When wanting to quit smoking, the first thing someone thinks about is what happens when you quit smoking cigarettes. There are many things that can happen when someone quits smoking. Everything from an improved health to cravings and better lung capacity to symptoms of withdrawal can all happen from the moment someone makes the decision to stop smoking.
What Happens When You Quit Smoking? *
There are many things that can start happening from the moment a person quits smoking. Some of the things a person can expect to happen may include some symptoms of withdrawal and improvements in their overall health and well-being. Though some of these changes can be noticed immediately, it may take several months to several years to see the full benefits of quitting smoking.
Symptoms of Withdrawal *
According to the National Cancer Institute, there are different withdrawal symptoms most experience when trying to stop smoking. According to a study performed by the National Cancer Institute, more than half of those studied experienced at least four of the of the common symptoms of withdrawal. These withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Nicotine cravings
- Feelings of anger, frustration and irritability
- Weight gain
These symptoms tend to be the strongest in the beginning, shortly after smoking the last cigarette. The discomfort associated with the symptoms will generally lessen after the first month. From there the cravings and other symptoms will gradually decrease in intensity until they are completely gone.
Smoking Triggers *
There are several things that can trigger a craving for a cigarette. These triggers may feel worse when someone is trying to quit smoking. Some triggers may be set off be a person’s mood, their location or by something they used to smoke a cigarette while doing. Some triggers may include:
- Socializing with other smokers
- Starting off the day
- Feeling stressed out
- Sitting in a car
- Drinking coffee or tea with friends
- After a meal
- Drinking an alcoholic beverage
- Being bored
If for some reason these triggers get you to break down and smoke a cigarette, do not let that get you depressed or feeling like a failure. This happens. The next thing to do is move on and look forward to being smoke-free.
What Happens to Your Body When You Quit Smoking? *
There are many changes that start happening to the body from the moment a person stops smoking their final cigarette. According to the Centers for Disease Control, a person’s blood pressure, pulse rate and temperatures of their hands and feet start to return to normal. These changes are just the beginning to what happens to your body when you make the decision to quit smoking.
Here are some of the other things that happen to the body after a person stops smoking cigarettes:
- Blood oxygen levels start to return to normal
- Carbon monoxide levels in the blood start to drop
- Damaged nerve endings start to regrow
- Tastes buds return to normal
- Sense of smell improves
- Lung function improves
- Risk of a heart attack and stroke decreases
- Blood circulation improves
- Sinus congestion diminishes
- Energy increases
What Happens When You Quit Smoking Weed? *
Just like those who smoke cigarettes, those who smoke marijuana will go through symptoms of withdrawal. Those who quit smoking weed will also notice an improvement in their overall health and well-being. According to Stop Smoking Weed Today, quitting marijuana may be difficult, but not as difficult as it is for those who smoke cigarettes. Though there are side effects and it does take time to get over cravings; these cravings are not as unbearable as the withdrawal symptoms for those who stop smoking cigarettes.
Physical and mental side effects experienced by those who stop smoking marijuana may include:
- Weird and intense dreams
- Mood swings
- Loss of appetite
Over time, someone who quits smoking weed will experience one or more of the following improvements:
- More energy
- Increased brain power
- Fat loss
- More time
Timeline for Quitting Smoking *
Just like with anything else in life, there is a natural progression of events. These timelines give us a better idea of what to expect and what happens when someone does something. Those who want to be smoke-free will be happy to know that the “what happens when you quit smoking timeline” progresses rather quickly. According to Healthline Networks, here is a sample timeline of what you can expect when you plan to quit smoking:
- 20 minutes: Heart rate starts to drop back to normal
- 2 hours: Heart rate and blood pressure have returned to near normal levels, circulation starts to improve and fingers and toes start to feel warm.
- 2 hours: Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal begin, including cravings, anxiety, sleepiness and increased appetite.
- 12 hours: Carbon monoxide starts to decrease in the body’s bloodstream.
- 24 hours: Risk for a heart attack reduces
- 48 hours: Sense of smell and taste is enhanced.
- 3 days: Nicotine is completely out of the body.
- 2-3 weeks: Improved lung function and better breathing abilities.
- 1-9 months: Lungs start to repair themselves and withdrawal symptoms go away.
- 1 year: Risk of heart disease is reduced by at least 50 percent.
- 5 years: Lower risk of having a stroke.
- 10 years: Lower risk of lung cancer.
- 15 years: Lower risk of heart disease.
- Long-Term: Increase of life expectancy.
What Happens When You Quit Smoking Cold Turkey? *
Some people who want to quit smoking make the decision to quit smoking cold turkey. This means that they have made the decision to stop smoking with no preparation or internal debate over if they want to quit or not. For some, the decision to quit cold turkey can come from a medical condition or a scare when they are admitted to the hospital for something related to their smoking habits.
According to WhyQuit.com, those who make the decision to quit smoking cold turkey may experience heightened feelings of pain, suffering and drudgery. For some, it may be easier to quit smoking using this method. Though it may be tougher in the beginning, the withdrawal period is shorter and the cravings become less intense faster.
Quitting cold turkey gets the nicotine out of the system faster than someone who starts to wean themselves off of cigarettes by reducing the number they have each day until they no longer need one. Without the nicotine in the system, there is less of a chance they will experience cravings.
What Happens to Your Lungs When You Quit Smoking? *
The British Lung Foundation says it is never too late to quit smoking and it is the most important thing you can do. In fact, those who stop smoking now will start seeing many health improvements within hours of quitting. Even those who suffer from breathing complications will experience huge improvements in their health and medical condition.
Smoking can cause a variety of medical conditions and could greatly affect the function of the lungs. Those who smoke may experience:
- Trouble breathing, especially when being physically active
- Rough cough that produces a large amount of mucous
- Frequent chest infections
- Chronic wheezing
After a person quits smoking, all of these medical conditions will start to diminish. They will continue to diminish until they have all together disappeared and the lungs have healed.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, as of 2009 approximately 46 million adults in the United States smoke cigarettes. There are many reasons why someone may not make the decision to quit smoking. However, when they do, they can expect that they will go through one or more of the above symptoms of withdrawal and improvements in their health.