Identifying the reasons why you want to stop smoking
may seem like a silly exercise, especially in the face of the overwhelming
evidence that confronts us every day regarding the hazards of cigarette
smoking. Our reasons for quitting, however, are unquestionably important.
In order to be successful in your effort, the benefits of quitting
must be forceful and compelling. They are your wishes, desires,
and your goals in eliminating the cigarette habit. They will enhance
and deepen your commitment to stop smoking and increase your motivation.
Knowing your own reasons for wanting to stop smoking and accepting
them as genuine can make the often imperceptible difference between
those who succeed and those who don't.
- Increased energy levels and strength
- Decreased chest pain
- A longer life
- Decreased hand tremors
- Feel calmer and more relaxed
- Decreased craving for nicotine
- Feel more fit
- Decreased coffee consumption
- Less chance of having an unhealthy baby
- Cut down on alcohol intake
- Eliminate stained fingers
- Improved immunities to colds, flu, other diseases
- Easier breathing
- Improved sleep
- Brighter eyes
- Eliminate sore throat
- Less chance of cancer
- Lower blood pressure
- Decreased headaches
- Whiter teeth
- Cleaner house, clothes, carpet, furniture, drapes
- Look/feel younger
- Better sexual response
- Within 20 minutes of your last cigarette:
Blood pressure drops to normal, pulse rate
drops to normal, body temperature of hands and feet increase to
- Within 8 hours:
Carbon monoxide level in blood drops to
- Within 24 hours:
Chance of heart attack decreases.
- After 48 hours:
Nerve endings start regrowing - ability
to smell and taste is enhanced.
- After 72 hours:
Bronchial tubes relax, making breathing
easier - lung capacity increases.
- After 2 weeks to 3 months:
Circulation improves - walking becomes easier
- lung function increases up to 30%.
- After 1 month to 9 months:
Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, shortness
of breath decreases - cilia regrow in lungs, increasing ability
to handle mucus, clean the lungs, reduce infection - body's overall
energy level increases.
- After 5 years:
Lung cancer death rate for average smoker
(one pack per day) decreases from 137 per 100,000 people to 72
per 100,000 (after 10 years rate drops to 12 deaths per 100,000
or almost the rate of nonsmokers).
- After 10 years:
Precancerous cells are replaced - other
cancers (such as those of the mouth, larynx, esophagus, bladder,
kidney, and pancreas) decrease - there are 30 chemicals in tobacco
smoke that cause cancer.
Don't worry about whether you"ll make it tomorrow,
the weekend, next week, next month, over the long run. Just think
about right now, this minute, this hour, and this day. That's as
far as you have to go for now. Take each day as it comes.
If you've ever tried to quit, we don't have to
tell you that one cigarette leads to another. Don't fool yourself
even for a second -- thinking that one cigarette won't hurt is a
rationalization that is the downfall of many ex-smokers.
As noted above, it's difficult to stay a nonsmoker
once you've had a cigarette. Do everything you possibly can to avoid
it, but if you slip:
- Recognize and acknowledge that you've had a
slip, and do something now to prevent further slips.
- Think positively; don't put yourself down.
- Identify what happened; review your material,
and plan accordingly.
- Renew your commitment - get back on track.