Did you know, if you stop smoking for 28 days, you’re five times more likely to quit for good?
It is crucial, as this statistic grows, to shed light on the detrimental consequences this habit has on our bodies. We want to raise awareness about the harmful effects of smoking and empower individuals to make positive changes for a healthier life. This blog aims to share information and effective strategies for quitting. We aim to inspire and support those who desire to break free from the grip of smoking. Vaping and smoking have detrimental effects on your health. From the damaging impact on the respiratory system to the increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, we uncover the alarming health risks associated with smoking.
Why is it so hard to quit smoking?
Nicotine is a highly addictive drug which provides a temporary relief from feelings of anxiety and depression. It does this by creating a buzz-like feeling. This is a result of your brain releasing adrenaline, felt after only 10 seconds of consuming the drug.
Smokers will develop a level of physical dependence to their use of tobacco with it speeding up the messages travelling between the brain and body. It is believed that nicotine is just as addictive as heroin and cocaine.
Not only does Tobacco smoke contain nicotine, it also has over 5,000 other chemicals which are consumed when smoking a cigarette.
When quitting, many people face symptoms like, tiredness, irritability, lack of focus and mood swings. Withdrawal symptoms from nicotine start just 30 minutes after you have your last cigarette, which is why many find it so difficult to quit.
"I am deeply concerned about the sharp rise in kids vaping and shocked by reports of illicit vapes containing lead getting into the hands of school children," Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in the statement released by the health department, referring to a BBC report last week.
How to quit Smoking
A worldwide study showed that half of the people who try one cigarette will go on to become regular smokers. Some people can quit just by deciding to stop, but for many others it isn’t that easy.
Have you ever heard of ‘going cold turkey?’ This is when you take an abrupt stop to smoking. However, only about 1% of all people who try to quit without any support will be successful. The rest will go back to smoking.
Steps which can help assist you in your journey to quitting smoking are:
- Nicotine replacement
- Remove all triggers and temptations from around you
- Ask friends and family for support and encouragement
- Remind yourself of 'Why?'
The Benefits of Quitting
Here are some benefits we have found to be important reasons as to why you should join the large movement of people this October to stop smoking.
Decreased heart risks
Smoking is the leading cause of heart attacks and heart disease. What many people don't know is that these heart risks can be reversed simply by quitting smoking.
When you quit smoking your blood pressure and heart rate lowers almost immediately. Many people use the excuse of 'the damage is already done' in a bid to continue smoking, however there is research to believe that in just 24 hours of stopping smoking your risk of having a heart attack drops.
Smoking is an expensive habit and prices are still continuing to rise with the current cost of living crisis. If you're smoking 20 cigarettes a day, calculations show that you’re likely to be spending about £3,500 a year, based on the average cost of £9.60 for a pack of 20 cigarettes. Think about all other things you could spend that money on!
Improved Smell and Taste
An obvious benefit but one not spoken about enough is your improvement in smell and taste once you quit smoking.
The reasoning for your loss of taste and smell when being a smoker is the direct effect the chemicals in cigarettes have on your taste buds and nerve receptors in the nose.
Within just 48 hours of quitting smoking, many will experience an improvement in smell and taste that will become stronger in the weeks that follow. Imagine being able to take back control of your senses again and discover tastes and smells more intensely.
Improved Lung Function
Want to feel like you can walk up a set of stairs and not be out of breath? Quit smoking!
The sooner you stop smoking the less damage you are doing to your lungs and the faster you can heal and regenerate. People who quit smoking can improve their lung capacity by 10% in just 9 months. This means that the carbon monoxide will gradually leave your bloodstream, helping to relieve symptoms like shortness of breath.
Vaping can make asthma and other existing lung diseases worse. Breathing in the harmful chemicals from vaping products can cause irreversible (cannot be cured) lung damage, lung disease and, in some cases, death. As reported by the Canadian Lung Association.
These are just a handful of benefits that you will endure once you quit smoking. Alongside this, quitting smoking can also add as much as 10 years to your life, compared to if you continued to smoke.
At Pall Mall Medical, we can perform a lung health screen to get an overall picture of your lung health via a series of tests and analyses. This assessment helps to identify the likelihood that you will develop lung cancer in the future and flags up any health problems regarding the lungs.
Health screens/lung screens are a great way to monitor your health and detect any underlying issues in your body to put your mind at ease.