The health benefits of stopping smoking start just 20 minutes after your last cigarette. If you would like to quit but but find it difficult– don’t worry. There are many methods out there that are designed to help you stop smoking. Read on and find out why you should take the first step.
What are the benefits if I stop?
It only takes 20 minutes for the first benefit to kick in. In less than half an hour after your last cigarette, your pulse returns to normal. It only takes hours for the next improvement to jump start. The table below shows how long it takes for your health to completely go back to normal after you’ve decided that this cigarette is your last.
There are many more benefits to stopping smoking. Your health gets better, giving way to many more positive lifestyle changes due to an improved sense of smell and taste, a brighter complexion and a heavier wallet. After all, smoking isn’t cheap.
What’s Happening to My Health
Your pulse rate will return to normal.
The nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in your blood will be more than halved. Your oxygen levels will also return to normal.
Carbon monoxide is eliminated from the body. Your lungs start to clear out mucus and other smoking debris. There is no nicotine in the body. Ability to taste and smell is improved.
Your energy levels will increase and your breathing will become easier.
Your circulation will improve.
Your lung function will increase by up to 10%. This will help improve wheezing, coughs and breathing problems.
Your risk of heart disease reduces to about half that of a smoker.
Your risk of lung cancer drops to half that of a smoker.
Your risk of heart attack drops to the same as a person who hasn’t ever smoked.
What help is available for me to stop smoking?
Help from Your Pharmacy
Visit your local pharmacy or NHS stop smoking service to get information and advice on your quit smoking journey.
Help with Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) can help improve your chances of quitting. There’s lots of different NRT out there so find the product that best works for you and make sure you always read the instructions so you know you’re using it properly.
Different Types of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
Stop Smoking Patches
One of the most popular ways to quit smoking is using a NRT patch.
This is an easy and discreet way to help you on your way to giving up smoking.
Patches release a controlled amount of nicotine into the bloodstream through the skin.
The amount of nicotine they release varies depending on the strength of the patch and whether is it a 24 hour patch or just a day-wear one.
Wearing the 24 hour patch may help particularly with early morning cravings.
Gum helps tackle the cravings by absorbing nicotine from the gum through the lining of the mouth. It comes in two doses, 2mg and 4mg, as well as different flavours. This may be a good option for you if you miss the action of smoking in particular.
Nicotine Lozenges and Strips
Similar to nicotine gum, lozenges and strips work so that the nicotine is absorbed through the lining of the mouth. This method may be right for you in you are looking for a discreet way to stop smoking and don’t enjoy or can’t chew gum.
Nicotine Inhalators or Inhalers
Inhalators may be the method for you if you miss the hand-to-mouth action of smoking. Nicotine inhalators or inhalers release nicotine vapour into your mouth when you inhale.
This method provides a fast relief and is absorbed through the lining of the mouth just like gum and lozenges.
Other Methods to Stop Smoking
There are many people out there who want to quit smoking just like you. If you would like to share your experience and get support, you may want to attend smoking cessation meetings.
Other non-medical ways to quit smoking include acupuncture and hypnosis.