Most people are aware that smoking has two long term effects on the body- lung cancer and heart disease, but find that even those health risks are not strong enough to overcome the addictive chemicals that are in cigarettes. Many people who are smokers can not seem to kick the habit although they know that it is not a healthy choice that they are making. Once a person decides to quit smoking, there is a process that they should take to aid their decision to quit. The first decision is the decision to quit, then the next step should be to pick a quit date and then commit to a 5 day plan of things to do leading up to that date.
Day 5 of the plan should be to make a list of the reasons that you are going to quit smoking. You must have reasons and the top one could be to regain your health. You should also tell friends and family that you intend to quit. These people could make a great support group for you in the next few days or even weeks. Finally, stop buying cigarettes. Try to buy a few packs that you think that you will smoke in the next three to four days, but no extras.
Day 4 of the plan you should really pay attention to when and where you smoke. Why do you smoke at those times? Is it habit to smoke at those times? Many people will smoke immediately following a meal? If you have habits like these, find something else that you can do at those times. Many smokers find that smoking is a habit for them. Find something else to hold in your hand at the time you normally hold a cigarette. After studying yourself, you may find that it might be easier to begin to give up the habit of smoking than you originally thought your decision to stop smoking might be.
Day 3 of the plan is the day to consider the money you will save. Figure up what you spend each week on smoking and find something else you can do with the money. You may find that you have more money to spend on hobbies or even enough that if you save it for a year, it could add up to a big purchase. Also consider who you can contact if you have an urge to smoke that will aid you in fighting that urge. Look for support groups in your area, contact the local health department and see if they offer any support programs or hotlines. Find a friend who knows what you are dealing with because they have already quit.
Day 2 of the plan is the day to get help if you think that you will need it. Buy the nicotine patches or gum or see the doctor if you are looking for medicine to help aid you in the process. Many doctors recommend Chantix and I believe that it is a great aid in the process of quitting but I also know that my husband suffered many bad dreams when he was on it and had to stop taking it. Be careful of any of these products as they all can have side effects.
Day 1 of the plan you should throw all of the lighters and ashtrays away or at least put them out of sight. Also destroy all of the remaining cigarettes if you have any at the end of the day. It might be a good idea to clean all of the clothes that any trace of smoke or tobacco smell on them as you do not want to wake up and have to wear something that smells of smoke if you are now smoke free. Tomorrow is your quit date and you should know the day may be difficult, but you can succeed.
Now you are to your quit date, so keep busy and remind family and friends that you are quitting today. Stay away from alcohol or any place that you might feel the urge to smoke and do something special or give yourself a treat today at the end of the day when you have gone a few hours without smoking. Know that you have made the right decision and although it may be hard for awhile, every hour and day that you make it smoke free is more time to allow it to get easier on you to avoid that habit of reaching for that cigarette. Also take a look at how your body begins to heal itself after you stop smoking. That healing process begins within twenty minutes.
The body can make repairs quickly and does that after you stop smoking. Within twenty minutes, your blood pressure begins to decrease to a more normal level and your heartbeat begins to stabilize. The temperature of your hands and feet will change as the blood flow begins to regulate better.
Within 6 hours, the carbon monoxide level and oxygen level in the blood has decreased back to normal. Also your breathing will begin to improve as the mucus has begun to clear from the lungs. Many people say that they feel better after only 6 hours of being smoke free.
Within 24 hours, your chances for heart disease have begun to decrease as well. Imagine how much better you should feel in 48 hours? At that time, your sense of smell and taste has improved and your nerve endings are regrowing.
Within 3 months, you should notice big changes as you now have improved circulation, lung function, and immune system. You should notice that walking is easier now as well. Your oxygen level has improved a great deal and many once strenuous activities might be easier now.
Within a year of your quit date, you have lowered your risk of heart disease in half of that of a smoker and you should notice less coughing and wheezing, as well as normal lung function. It takes a little longer to lower your risk of lung cancer and stroke, but you are on the right path and if you have made it for the first year, celebrate and know that you are an ex-smoker and have made a real choice in your life to live a fuller, healthier life.