Smoking is one of the largest addictions in the world. Despite all the research and press about the dangers of smoking, people continue to smoke and ignore the extreme consequences their actions could have. Most of the dangerous results are the result of long term smoking, but the hazards start immediately. Similarly, the act of stopping smoking also has almost instant benefits.
From the moment you quit, your body begins to repair the damage that smoking has been doing to it. Within 20 minutes of your last smoke, your blood pressure drops from its elevated state and the temperature in your hands and feet begin to return to normal. By the eight hour mark of being smoke free, the carbon monoxide level in your blood returns to normal. After one full day of quitting, your risk of a heart attack starts to decline.
As amazing as those facts are, they all occur within the first day of quitting. Over the next year of withholding from smoking, you will see an improvement in your blood circulation and an increase in your ability to breathe. By the end of the year, you will have noticed an improvement in shortness of breath, lessening of sinus problems, and your coughing and fatigue will decrease. At the end of one year, your risk of a heart attack will have dropped by 50 percent.
As you continue to abstain from smoking, the risks of cancer, stroke and heart attack continue to fall. While lung cancer is most associated with smoking, smoking also increases the risks of cancer of the oral cavity, cancer of the esophagus, and cancers of the bladder, cervix, kidneys, pancreas and throat. By the 15 year mark of not smoking, your risk of having a heart attack will reach the same risk as a lifelong non-smoker.
Why not start now? You have nothing to lose and so much to gain. Begin to repair the damage your habit has done to your body, and kick the habit now.
For more information on BMI, visit our Stop Smoking forum.