As part of a well planned and executed quit attempt, preparation is key and knowing what happens when you quit smoking is a useful part of that plan. In this article I will explain the two main sides of what happens when you finally turn your back on those evil cancer sticks.
There are health changes from quitting smoking and there are withdrawal effects from quitting smoking too. The withdrawal effects can be bad, but they can be very mild too and are a small price to pay for the long term benefit of quitting.
Over the first week, what happens when you quit smoking is that you will find that you suffer a number of nicotine withdrawal symptoms. These may include headaches, nausea, constipation, gas, sore throat, chesty cough, tingling fingers, cold symptoms and of course the dreaded cravings. You may also suffer from sleeplessness, anxiety and be irritable so make sure those around you know what you are going through and what to expect.
All of these withdrawal effects are perfectly normal but it would be unusual to suffer them all. At most, you should only experience a few of them but even these few side effects may seem like an excuse to start smoking again!
Whilst going through withdrawal, it is not uncommon for you to think that you would be better off smoking because then you wouldn't have to suffer from the side effect. Don't be fooled! If you think like that, you are merely putting off the short-term discomfort in favour of the long-term risk of smoking.
Remember to keep your resolve and don't give up. Remind yourself that half of all smokers die an early death precisely because they smoke and the other half suffers ill health because they smoke too.
If you are feeling down as a result of quitting you may well seek ‘permission’ to smoke from loved ones. This is another trick to allow you to smoke and abandon your quit attempt. Before you quit, make sure your loved ones know you might try to ‘trick’ them into permitting you to smoke so they know how to deal with it.
Of the many seemingly negative things that happen to you when you quit smoking, there are many positive things to keep in the front of your mind.
During the first week, when your withdrawal symptoms may be at their worst, your blood's carbon monoxide levels will fall rapidly along with your body's nicotine levels. You circulation and sense of smell will improve immediately as will the reduction in your risk of a heart attack.
In the first month, what happens when you quit smoking is remarkable with your lung function improving, blood circulation improving more, coughing less and your complexion improving noticeably. These are all very positive.
Within the first year of quitting, your breathlessness will have subsided, you will have more energy and your risk of heart disease will have halved compared to a smoker already!
After five years, most cancer risks are halved, after ten years, lung cancer risk is halved and after fifteen years, heart attack and stroke risks are down to the same levels as a lifelong non-smoker.
What happens to you when you quit smoking might seem negative at the time, but in the long run, it is all positive and once achieved, quitting becomes an incredibly proud-felt achievement.
If you are tired of trying to quit smoking using patches, pills and potions AND getting nowhere, maybe you need to try Tom Dainty's Quit Smoking Bible