Giving Up Smoking
People can usually list many good reasons for giving up smoking. However, often they are the very people who cannot seem to stop, even when they know there is no safe level of smoking.
According to Quit Victoria, you will feel the benefits of quitting straight away as your body repairs itself. Depending on the number of cigarettes you smoke, typical benefits of stopping are:
- After twelve hours almost all of the nicotine is out of your system.
- After twenty-four hours the level of carbon monoxide in your blood has dropped dramatically. You now have more oxygen in your bloodstream.
- After five days most nicotine by-products have gone.
- Within days your sense of taste and smell improves.
- Within a month your blood pressure returns to its normal level and your immune system begins to show signs of recovery.
- Within two months your lungs will no longer be producing extra phlegm caused by smoking.
- After twelve months your increased risk of dying from heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker.
- Stopping smoking reduces the incidence and progression of lung disease including chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
- After ten years of stopping your risk of lung cancer is less than half that of a continuing smoker and continues to decline (provided the disease is not already present).
- After fifteen years your risk of heart attack and stroke is almost the same as that of a person who has never smoked.
How do I quit?
There are several methods and aids available to assist with giving up smoking:
1. ‘Cold turkey’ (stopping completely without aids)
2. Nicotine gum / patches
3. Prescribed medication – discuss with your doctor if you are suitable for use of these
4. Other – acupuncture, hypnotherapy (may be helpful in some people, however there are limited studies available as to whether there is any scientific evidence of benefit)
- Women who smoke only 1-4 cigarettes each day double their cardiovascular disease and stroke risk
- Smokers have an earlier menopause by 1.5 to 2 years
- Smokers have a higher incidence of osteoporosis
- Smokers have increased skin ageing and wrinkles
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