Quit smoking from a new perspective

Quit smoking from a new perspective

Ex-smokers are UNSTOPPABLE

By Liz Lockhart

You would have to live on another planet not to know how harmful smoking is to our health but let’s turn our thinking around for just a moment.  Instead of looking at all the harmful effects that smoking has on our physical and mental health let’s look at the positives which can be achieved by quitting.

This is not about to become a lecture in why you should quit to improve your over-all health but an inspirational piece about all that you could achieve by stopping.  The video footage shows us a woman who couldn’t last five minutes without a cigarette and who is now flying for the first time having managed to quit.  This may seem far-fetched but many smokers worry about difficulty breathing, which can stop them from achieving many things in life, such as keeping fit through exercise, long walks and even flying in a plane or playing vigorously with their children and grandchildren. Not to mention having to go long-haul without a puff!

Many smokers become very anxious about the fact that they smoke because of the negative effects on their health, which perversely makes them reach for their next cigarette and a vicious circle is created.  Perhaps all smokers should stop for a while, take time out and just imagine what they could achieve by kicking their habit.  Think of all the things that smoking holds us back from, things such as swimming, walking, doing that charity walk that we would so love to do, taking part in a sport that we used to enjoy or even just smelling great.  Each individual smoker has their own ideals.

Charlotte Fantelli, our editor, quit smoking five years ago when she was pregnant with her son.  Charlotte says ‘it was the best thing I could have done, for my physical and mental health. I remeber things like the cinema or horse riding were such a drag because I couldn't go the full two-hours without a cigarette. Now I am not a smoker I can go anywhere I want, without the nagging cravings holding me back, it is such freedom.

'It is a boost of self confidence to know I CAN do something like that. Really, what else can I do? The possibilities are endless!' She adds.

So let’s take a look at what positive effects we can expect to experience through quitting smoking:

20 minutes: heartbeat and blood pressure go back to normal

8 hours: oxygen levels in the blood return to normal, nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in the blood are halved

24 hours: the body is carbon monoxide-free and starts to clear out mucus and other smoking debris from the lungs

48 hours: the body has eliminated any nicotine. The senses of smell and taste improve

72 hours: the respiratory system starts to work easier. General health starts improving

2 – 12 Weeks: blood circulation improves

3 – 9 Months: lung function has increased by 10%

5 years: chances of a heart attack are halved

10 years: chances of lung cancer are halved, chances of a heart attack are the same as people who have never smoked

Instead of worrying about the damage that smoking is doing to our bodies and rush for our next nicotine fix to get over it, let’s consider how good life can be and concentrate on how great life would be without cigarettes.  We have nothing to lose and we could gain several extra years of healthy living.

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