We’ve talked before about the everyday benefits and how much money you’d save if you quit smoking. There’s nothing stopping you from quitting, but sometimes the thoughts of quitting and what will happen to you when you quit can be a big deterrent.
However, forewarned is forearmed, as they say, and there are ways to prepare for the potentially shaky first few weeks of quitting smoking.
5 Things that happen when you quit smoking
For many smokers, quitting isn’t easy, and the side effects can remain for a short time after dumping cigarettes, even for those who have switched to vaping.
So what are the side-effects when you quit smoking and how should you deal with them?
While it may feel like a lot longer, that means that if you stick it out for the length of a pop song, it should pass. There are many techniques, from writing and re-reading reasons why you quit in the first place, to substituting something else (a glass of water or a cup of tea) or, if you want to do something clinically proven to help, exercise, which can be anything from a jog to a brief walk.
Doctors say that the cravings will diminish after a few weeks, so it does get easier.
2. Your appetite returns
Cigarettes have a reputation as an appetite suppressant, and a common fear in quitting cigarettes is that it will lead to weight gain. Web MD acknowledges that weight gain is a possible factor but that it’s often overstated.
They advise stocking up on healthy snacks and scheduling in light exercise like a walking programme. This will also serve to distract you from those nasty cravings.
3. Mood swings
Like most of the symptoms discussed here, post-cigarette mood swingzs are a common but manageable side-effect of ditching cigarettes. Psych Central explains it succinctly, saying:
“once the brain has adapted to the daily dose of the drug, it seems abnormal to the brain if the user attempts to abstain.”
Myvmc.com acknowledges the difficulties of post-smoking mood swings, but suggests simple solutions, such as keeping an eye on sleep, exercise and the use of self-efficacy (self-examination during a craving).
4. Coughs and colds
Here’s a quote from a doctor’s blog on the effect smoking has on your immune system :“Smokers are more at risk to develop bacterial, viral and/or fungal infections, parasites, ulcers, cancer, bronchitis, pneumonia, infertility, high blood pressure, and many more health issues. Why? Smoking depresses the body’s immune response so there is less protection available. A smoker’s body is also more toxic, so the liver is more stressed – making it a target for disease as well.”
So your immune system, hitherto combating the symptoms that cigarettes bring, will be in for a shock.
Thankfully, doctors say the increased potential coughs and colds only last a couple of weeks. Again, preparation is the key; so if you plan to stop smoking, start addressing your immune system now. This Harvard health site suggests intake of the relevant vitamins you need, consuming fresh fruit and vegetables and avoiding stressful situations (where possible!).
5. The Good Stuff
Finally we get to the good stuff that happens!
As we’ve discussed before, when you ditch cigarettes, your breathing, finances, overall health, appearance and even sex life stand to improve. And if you don’t believe us, why don’t you give it a go?!
The incentives are there, the obstacles can be conquered, and over 50,000 Irish people have switched from smoking to vaping, so you can too!
Do you find the thoughts of quitting smoking stop you from quitting? Let us know!