NHS Bristol Smokefree
 

Why should I stop?

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Health benefits

When your body is smokefree it can start to repair the damage that has been done by years of smoking.

Going smokefree is the biggest single thing you can do to improve your health.. and the best news is the health benefits are immediate!  

 Quitting timeline 

  • 20 minutes
    Your blood pressure and pulse rate return to normal.

  • 8 hours
    Nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in blood reduce by half and oxygen levels return to normal.

  • 24 hours
    Carbon monoxide eliminated from your body. Lungs start to clear out mucus and other smoking debris.

  • 48 hours
    Congratulations! Your body is now nicotine-free. And have you noticed how your sense of taste and smell have improved?

  • 72 hours
    Your breathing becomes easier, bronchial tubes begin to relax and energy levels increase.

  • 2-12 weeks
    Circulation is now improved throughout your body. It’s easier for you to walk and exercise.

  • 3-9 months
    Lung efficiency is up by 5-10%. Breathing problems are fading away. Say goodbye to coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing.

  • 5 years
    Risk of heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker.

  • 10 years
    Your chance of getting lung cancer is now half that of a smoker. Your chance of having a heart attack is now the same as someone who never smoked.
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There are over 4,000 chemicals in cigarettes, and 51 of them are known to be carcinogenic.

A carcinogen is something that causes cancer. 

What cancers are caused by smoking? 

  017689

 

 

Nicotine withdrawal symptoms

Physical withdrawal from nicotine is temporary, but it can be uncomfortable while it lasts. Quitter's flu is a term used to describe this phase of smoking cessation because nicotine withdrawal symptoms often mimic a cold or a mild case of the flu. Understanding what to expect when you quit smoking will help you move through this stage more easily. 

The following list contains commonly reported symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Most people experience some of these, but rarely all of them. Each person goes through this phase of recovery from nicotine addiction a little differently. But for most people, these discomforts are short-lived. 

  • Cravings to smoke

  • Irritable, cranky

  • Insomnia

  • Fatigue

  • Inability to concentrate

  • Headache

  • Cough

  • Sore throat

  • Constipation, gas, stomach pain

  • Dry mouth

  • Sore tongue and/or gums

 Check with your doctor if you're concerned about a physical reaction you're having to smoking cessation, or if nicotine withdrawal symptoms persist.