What happens when you quit smoking?

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If you have been smoking for long, you sometimes might have thought of quitting also. But maybe the cravings put water to the whole idea. Or maybe you started quitting but you experienced withdrawal symptoms like headache or nausea, and then went back to take the puff again.


What happens when you quit smoking? Following are the common symptoms you might experience during your quitting period:

1) Headaches and Dizziness- After quitting smoking, you might experience mild headaches and feel a little dizzy. These are the first withdrawal symptoms you might experience.

2) Cravings- You might have the temptation to smoke again when you quit smoking. The good part is that these cravings usually last for a few minutes and then disappear.  So, you just have to control for a few moments.

3) Difficulty in sleeping- Initially, you would become restless and face trouble in sleeping. Don’t worry these symptoms will disappear with time.

4) Anxiety- After quitting smoking for a few days, you might feel anxious or get irritated and angry at trivial things. Don’t panic and just remember you will be emotional for a short period and then be back to normal.

5) Increase in appetite- Your diet improves when you quit smoking. This might lead to weight gain.

These symptoms are just temporary and as time will pass, these symptoms will disappear.

5) Constipation- For the first month, you might have to suffer from constipation.

quit smoking

A Timeline of What Will Happen When You Quit Smoking

Now, let us understand the benefits of quitting smoking through a timeline.

20 minutes after quitting smoking

The nicotine effect will vanish and you will crave for another cigarette. Just twenty minutes after your last cigarette, your blood pressure and heart rate increases. Your heart rate will become normal within twenty minutes of your last cigarette.

12 hours after quitting smoking

You will become very restless and your temptation to smoke will become intense. You may feel a bit anxious. Within 8 to 12 hours, the harmful carbon monoxide levels in your blood drops and more oxygen is generated in your body.

48 hours after quitting smoking

You will suffer from headaches as the nicotine flushes out from your body. Your appetite would increase. Your smelling and tasting power, which were previously affected due to smoking would improve in the next 48 hours.

2 weeks to 3 months of quitting

You will start feeling better. Just keep avoiding those triggers. Slowly, your heart will begin to improve. Your blood circulation increases, blood pressure and heart rate lower down, oxygen levels boost up and your lungs start functioning properly. Therefore, the risk of heart attack reduces.

1 to 9 months after quitting smoking

After one to nine months of quitting, you will not experience shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing. Your internal cough will get clear. You will not feel heavy breathing while climbing stairs or doing any physical activity. You will be full of energy.

1 year after quitting smoking

Congratulations. You have come a long way now! After a year of successful quitting, your chances of getting heart disease are quite low.

5 years after quitting smoking

Within the next five years, your risk of getting a stroke will be the same as someone who has never smoked.

10 years after quitting smoking

Your risk of developing lung cancer and other types of cancer decreases significantly. Risk of cervical cancer in women also decreases.

15 years after quitting smoking

After quitting smoking for 15 years, you will have lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure and thinner blood which ultimately reduces your risk of blood clots. All those withdrawal symptoms would now be a faded memory.

It’s hard to quit but it is not impossible. What is needed is a strong will and determination.

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