to quit than by doing it alone. The benefits to quitting start almost straight away.”
The benefits of quitting begin just 20 minutes after your last cigarette. Blood pressure drops and some people find they can reduce or even stop medication for hypertension at some point. The condition of the arteries affects blood pressure and flow, and narrowing of the arteries caused by smoking can eventually block the supply altogether, leading to dangerous conditions including stroke and heart attack. Heart rate will lower after this time as well. Blood pressure drops and some people find they can reduce or even stop medication for hypertension at some point.
The next 24 hours will bring benefits too. The risk of heart attack will now be 70% lower than when you smoked.
Carbon monoxide, which is a poisonous gas emitted from cigarettes will be completely eliminated from your body. This will be shown in readings that your Health Coach will take using a simple breath test. Nicotine will have left the body by now so it’s important to use your medication as directed to reduce withdrawal symptoms.
After 48 hours, your ability to taste and smell will usually be greatly improved. This is because smoking damages the nerves responsible for these senses. People often comment that their food tastes much better since they quit as they couldn’t taste much before.
Most people notice that after around 72 hours of not smoking, breathing becomes easier. The lungs will begin healing and in turn will result in a greater lunch capacity. If you had a cough whilst smoking, this should start improving around now. Your energy levels are increasing about now.
Appearance will improve at around 1 month after a quit. More colour will appear in your skin and extremities will not feel so cold, this is due to increase circulation to capillaries. It also reduces premature ageing that you will have been exposed to from the toxins in cigarettes, teeth will become whiter and eyes brighter.
Between around 3 to 9 months is when your lungs dramatically start to repair. Your lung capacity should increase by 10% which should make a huge difference to your ability to exercise and wheezing should improve. Risk of infection is greatly reduced now as the cilia (tiny hairs which push mucus and dust out of your lungs) are repaired.
Once you reach the 1 year mark, you’re now at a significant milestone. The risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half to that of a smokers and the good news is that this risk will continue to drop past the 1 year mark. Chemicals in cigarettes contribute to atherosclerosis which is hardening of the arteries which should have started to reverse. Once you reach the 2 year mark, you are 80% more likely to remain a quitter long term.
The benefits continue and at 5 years, cancer risks associated with smoking are now halved, particularly of the throat, oesophargus and bladder. Arteries and blood vessels will begin to widen which will reduce the risk of a clot lowering the risk of stroke.
The 10 year mark. Your risk of lung cancer is now cut in half. Also, the risk of developing diabetes is much higher if you smoke but at this stage post quit, the risk is similar to that of someone who has never smoked.
Risk of heart attack 15 years after your quit is now the same as someone who has never smoked!
The risk of contracting pancreatic cancer is now similar to that of someone who has never smoked! The restorative benefits of quitting are now almost complete. With increased lung function, circulation, and cardiovascular health, you will most probably have gained extra years to your life!
Tip: Just a simple change of routine whenever can greatly help with your quit. If you continue the same pattern of behaviour, it will trigger a ‘cue craving’ and by not doing that behaviour it will result in less cravings and in turn a greater likelihood of quitting for good.
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