Anytime is a good time to quit smoking. Your body will begin to reap the benefits of smoking cessation as soon as you quit, with improvement in your blood pressure and lungs showing within 24 hours. You will find breathing easier after three months and your circulation will be increased. Your life expectancy will be increased if you quit smoking, whenever you do so, providing you have not already developed a smoking-related disease.
You are not alone in finding smoking cessation a hard task; in fact, the majority of people who try to quit do not succeed. The reason for this is primarily nicotine, which is a highly addictive substance which causes powerful withdrawal symptoms if intake is ceased. Smokers are not just chemically addicted to cigarettes but will also have become conditioned to associating smoking with a feeling of relief, calm and happiness. Stopping the habit is extremely difficult, but it is possible and the health benefits are worth it.
Yes. Even if you have smoked for many years, you will still receive a multitude of health benefits if you stop smoking. Over time, the risk of you developing smoking-related diseases, like lung cancer, decreases significantly. Your loved ones will also benefit from you stopping smoking, as secondhand smoke can cause a number of health problems.
Though it is true that some people do gain some weight when they stop smoking, this is not directly caused by the act of smoking cessation. Some people deal with the withdrawal symptoms brought on by smoking cessation by eating more, and the improvement to taste can also contribute to this. It is recommended that you monitor your diet when you quit smoking if you are concerned that weight gain could occur as a result.
It is the substances contained in cigarettes that makes them so dangerous. Over 4,000 chemicals are contained in cigarettes, of which 43 are carcinogenic. These dangerous chemicals include tar, nicotine, arsenic, hydrogen cyanide, DDT, formaldehyde, ammonia and carbon monoxide.
Smoking is responsible for a huge number of health problems, and almost every area of the body is at risk from its carcinogenic effects, including the mouth, lips, throat, voice box, stomach, pancreas, kidney, liver, oesophagus and bladder. Over 90% of lung cancer diagnoses are caused by smoking. The habit also causes damage to the heart, leading to circulatory problems which can cause coronary heart disease. Damaged lungs can cause chronic bronchitis, pneumonia and emphysema.
The method you choose to quit smoking will have a large effect on your chances of success. Though most people choose to quit by sheer willpower alone, this is actually the least effective method, leading to a very high number of relapses. Medication can increase your chances of success, with the prescription treatment Champix proven to be effective over a 12 week course. Nicotine replacement therapy is also favoured as a relatively cheap option, in the form of patches, inhalers and gum. Many people choose to seek support from friends, family or an external organisation that specialises in smoking cessation.
Smoking is very dangerous for an unborn baby, as it means there is less oxygen reaching the baby. At birth, the baby could be underdeveloped, with an increased risk of suffering from breathing problems such as asthma. The risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and cot death is also increased.
Passive smoking, or secondhand smoking, can cause serious health problems. The capacity of the lungs can be impacted and the risk of heart disease is increased. Children are in particular danger of secondhand smoke as it can affect their development.
There has been a smoking ban in public places in the UK since July 2007. This is as a result of the associated health problems with secondhand smoke.