The habit of smoking has never been healthy as it can lead to the development of serious chronic diseases. Smoking also raises your risk of aging and dying young. Needless to say, there are plenty of good reasons to quit smoking if you value your health.
A single cigarette is composed of over 5,000 chemicals that can poison your body, experts at the Cancer Research UK told The Independent. But here are some different ways your body heals if you choose to quit smoking for good.
Here Are 20 Ways Your Body Heals After You Quit Smoking
“You’re always better off if you quit smoking; it’s never too late.” – Loni Anderson
1. Your body’s oxygen level normalizes.
When you smoke, you inhale poisonous carbon monoxide that overtakes the level of oxygen in your bloodstream.
- Smokers who have a pack a day have three to six percent of carbon monoxide in their blood. The ideal level is less than one percent.
- This makes it harder for your body to distribute oxygen that is vital to the functions of your organs, especially the heart.
- When you quit smoking, your oxygen level normalizes within eight hours as your body slowly clears out the toxic level of carbon monoxide.
2. Your sense of smell and taste return to normal.
You will start to recover your normal sense of smell and taste within 48 hours after you’ve gone cold turkey. This happens because you are no longer ingesting poison from the nicotine. This addictive substance contained in tobacco impedes your senses as it is toxic to the blood vessels.
3. Your circulation starts improving.
Once you quit smoking, your blood circulation improves and properly reaches the vital organs, including the tips of your hands and feet. This positive effect greatly cuts your risks of a stroke because your blood vessels are now clearer and your blood pressure is lower. This improvement, however, may have a gradual effect and will depend on how long you’ve been smoking.
4. You may have some coughing fits.
There are smokers who will experience some coughing fits a few days after they quit the bad habit but this isn’t something to be worried about. It is the body’s way of healing itself as the coughing helps the lungs grow clearer. However, if you find the coughing uncomfortable, you can use air purifiers and engage in deep-breathing exercises to speed up the process of recovery for your lungs.
5. You may have sleep disturbances.
You also may have a difficult time sleeping within the first few days after you’ve quit smoking.
- As with the coughing fits, this shouldn’t be a cause for concern. Your body is simply withdrawing from the nicotine.
- Consider this your body’s way of adjusting to a normal sleeping pattern as an ex-smoker.
- You should likely only experience sleep disturbances for two weeks. From then on, you should be able to sleep more soundly once the nicotine is no longer in control of your body’s functions.
6. You’ll feel more energetic.
Two weeks after you’ve quit smoking, you’ll start having fewer episodes of fatigue and tiredness. Instead, you’ll feel more energetic to walk, run, or do other activities that encourage a good cardio workout as your body heals from the nicotine.
7. Your heart will finally get a break.
With the carbon monoxide clearing and oxygen leveling off, your heart will finally get a break from all those toxic chemicals. You, therefore, cut your risks of developing heart diseases and other cardiac issues. Do you know that it takes 15 years for a smoker’s heart to be truly free of the risks?
8. You’ll start breathing better.
Your lungs will bear the positive effects of cutting the smoking habit the most. It will start improving within a few weeks as the cilia – those hair-like airways in the lungs – will no longer be paralyzed. So, you’ll start breathing better. You may also be motivated to exercise more since you will have an easier time inhaling and exhaling when doing physical activities.
9. Your lungs will start to finally repair.
Nine months after you’ve quit smoking, you will begin to feel the effects of your lungs naturally healing. You’ll notice your smoker’s cough is gone and you won’t have shortness of breath anymore when you climb stairs.
10. Your immune system will improve.
Smokers are prone to develop a cough, cold, or fever because they have lowered immune systems. If they quit the habit, the chemicals start to diminish from their body. Additionally, their immune system will get a boost. Once this happens, their body will be able to fight off germs, bacteria, and viruses better.
11. Your breath will smell better.
According to a study in Journal of Natural Science Biological Medicine, bad breath or halitosis is prevalent among people who smoke. The cigarettes bring different kinds of bacteria to the mouth. Smoking also causes dryness that enables these bacteria to thrive. But if you quit smoking, you will slowly eliminate this social handicap as the saliva will begin to flow continuously and clean your mouth, as it should.
12. Your mouth and teeth will look better too.
You will definitely have more reasons to smile when you quit smoking because you will no longer have stained teeth.
- Did you know that those nicotine chemicals can turn your teeth yellow, brown, and black? No matter how you many times you brush your teeth, the stains will remain as long as you smoke?
- More than this, you’ll lessen your risks of developing periodontal diseases if you quit smoking.
- Your lips will also improve because you will not have mouth sores from sucking cigarettes anymore.
13. You’ll have better-looking skin
The chemicals from cigarettes easily deplete the skin of important components like collagen and elastin. Smokers usually have more skin dryness and wrinkles. If you quit smoking, you’ll restore your skin’s natural luster. With clearer blood vessels, your skin will properly absorb the nutrients it needs to prevent premature skin aging.
14. Your breast won’t sag.
Hard as it is to believe, your breasts will also reap positive benefits when you quit smoking. You’re more prone to breast sagging if you’re a smoker, since cigarette chemicals may cause the skin to lose elasticity. In addition, smoking has been tied to breast cancer, as per the BreastCancer.Org. So, you’ll improve your breasts’ appearance and health if you kick the habit for good.