There is no safe amount of cigarette smoke. When you smoke over 5,000 chemicals enter your lungs and are carried by the blood to every area of your body. As over 80% of cigarette smoke is odourless and invisible, breathing in second hand smoke is also a risk to those around you, no matter how careful you are.
Cutting down the number of cigarettes you smoke might seem like a good way to improve your health, but there is little evidence that cutting down reduces the risk of smoking related illness or mortality. This is most likely because smokers who choose to cut down smoke each cigarette with more intensity (by smoking every cigarette completely, taking longer drags or by holding the smoke in their lungs for longer) to try to keep their nicotine level stable.
This means that the best option is to quit smoking completely, the good news is that only 20 minutes after you quit, your body starts to heal itself.
- After 20 minutes your pulse rate will start to return to normal.
- After 8 hours your oxygen levels will be returning to normal, and carbon monoxide levels in your blood will have reduced by half.
- After 48 hours your body will have flushed out all carbon monoxide. Your lungs will start to clear out mucus, and your sense of taste and smell will have improved.
Nicotine in cigarettes is addictive, and as your body gets used to not having this chemical you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as irritability or trouble sleeping which can make you feel worse rather than better. Stick with it! Withdrawal is not dangerous and although it can be stronger in the first week of quitting, support from our stop smoking service can make it more manageable.
No Smoking Day 2019
No Smoking Day is the perfect time to quit smoking or to make a plan to quit. Here is what some of the people we have been helping to quit said about their quit experience:
“The first 24 hours during my quit I used nicotine patches and it was OK to start with. However, as the day progressed I began to feel quite ill and kept finding things to do with my hands to take my concentration away from it.”
“My first 24 hours during my quit were hard. I was concerned that I wasn’t going to be able to keep to my quit. I kept reminding myself of all the reasons I needed to do this, and that it would be worth it in the end.“
“The first day was crazy hard. But Vaping really helped me during my quit. I have now been smoke free for 8 months.”
“The detox can be quite cruel at times, and it really had an impact on my sleep quality and fatigue. I have now been smoke free for three weeks and am very determined to keep to my quit.“
The chemicals in cigarettes impact you in more ways than you realise. When you quit and see improvements to the illnesses or discomforts that you’ve been living with for example headaches, sinus irritation, and fatigue) you may start to realise how much better you feel smoke. When we asked Kathleen about her quitting experience, this is what she said:
“Me and husband decided to quit together mainly for health reasons, but we have also noticed a huge difference financially after our quit. It has been a lot easier to quit with someone else.“
Before he came to us, Keith had been a smoker for 47 years. When we asked what motivates Keith to keep to his quit, he said:
“It is really difficult to quit, but I am glad I did. I am very proud of what I have accomplished in the last 6 weeks.”
Don’t let the fear of quitting stop you. The benefits you’ll experience in the short and long term are well worth the work it takes to achieve, and you’re four times more likely to quit with our support than if you go it alone. To take part in No Smoking Day 2019 on the 13th of March, and find out how we can support you during your quit, visit One You Leeds.