Quitting an addiction is not easy, it never will. If you are planning to quit smoking, now is the right time. If you already have, that’s great news! CONGRATULATIONS, you are an ex-smoker now. But let me tell you, the next few weeks are not going to be easy. The withdrawal symptoms might make it difficult for you to cope with life right now and it will take some least 8-12 weeks before a person starts to feel comfortable with their new lifestyle change of being an ex-smoker.
The withdrawal symptoms of smoking tobacco include headaches, anxiety, nausea and a craving for more tobacco. Nicotine an addictive drug found in tobacco creates a chemical dependency, due to which the body develops a need for a certain level of nicotine at all times. Unless that level is maintained, the body will begin to go through withdrawal. The symptoms are unpleasant and stressful, but only temporary.
Here is the timeline of these symptoms:
20 minutes after you quit: The heart attack rate for smokers is 70 per cent higher than for non-smokers but only after 20 minutes of your last cigarette, your heart rate will start to turn back towards normal.
Two hours after you quit: Your heart rate and blood pressure decrease to near normal levels. Your peripheral circulation may also improve. The tips of your fingers and toes may start to feel warm. The withdrawal symptoms usually start about two hours after your last cigarette. Early withdrawal symptoms include.
- intense cravings
- anxiety, tension, or frustration
- drowsiness or trouble sleeping
- increased appetite
24 hours after you quit: Just one full day after quitting smoking, your risk for heart attack will reduce significantly.
Three days after you quit: It takes only three days for the nicotine to get completely out of your body. Unfortunately, that means that the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal will generally be at peak around this time. You may experience some physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea, or cramps.
One to nine months after you quit: Now your lungs begin to repair. Inside them, the cilia–the tiny, hair-like organelles that push mucus out–will start to repair themselves and function properly again. The risk of getting an infection is reduced. With properly functioning lungs, your coughing and shortness of breath may continue to decrease dramatically. Even for the heaviest smokers, withdrawal symptoms will take not more than the above-mentioned time period to go away.
One year after you quit: After a year without smoking, your risk for heart disease is lowered by 50 per cent compared to when you were still smoking. Another way to look at it is that a smoker is more than twice as likely as you are, to have any type of heart disease.
Five year after you quit: After five to 15 years of being smoke-free, your risk of having a stroke is the same as someone who doesn’t smoke.
15 years after you quit: Your risk of heart disease is back to the same level as someone who doesn’t smoke. You’ll no longer be at a higher-than-normal risk for a wide range of conditions like heart attack, coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, angina, infections of the heart, or conditions that affect your heart’s beating rhythms.”