Around this time of year, all over the world, smokers make a resolution every January to kick their smoking habit. However, most are unable to keep their resolution. If you can identify with this, here are some facts about smoking and why it pays to quit this habit naturally and once in for all.

The Ills of Smoking

Did you know smoking is the main cause of preventable deaths in the United States? Each year 392,000 American die due to smoking-related diseases and another 8.6 million people have one or more serious health problems brought on by smoking. Lung cancer, mouth cancer, emphysema, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disorders and strokes are some of the diseases that smokers are often afflicted with. However, the number of smokers in the U.S. is coming down even though cold turkey is not a nice feeling.

Once you decide to quit smoking, you will experience withdrawal symptoms, which may include all or few of the following symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Cravings
  • Concentrating issues
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Nightmares or insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Enhanced appetite

What Happens When You Quit Smoking?

For many smokers, the physiological changes that occur in the body when they quit are not visible. So, they don’t really realize the benefits of quitting the tobacco habit. Here are a few things that occur in your body when you decide to give up the smoking habit.

  • 20 Minutes after Quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure returns to normal

  • 12 Hours after Quitting: The amount of carbon monoxide in your blood reduces and returns to normal

  • 2 Weeks after Quitting: Your blood circulation and functioning of the lungs improve significantly

  • 1 to 9 Months after Quitting: You will notice your smoker’s cough and shortness of breath becoming less pronounced. Furthermore, the cilia lining your air passage and lungs begin working normally to trap particulate matter and keep your lungs clean and infection-free

  • 1 Year after Quitting: Your risk of coronary heart disease reduces by half as compared to smokers

  • 5 Years after Quitting: Your risk of cancer of the lungs, mouth, esophagus, blander and cervix is halved compared to regular smokers. Your chances of getting a stroke also reduce tremendously

Taking the Natural Way

While there are medications available to help smokers quit the habit, it is best to opt for natural methods. This way, you will have peace of mind knowing you will not experience short-term or long-term side effects that many medications can cause.

Health Benefits of Kicking the Habit

If you still think quitting is not right, look at these health benefits of quitting cigarette smoking.

  • Reduce Your Risk of Diseases: When you quit smoking, you don’t have to worry about cancers, respiratory disorders and other serious health issues that smokers are more likely to get compared to non-smokers.

  • Whiter Teeth: Nicotine stains teeth and causes you to have a foul breath. It also increases your risk of gum disease and premature tooth loss. Once you give up the habit, you will have whiter teeth and reduce the chances of gum disease.

  • Better Lung Capacity: Smoking reduces your lung capacity and this is the reason for shortness of breath. Within 9 months of stopping smoking you will notice a marked improvement in your lung capacity and also find a reduction in the chronic smoker’s cough.

  • Youthful Skin: The smoke emanating from cigarettes contains harmful chemicals and toxins that cause your skin to age before its time. Smoking also reduces the oxygen and vital nutrients to your skin, leading it to age prematurely.

Tips to Cope with Withdrawal Symptoms

Here are some invaluable tips that will help you cope with the withdrawal symptoms you experience once you decide you have had enough of cigarettes.

  • Group Therapy: Use group meetings as a way to cope with the symptoms. You also can read self-help books to learn ways and means to overcome the withdrawal symptoms.

  • Use Substitutes: If your craving for a cigarette becomes unbearable, use substitutes such as a chewing gum. You also can use stress balls to keep your fingers occupied.

  • Meditate: Learn to meditate to calm and relax your nerves. It also will help you cope with stressful situations in daily life which often can function as triggers to smoke.

Once you quit smoking, you will feel more energetic and rejuvenated. However, if you do have a slip-up or relapse, don’t be harsh on yourself. Instead, learn from your mistake, strengthen your commitment to giving up smoking and keep surging forward. A brighter, healthier and more enjoyable future awaits you.