If you’re thinking about ditching your smoking habit, you’re in luck. 2020 is the year of change, and with the Coronavirus pandemic still in full effect, there’s never been a better time to put cigarettes aside for the sake of your health and the health of those around you. Smokers can potentially spread the Coronavirus much further than non-smokers via respiratory droplets that escape when they exhale smoke. Smokers also have excess fluid in the lungs and often cough more.
Aside from all of that, smoking is just an overall bad decision. It costs money, causes health problems, and destroys property. Smoking in your home can devalue it by up to 29%! Let’s take a look at how your body starts to recover once you’ve quit smoking, as well as some tools to help you along your cessation journey.
The organs that are primarily affected by a smoking habit are the heart and lungs. When you breathe in cigarette smoke, you’re breathing in thousands of toxins, which immediately start to coat the lungs and attack your internal systems. Carbon monoxide binds to hemoglobin, affecting the red blood cells’ ability to transport oxygen. The alveoli (tiny air sacs in the lungs that facilitate gas exchange) suffer damage and begin to shrivel. Your blood vessels constrict, raising your blood pressure and putting unnecessary stress on the heart and vessels.
Quitting smoking may very well save your heart and lungs. Within just a few hours of your last cigarette, blood pressure drops and makes its way toward normal levels. The alveoli begin trying to repair themselves. After a few months, the blood vessels relax, the lungs are knee-deep in the healing process, and you’re going to notice you can breathe easier and move around better.
The skin is an organ that most people seem to forget when they talk about smoking. It’s the body’s largest organ, and arguably its most important. The skin acts as your first line of defense against pathogens, and is aesthetically pleasing as well. When you smoke, the collagen and elastin in your skin that gives it that firm, supple, shiny look starts to break down. That’s why smokers often develop wrinkles, sagging skin, and age lines/spots.
Smoking can also discolor your skin and leave a lingering smell on fingers and lips. You’ve probably noticed some brownish-yellow discoloration on the tips of your fingers. This is from the tar and other harsh chemicals in your cigarettes. Yuck!
When you quit smoking, your oxygen levels return to normal, as does your sense of taste and smell. You’ll find that you have greater energy and motivation throughout the day, since your body’s most important systems are getting the oxygen and nutrients they need.
According to the World Health Organization, smoking cessation can actually reduce your risk of heart disease and heart attack by up to 50%. Smoking is one of the leading causes of heart disease, and since heart disease still ranks as the #1 killer of adults in the US, it’s definitely a good time to address the problem. Quit smoking, and you might save your heart. It’s that simple.
If you want to quit smoking in the near future, you might need some help along the way. Nicotine addiction isn’t easy to break, so here are some tools to help in your cessation efforts:
Cessation apps can help you connect with a larger community of smoke-free individuals or people who are currently sharing your journey. They can also help you track your progress and let you know when you’ve hit important milestones in your journey.
If you’re not ready to give up nicotine all at once, you can try switching to tobacco-free dip from companies like Black Buffalo. This option gives you the benefit of still keeping the ritual of using tobacco, but without the harmful chemicals that tobacco leaves contain.
If you don’t care for dip in any form, you can try out the nicotine patch or gum. Many smokers have found success using either method, but the results will usually vary from person to person. Your results can vary based on your nicotine addiction, body chemistry, and mental fortitude for resisting the temptation.
You can always try something new, too. CBD gummies and oils are a popular option for people trying to quit because CBD has anti-anxiety properties. This helps control the anxiety that accompanies nicotine withdrawal. The best CBD gummies, like those from Verma Farms, are made from high-quality CBD extract sourced directly from organic, domestically-grown hemp.
Leaving smoking behind for good is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. Your body will start to heal itself within hours of your last cigarette, and given a few years, you’ll make a full recovery and reduce your risk for life-threatening diseases by over 50%. If that’s not incentive enough to quit, I don’t know what is.