While you find the nerve to quit, take note of the fact that your body benefits right from the get-go. The American Cancer Society says that in a mere 20 minutes, your pulse rate, body temperature and blood pressure drop, inching towards a normal, healthy rate.
Around the 8-hour mark, the carbon monoxide levels in your body drop and your oxygen levels improve. You also lose smoker’s breath, and within 24 hours, you already have a lesser risk of suffering from a heart attack.
In as little as 3 days, your ability to breathe becomes a lot better. You will notice a reduction in wheezing and will be able to perform activities such as running or walking briskly with more ease. After 72 hours of having quit, your nerve endings regroup and your sense of taste and smell improve. At this point, nicotine has completely left your body according to the National Health Service, UK.
In about 3 months, your lungs function more smoothly than they did when you smoked regularly. Performing physical activities becomes a lot easier and blood circulation increases as well, according to a U.S. Surgeon General’s Report published in 1990.
Research by the American Cancer Society explains how your lung is optimised around a year after you quit smoking. Its ability to clean itself, fight infections and handle mucus improves. According to another report—the U.S. Surgeon’s Report published in 2010—after a year, your risk of coronary disease is half of that of a smoker.
Once you reach the 5-year mark, your risk of heart disease drops significantly and is at par with someone who never smoked. Also, your risk of suffering from cancers such as that of the lung, oesophagus, mouth and throat is half of that of a smoker. Additionally, your risk of suffering from a stroke is now the same as that of a non-smoker.
At this point, your chances of suffering from lung cancer are the same as someone who has never smoked, and if you do suffer from it, the chances of dying from lung cancer are reduced by half as compared to a smoker. The risk of suffering from pancreatic cancer is also significantly lower.
Written By : Shirley Mistry