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16 Reasons to Quit and/or Cut Down on Smoking Cigarettes

by Nancy D 3 years ago in health
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#SelfCare

I started smoking when I was teenager, and I started just because all my friends were doing it. However, I did quit and I think that sometimes I forget to remind myself how big of an accomplishment that was... even if it was 8 years ago. Since this is roughly around my 8th year milestone of being a non-smoker, I want to write this for people who are still on the fence for quitting smoking, or maybe for those who are having trouble quitting and are in need of some inspiration. Either way, I hope this helps.

1. Your Friends and Family

Whether you believe it or not, the people around you want you to be healthy. If you aren't taking care of yourself, then you aren't just hurting yourself, you are also hurting the ones you care about.

Not to mention, secondhand smoking is dangerous. If you keep smoking, you are a danger to those around you.

2. Quitting smoking helps reduce anxiety

Scientists say that rather than helping smokers relax, nicotine—which is a stimulant—actually increases anxiety and tension. So... no, smoking doesn't relax you. Just feeding your addiction does... then you get more tense again.

3. Insomnia

I didn't know about this for years. Smoking and sleeping do not go very well together. People who smoke are way more likely to have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. Smoking can also leads to snoring and sleep apnea.

4. Your blood pressure can drop in the first 20 minutes

Why wait to quit? Your body begins to heal itself just 20 minutes after your last cigarette.

5. Your healthy improves after just one day without smoking

Halfway through your first day, your carbon monoxide level is back to normal, and your heart will thank you. Now it doesn’t have to pump so hard to try to get enough oxygen to your body. If you go another day to make 48 hours since your last cigarette, your body is able to remove most of the nicotine from your body.

With that said, going cold turkey isn't recommended, as I am afraid people will loose their determination after facing the withdrawals. The best advice is if one strategy doesn't work, try another!

6. Your sense of taste improves!

Only 48 hours after your last cigarette, your senses of taste and smell get sharper as your nerve endings start to heal.

7. So you can run... or at least lightly jog

After about 2 weeks, your lungs become stronger and your blood flow will improve. During the 2 week-3 month period, you will notice that you have more energy and can do more during the day. Better yet, you can exercise without getting as winded.

8. Smoking is expensive!

You could spend all that money on something else: video games, clothes, jewelry, food, better food, hobbies or maybe even saving for a house. When you first get money, your mind probably immediately thinks of all the cigarettes it could buy... well, whatever your mind goes to after that, that is what you could be spending your money on instead of cigarettes. So think to yourself what that might be; everyone has that one thing they wish they could have or have more of... besides cigarettes.

9. To stop coughing up phlegm

This may take some time... but it's worth the wait. At about 4-9 months after quitting, you will be able to take deeper, clearer breaths. Instead of 'hacking', your will find yourself get sick much less often. Not to mention, when you do get sick, your symptoms will be much less severe.

10. Heart Disease! Cancer!

I'm sure I don't need to tell you all the horrible things that can go wrong from smoking. You have probably already heard all of the horror stories. What I can say is this: Your body does heal after you have quit smoking, so once you do stop smoking... don't start again.

After you have successfully quit for one year, treat yourself. You’ve reached a huge milestone. This is when your risk of heart disease is now half of what it was a year ago. Remember, after 5 years since you quit smoking, your chances of a stroke and cervical cancer are now the same as a nonsmoker. So if you have successfully quit and/or cut down, keep up the progress! There are bigger and better milestones out there after 1 year.

11. Your health in general

"Health is like money, we never have a true idea of its value until we lose it." - Josh Billings

If you are young and/or have good health, I don't know how to warn you about this. You will be scared shitless the second you lose your health! Which BTW, you can easily lose in just one second.

So please, instead of finding out for yourself in the most scary and dark way possible, just heed my warning and take care of yourself, probably starting by quitting smoking.

12. To stay looking young... while you are still young

"One of the chief and significant causes of premature aging of the face is smoking," Fiore says. Skin changes, like leathery skin and deep wrinkling, are more likely in people who are regular smokers. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, smoking leads to biochemical changes in the body that speed the aging process.

13. For better success with online dating

If you are trying online dating, then quitting smoking will REALLY help you get more matches. I'm sure while scrolling through other people's profiles, you have already noticed the high trend of "No smokers, please."

14. Impotence/ Pregnancy Complications

If you are a man... then isn't the fear of not being able to get an erection scary enough to make you quit? Smoking really does dramatically increase the chances of impotence for men. If that isn't terrifying to you, what about reducing your chances of having a child one day?

If you are a woman... smoking also reduces your chances of getting pregnant one day. So if you don't want to rule that out, it's time to start cutting down how much you smoke. Not to mention, if you find yourself smoking when you get pregnant, it makes quitting a lot more complicated because you don't want the baby to go through withdrawals with you. In other words, if you want kids one day, quit now!

15. Your teeth and gums

I'm sure you already know what smoking can do to your once pearly whites, but have you thought about your gums?

Smoking puts you at risk for gum disease like gingivitis. Not to mention other problems that will later haunt you like increased build-up of plaque and tartar on the teeth, irreversible root exposure and... well... bad breath.

16. Your body is still healing years later. So keep up with your new healthy smoke-free lifestyle.

This pointer is really for me, but I do hope it applies to lots of other ex-smoker out there. 10 years after you quit smoking, you’re now half as likely to die from lung cancer as someone who still smokes. Even better, your chances getting cancer in your larynx and pancreas both drop significantly. So keep up the good work, because the next major milestone after 10 years is 15 years. Finally, after 15 years of not smoking, the chances that you’ll get heart disease are the same as if you never smoked. Your body has done a ton of recovery and healing.

15 years later?

I use to think it was roughly 7 years after smoking cigarettes that your body has healed all that it needs to, but now I am hearing that it is actually 15 years. I personally still have another seven years to go before my poor lungs and heart have really finished recovering from my teenage mistake of smoking cigarettes.

Don't be afraid to ask for help.

The National Cancer Institute’s quitline is (877-44U-QUIT).

Hello. Nice to meet you! How are you? Hmm... this feels like a really one-sided conversation... why don't you follow me on social media so I can get to know you too!

About the Author

I started blogging about two years ago, and my collection of blogs and articles is getting pretty impressive. I’ve taken online classes for writing, and even some classes about the art of blogging itself. It would be really awesome if you join the adventure, and maybe even help me think of what to write about next. If you would like to submit some feedback or ideas, you can always tweet me on Twitter.

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Thank you for reading my article. Would it be okay if I ask another favour though? Would it be okay if you share this on your Facebook page or Twitter? If you can't share, there is a tiny little donate box at the bottom too. No pressure though, just thought I would mention it.

Work Cited

“10 Good Reasons to Quit Smoking.” Brunet, www.brunet.ca/en/health/health-tips/good-reasons-to-quit-smoking/.

“Josh Billings Quote.” A, www.azquotes.com/quote/524402.

“Quitting Smoking: What Happens When You Quit Smoking.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/smoking-cessation/what-happens-body-quit-smoking#1.

Zamosky, Lisa. “10 Reasons to Quit Smoking: Cost, Smell, Wrinkles, and More.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/smoking-cessation/features/is-smoking-dragging-you-down#2.

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About the author

Nancy D

Facebook @NancyDBlogging

Twitter @BlogsNancy

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