Why should you stop smoking?

December 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Education

Almost forty million Americans have stopped smoking. Most succeed by going “cold turkey”. Others taper off by changing to low tar and nicotine brands, smoking each cigarette only halfway down or using nicotine replacement therapy. Research shows that it isn’t the method you use that determines your success; it is your determination to gain control over your own behavior that gives you the power to quit. Exercise, relaxation, and stress management often ease the way to new nonsmoking habits.

Within 24 hours of smoking cessation, your exercise tolerance will improve, as your body rids itself of carbon monoxide. A few days later you may notice an improved sense of taste and smell. Although you may cough more initially, (your body???s way of repairing itself), in a few weeks you will recover from your smoker’s cough. You won’t produce phlegm anymore unless you have a cold.

Smokers have a high risk of and death from bronchitis, emphysema, and . Your risk of having a heart attack decreases by one half in the first year of quitting and is normal within five years. Although some lung and blood vessel damage is not reversible, after 10 to 15 years, your risk of death from bronchitis, emphysema, and cancer is nearly the same as a person who never smoked.

Changing to snuff or chewing tobacco is not a safe alternative to smoking.

Your risk of mouth and throat cancer remains high with tobacco in any form. replacement therapy may help very heavy smokers who are addicted to nicotine. If you think this would be helpful to you, discuss it with your physician. You will need to acquire a prescription if you choose this approach in your efforts to stop smoking.

Stopping smoking early in pregnancy greatly reduces your risk of having a low birth weight baby. Children who grow up in non-smoking homes get only half as many colds as children of smokers. Your family will be safer from fires, since one quarter of home fires are attributed to smoking. Non-smokers have fewer car accidents. You may even qualify for lower car insurance rates.

You can minimize the withdrawal symptoms of irritability, headache, difficulty concentrating and constipation by increasing exercise and by drinking more juice and water during the first weeks after you stop smoking.

People usually try more than once before they kick the habit for good. Each day without smoking gives your body a chance to heal.

Tags: Lung cancer, Habits, Emphysema, Smoking ban, nicotine replacement therapy, Nicotine, cancer, Smoking cessation, heart attack, Smoking

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