quit smokingThe evidence in favour of quitting smoking is now stronger than it ever has been. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find someone who thinks that quitting smoking is a bad idea. But we can all agree that it’s a difficult step to take.

Have a read of our list of things you might discover when you finally kick the habit and see if it can motivate you to take that first step.

1.You’ll feel the effects sooner than you think

Surprisingly, the effects of quitting smoking can be felt as soon as 20 minutes after your last cigarette. In fact, a lot can change in your body in just 72 hours after making the decision to quit. The increased heart rate which comes as a result of the nicotine high will return to normal after 20 minutes, and within a couple of days the nicotine has completely left your body.

The levels of carbon monoxide in the blood reduce by more than half within eight hours and return to zero within two days. This is also when the first wave of withdrawal symptoms begin to hit – but rest assured in the knowledge that the uncomfortable sensations of nausea and a headache mean that your body is getting rid of all the smoke-related toxins.

2.Food will taste better

One side effect of smoking cigarettes is that it can wear down the nerve endings in your nose and mouth, greatly reducing your ability to smell and taste things. However, quitting smoking gives the nerve endings the chance to grow back – meaning you’ll be able to appreciate your food and drink again as soon as two days after your last cigarette.

3.You’ll breathe easier

We all know that smoking hits the lungs hard. Those gruesome photos of blackened smokers’ lungs on cigarette packets leave little to the imagination. But you will be pleased to know that quitting smoking can reverse this process and, in the majority of instances, the damage is not permanent.

Within a couple of weeks, as your blood circulation and heart function improves, you’ll be able to exercise again. Not only does this have myriad benefits for your entire body, it keeps the lungs working to deliver oxygen around the body. Your lung capacity can increase by up to 30% in the first 6 to 9 months after quitting smoking, which will make a huge difference to how you feel. Breathing will become much easier as your overall lung function increases by 10%.

4.You’ll have more spare cash

Quitting smoking will also stop you from burning a hole in your pocket – literally. The NHS estimates that, if the average person smokes 13 cigarettes a day, quitting smoking can leave you £141 better off each month. That’s £1,696 a year! Money has been tight for many of us in recent years, so stopping smoking is a brilliantly simple way to find yourself a lot of extra cash.

5.You’ll feel as if you never smoked at all

You may be shocked to discover that a lot of the damage done by smoking is almost entirely reversible. It takes a long time after quitting, but many of the increased health risks associated with smoking can return to the same levels as in someone who has never smoked in their life. Ten years after you quit smoking, for example, your risk of dying of lung cancer is half that of a regular smoker. Fifteen years after you quit, your risk of getting heart disease is the same as someone who has never smoked at all.

The same can be said for other cardiovascular issues such as arrhythmia. Studies have also suggested that the age at which you quit smoking can play a big part in cutting disease risk, with those who quit smoking before they were 30 having the same mortality risks down the line as someone who had never smoked a single cigarette.

Whilst quitting smoking is no doubt a difficult task, there are a number of aids available to help you quit. From nicotine replacement therapies to hypnotherapy to vaping, going cold turkey to using medications such as Champix, there has never been such an array of options for people keen to kick the habit. If you want to make the change this year – why not get in touch with our experienced quit smoking experts through the Live Chat function on your screen today.