Today is the Great American Smokeout. And for my regular visitors to the playground, it is my 60th Day Smoke-Free.
There are many reason to quit smoking. I could blog for days describing the reasons. If you smoke you know them. What you may not know are the benefits to not smoking:
Two Hours After Quitting.
Nicotine begins to leave your system. Some people may feel withdrawal pangs. This is a good sign. Your body is cleaning itself out. Hang in there. Within two days all the nicotine by-products will be gone.
After Six Hours.
Heart rate and blood pressure decrease (although it may take up to a month for them to return to their normal rates).
After Twelve Hours.
The carbon monoxide is completely out of your system. Your lungs work more efficiently and you can do more without becoming short of breath.
After Two Days.
Your sense of taste and smell sharpen. In addition, your breath, hair , fingers and teeth will be cleaner.
After One Week.
Most withdrawal symptoms are completely gone.
After Two Weeks.
Your circulation improves. So does your confidence level because you feel good about your progress. You begin to think of yourself as a non-smoker.
One To Nine Months.
Your body's overall energy level increases. Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath decrease.
Within Two Months.
Blood flow to your hands and feet improves, keeping them warmer. Your skin looks healthier.
Within Three Months.
The cilia (a hair-like cleaning system in the lungs) begin to recover and remove the mucous, so you can cough it up, cleaning your lungs and reducing the chance of infection. You may notice increased coughing for a few days.
After A Year.
Your risk of lung cancer is reduced and you have less of a risk of heart disease. Fifteen years after quitting, the risk approaches that of someone who has never smoked.
Then there are some side effects that the doctors will not tell you:
20 minutes after quitting.Yes it is worth it. I am pretty sure that murder committed during your quit is considered legal if the victim was smoking and blowing smoke in your direction. It would make an interesting case for the Supreme Court.
You begin looking for loopholes in your quit commitment, thinking about postponing the whole arrangement until after the next millennium begins.
After 8 hours.
You have already contemplated at least three murders and several other brutal acts of violence.
After 24 Hours.
Your city or town declares a mysterious and unforeseen water shortage, while municipal sewers are suddenly overwhelmed.
After one week.
You have consumed enough calories to sustain a Bengali village of 2000 for four years. Food shortages become critical within your region; pets and local wild animals become nervous.
After two weeks.
Quitzits establish early outposts on your face. Risk of Browser's Butt Syndrome (BBS) rises to equal that for 13-year-old boys with new computers and internet access. Smileys appear in your writing and begin to replicate :)
Within one month.
You have already begun to pester smokers and complain about the smell of their obnoxious cigarettes; IQ returns to low double-digits; Quitzits begin to function autonomously. Exclamation point shortages prevail across the land.
After six weeks
You may have experienced your first bowel movement since your quit began; if not, be patient, it will happen within a few more weeks.
After two months.
You begin to forget the pain and misery of the first week without cigarettes, and are wondering if you could, perhaps, remind yourself of what you've been missing; Quitzits establish territorial treaties with each other (with the exception of the Jewish and Arab Quitzits. They will be at war a bit longer).
After five months.
Intelligence returns to at least 60% of its pre-quit level; concentration remains a problem, at only 50%; carpal tunnel syndrome incidence exceeds all known levels for any keyboard-intensive occupation; you have typed more words than are contained within all the works of William Shakespeare, but with more flair and "sparkle".
After six months.
You wonder why you ever waited this long to quit.
It's way, way, worth it.
If you need help there are many on-line resources for you to use. I have been using QuitNet www.quitnet.com. They have a great group of people there. And a wonderful HTBC. Those guys helped me out of a tight spot a few times (Celery is Under the Left Rear Tire).
And a very special shoutout to Sabra of Stilettos in the Sand. She is on her first few days of a quit (Hell Week) and I know she can make it.
One secret I have is to take an Altoids every time I want a smoke. I gave up an $8 a day cigarette habit for a $1.5 a day Altoid habit. My lungs are clear and my breath is sweet smelling. Whatever helps you to quit works!
So let us celebrate today! Here is a video to make the celebration sparkle:
Pointer Sisters - I'm So Excited.