Quitting smoking is one of the best decisions you can make for your health. Once you quit, there are immediate benefits to the body. Not only does it add value to your life, but also to those around you, particularly your family and friends. It’s not easy to quit, so you should be incredibly proud of your decision.
While there might be some challenges on the road ahead, take a look at what you can expect when you quit smoking. Spoiler alert: It’s worth it.
1. Cravings and Withdrawals
Withdrawals and cravings can be challenges when you decide to quit smoking. Once you quit, you’ll experience cravings. But, over time, they will get easier to control and slowly go away with every urge to smoke that you resist. The first seven to 10 days are typically the toughest. Despite the initial hurdle, do your best to stick to it. Remember, craving a cigarette, or feeling sad or irritable are common symptoms of quitting. Don’t hesitate to ask for help or support from a friend, your health care provider, or Way To Quit. Consider using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), which is a tool to help you quit. At any time, you can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for 24/7 support.
2. Multiple Attempts
It traditionally takes a smoker multiple attempts to quit before they’re successful. It’s a normal part of quitting. A setback might happen after a day, a week or a month. The most important thing is to keep trying. The CDC and American Cancer Society suggest that it can take up to 11 attempts. Learn from each quit attempt and make adjustments. Maybe you need to change your quit plan. Perhaps you need more help from your loved ones. Don’t give up because it’s worth the effort.
3. Heal Immediately
There are a lot of great reasons to quit smoking, but the benefits to your body are the most impactful. The minute you quit, your body will start to heal itself. Your body is an incredible wonder and capable of fixing a lot of the problems caused by smoking. In just 20 minutes, your heart rate drops. The carbon monoxide levels in your blood return to normal in 12 hours. Over the next few months, your risk of a heart attack begins to drop, and your lung function will start to improve. Your shortness of breath will get better and your sense of taste will get stronger. Soon you’ll notice your skin looks better, too. As time goes on, the benefits of quitting become more obvious.
4. Decreased Risk of Developing Cancer
Quitting smoking is the best way to lower your risk of getting cancer. After 10 years without cigarettes, your death-rate risk of lung cancer is about half that of a smoker. And your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases. Quitting smoking will prevent new DNA damage from happening your body. Without constant exposure to cancer-causing chemicals, nicotine and tar, your future becomes much brighter. Every day after quitting is a day your body can get healthier.
5. Save Money
Smoking is an expensive habit. Whether you’re a casual smoker or smoked a pack per day, one of the first things you’ll notice is how much money will be saved. If you smoke a pack each day, you’ll save nearly $2,000 a year in costs. If you’ve smoked for 20 years, that means you’ll have spent nearly $36,000 on tobacco. Think of all the things you can use that money for going forward. Take a vacation. Buy some clothes. Get a new car. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll have a little extra budget for fun. That’s a win-win.
Don’t wait any longer. Start your quit today! Ask a loved one for support or check out our various resources and support options to help you be successful.