Smoking is the cause of several diseases such as cancer, respiratory diseases and heart disease. The tar in cigarettes consists of several cancer causing chemicals. Nicotine is dangerous and highly addictive, causing an increase in blood pressure as well as heart rate and contributes to the hardening of blood vessels which causes heart attacks.
Carbon monoxide is the harmful gas you inhale every time you smoke. Once you inhale it is transferred to your bloodstream and decreases the amount of oxygen carried in your red blood cells.
If you think it’s too late to quit, think again, quitting smoking won’t erase the damage but decreases your risk of the diseases listed above.
- The amount of oxygen present in your blood cells will increase as soon as 12hours after you quit.
- Your risk of a heart attack will decline steadily each day
- Your ability to smell and taste will improve around the 3 day mark
- After one year without smoking, your risk for heart disease is slashed in half
All advice indicates that two strategies work really well together, which are reducing the amount of cigarettes you have per day and having a date in mind when you want to quit smoking. A third strategy is telling people you know about your plan to quit so that you are less likely to back out.
A few people prefer to go cold turkey while using smoking alternatives such as the nicotine patch or nicotine gum. You may need to experiment and find out which approach suits you and your lifestyle best. Another top tip is to put all the money you would have spent on cigarettes in a separate account or money jar, and the savings can be used for something you need or want as part of the motivation.
Quitting isn’t easy for most, but well worth the health benefits.