After The Climax…20 Things That Happen When You Quit Smoking

Do you remember the climax of the last movie you watched? The lead characters in a romcom reach a breaking point in their romantic venture and are fighting for their love. The lone wolf in an action movie single-handedly (and rather miraculously!) takes down the crime syndicate that was out to wreak havoc worldwide. Or you finally find out the sob story behind the spirit terrorizing a family in a horror movie while the characters scramble to help the spirit find peace and leave the family.

The climax is usually the most exciting part of movies. But have you ever wondered — what happens to these characters after the climax? Are the lead characters still happily married? Did the lone wolf quit his job because the stress of saving the world was just too much? Are the family members doing alright after dealing with insidious supernatural entities?

Well…there’s one climax after which many of you may not know what happens — quitting smoking.

You may have heard time and again that you need to quit smoking before it’s too late. We understand that it takes immense willpower and determination to kick the habit. So let’s focus more on the positives and why quitting your smoking is worth it for your body, for years to come:

20 minutes after quitting

  1. Your heart rate drops
  2. Your blood pressure drops

8 hours after quitting

3. Your feet and hands warm up as blood circulation improves

4. Carbon monoxide levels in your blood start to become normal

5. Your senses, like taste and smell, start to improve as nerve endings in these sense organs start to regrow

6. Your risk of heart attack lowers

2 weeks to 3 months after quitting

7. You energy levels increase

8. Your blood circulation continues to improve

9. Your lung function improves

10. Breathing becomes easier

1 to 12 months after quitting

11. You cough less

12. You don’t experience shortness of breath as often

13. The cilia in your lungs start to regrow. There are fibres that protect you from respiratory infections

1 to 2 years after quitting

14. Your risk of heart attack is substantially reduced

15. You are 50% less vulnerable to coronary heart disease compared to a smoker

5 to 10 years after quitting

16. Your risk of stroke reduces

17. You have a 50% lower risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, and larynx.

10 years after quitting

18. You are 50% less likely to develop lung cancer compared to a smoker

19. Your risk of cancers of the esophagus, bladder, kidneys, cervix, and pancreas reduces

15 years after quitting

20. Your risk of coronary heart disease becomes same as that of a non-smoker

We understand that quitting smoking is easier said than done, and it definitely won’t be a smooth-sailing journey. But you reap the benefits of kicking the habit as soon as 20 minutes! So there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain in this journey towards a healthy future.

If you’re planning to bid adieu to your smoking habit, keep the following things in mind:

  • Write down your reasons for quitting, and read this list everyday (you already have 20 reasons to get you started!).
  • Set a date for when you would like to quit and stick to it.
  • Make a note of the times you are most likely to smoke in a day, as well as your triggers for smoking.
  • It is also worth consulting a doctor about tools for quitting, such as nicotine gum or patches.
  • Tell others about your decision to quit and seek support and encouragement from them.
  • Start exercising regularly to relieve stress and boost your mood.
  • Get plenty of sleep and eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Joining a virtual support group helps too!
  • Ensure your house, car, and workspace are free of things that remind you of smoking, like cigarette packs, lighters, and ashtrays.

Remember, the only person who can keep YOU the healthiest is YOU!

DISCLAIMER: Dr. YOU aims to bring you the latest evidence-based science, and our content is for informational purposes only. The content is not medical advice or guarantee of an outcome. You should always consult a doctor or qualified healthcare professional if you need further clarification and before making any changes to your treatment plans and lifestyle, or that of others.

Dr. YOU is a one-stop platform to address the health information needs of health consumers. Our goal is to arm people with the information necessary to make meaningful decisions regarding their health and nudge behaviour change.

With our combined experience of two decades in research and healthcare, we built the Dr. YOU platform around the WHO-endorsed “Best Buy” intervention design for preventing and managing chronic diseases.

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