Though, I don't smoke as often as I used to (a pack a day in the Army), I do still smoke when I am terribly stressed. This summer has been a very stressful summer so my smoking habit has dramatically increased over the past few months. I have several friends and my children who wish I would quit all together so I need to find the motivation -- and willpower -- to quit.
I think one of the main reasons it’s so hard to quit smoking is because all the benefits of quitting and all the dangers of continuing seem so very far away.
To help me (and you), I put together this timeline about some of the more immediate effects of quitting smoking and how that will affect my body RIGHT NOW.
- In 20 minutes, your blood pressure will drop back down to normal.
- In 8 hours, the carbon monoxide (a toxic gas) levels in your blood stream will drop by half and oxygen levels will return to normal.
- In 48 hours, your chance of having a heart attack will have decreased. All nicotine will have left your body. Your sense of taste and smell will return to a normal level.
- In 72 hours, your bronchial tubes will relax and your energy levels will increase.
- In 2 weeks, your circulation will increase and it will continue to improve for the next 10 weeks.
- In three to nine months, coughs, wheezing, and breathing problems will dissipate as your lung capacity improves by 10%.
- In 1 year, your risk of having a heart attack will have dropped by half.
- In 5 years, your risk of having a stroke returns to that of a non-smoker.
- In 10 years, your risk of lung cancer will have returned to that of a non-smoker.
- In 15 years, your risk of heart attack will have returned to that of a non-smoker.
I do (and you do) have more immediate things to look forward to if I quit now, besides just freaking out about not being able to smoke.
My promise to Sandy and Michael (and others) is I am going to quit RIGHT NOW!