The Devastating Effects of Quitting Smoking

How Quitting Smoking Ruined My Life

Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. It can help lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, and other serious illnesses. It can also make you feel healthier and more energetic.

Many people try several times before they quit for good. If you relapse, don’t give up.

1. It makes you fat

The best way to manage your weight while you’re quitting is to eat healthy, get regular exercise and use a quit smoking medicine.

Smoking affects almost every part of your body, from your brain to your DNA. When you quit, your body will repair these damaged parts. Your sense of taste and smell will improve, and your lungs will be able to clear themselves of mucus and tar.

2. It makes you sick

Smoking increases the carbon monoxide level in your blood, which causes a headache and faster heart rate. This level returns to normal less than a day after you quit.

Coughing and shortness of breath decrease, your circulation improves, and your lungs repair themselves. Your risk of a heart attack also drops.

Within 15 years of quitting, your risk of pancreatic cancer and heart disease is the same as someone who never smoked.

3. It makes you irritable

Smoking can cause irritability, especially during the withdrawal stage. This is because nicotine interferes with certain parts of the brain and can make you feel upset or anxious.

When you’re feeling irritable, try taking some time out for yourself to relax. For example, you could watch a movie, do some gardening or read a book. You may also find it helpful to speak to a counsellor.

4. It makes you lose your hair

Smoking restricts blood and nutrients to the hair follicles, which cause the hair to fall out. But once you quit smoking, the follicles can start to grow healthy again.

Each time you resist the urge to smoke and do something else instead, it’s a victory in your quitting journey. Try using a reward system to help you stay motivated. For example, you can treat yourself to a relaxing hot bath or a cup of coffee.

5. It makes you lose your teeth

Remind yourself of the health benefits of quitting (reducing your risk for heart disease and lung cancer, among others). Also, consider how much you’ll save by not buying cigarettes.

Develop new habits and routines to replace smoking, such as taking a walk or a cup of coffee with a friend. Exercise can help manage stress and reduce cravings. Balance your diet to avoid sugary, high-calorie snacks that can trigger cravings.

6. It makes you bald

Smoking damages dozens of organs and tissues in the body, including the lungs, skin, teeth, hair, heart, blood vessels, and bones. Quitting smoking can reverse many of these effects, as well as save you thousands of dollars each year and reduce your risk of heart disease and lung cancer.

When you feel tempted to smoke, try breaking the habit by doing something else instead, like drinking water or playing a game.

7. It makes you gain weight

Some people gain weight when they quit smoking because they start using food to deal with negative emotions. Make healthy eating a priority, and try to avoid drinks with high-calorie content, such as alcohol, coffee or sugary sodas.

Taking it one day at a time can help you stay focused on the present moment. This can also make it easier to stick with your quit program.

8. It makes you lose your taste

Smoking can damage your sense of taste and smell. Your taste buds begin to heal within a few days of quitting smoking. Your sense of smell will also improve, and your lungs will stop coughing up mucus and tar.

When an urge to smoke hits, try distracting yourself with something else. You could read a book, play a game, or do a jigsaw puzzle.

9. It makes you smell bad

Smoking stains teeth, causes bad breath, and contributes to genital problems in women. Your teeth, hair and breath will improve when you quit smoking.

Keep a list of the reasons you want to quit. It will help you stay on track. Throw away all your lighters and ashtrays, wash your clothes that smell of smoke, and clean or shampoo your carpets, draperies and upholstery.

10. It makes you look old

Smoking prematurely ages the skin, depleting it of oxygen and reducing blood flow. It also causes stains on fingers and nails, and makes teeth yellow.

The good news is, it’s never too late to quit. Within 20 minutes of stopping, your blood pressure and heart rate return to normal. Within 24 hours, your heart attack risk begins falling. In addition, your body starts reversing the years of tobacco damage.

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