Quitting Smoking: A Timeline to Better Health
Smokers, and their friends and family, know how difficult it is to kick
the habit. It’s no secret the health risks that come from smoking
have been directly linked to lung cancer and heart disease—it’s
an addiction that kills.
Even within the first few moments of quitting smoking, it’s not just
your habits that change—you’ll notice near-immediate physical
changes. The effects of quitting last a lifetime, but do you know how
quickly your body begins to recover when you do?
Remember that quitting happens one day at a time. Here’s what happens
to your body up to the first year of kicking the smoking habit:
20 Minutes After Quitting: Your heart rate will start to drop to a regular level.
In 2 Hours: Heart rate and blood pressure decrease to near-regular levels, improving
blood flow to the arms, legs and feet.
In 12 Hours: Carbon monoxide, which can be toxic to your body at high levels, decreases
and blood oxygen levels become normal.
In 24 Hours: In just one day, your risk for heart attack begins to drop: the heart
attack rate for smokers is 70% higher than for nonsmokers.
In 48 Hours: Nerve endings begin to regenerate—senses of smell and taste are enhanced.
In 3 Days: Peak nicotine withdrawal symptom period. To fight the mental symptoms,
try a reward system: treat yourself with the money you’ll have saved
by not buying tobacco products.
In 2-3 Weeks: Because of the body’s ability to regenerate certain processes, your
circulation and lung function will improve significantly. This means not
feeling as winded and sick while exercising! For most smokers, withdrawal
symptoms also diminish at this point.
In 1-9 Months: Inside your lungs, cilia—tiny, hair-like structures that push mucus
out—will start to repair themselves and function properly again.
With the cilia now able to do their job, your risk of infection is lowered.
With properly functioning lungs, your coughing and shortness of breath
may continue to decrease dramatically.
In 1 Year: The one-year mark is a big one! Your risk for heart disease is lowered
by 50% compared to when you were still smoking.
While the benefits of quitting smoking are unbeatable, we know it’s
not an easy journey. With CaroMont’s Quit Smart program, you don’t
have to go it alone.
To learn more about Quit Smart or to sign up for December classes, call
us at 704.671.7930.