Today, there have been smoking bans in the workplaces and public areas that are supposed to protect non-smokers from the negative effects of second hand smoke. For individuals who choose to stop smoking, there are many different benefits that can be seen and felt almost immediately after stopping. Some of these can come within twenty minutes of not having a cigarette and others come as the days and weeks go by without smoking.
During the first eight hours of stopping smoking, there are benefits that are already seen. First, the blood pressure returns to normal in most cases and the temperature of the person’s extremities also return to normal. In addition, the amount of nicotine in the person’s body will have taken an over ninety percent reduction from the normal levels that it is used to having. This is assuming of course that the person has quit cold turkey, so to speak, rather than using some of the nicotine replacement therapies such as patches and gum.
Between twelve hours and two days, there are more benefits of stopping smoking. The person’s oxygen level in the blood will increase and the damage nerve endings will begin to grow again. The person’s sense of smell and taste will also benefit from stopping smoking during this time period. Once seventy-two hours have passed, the body is finally entirely nicotine free. This period of time is the worst for the withdrawal systems for the person who is stopping smoking.
During the first week, the craving periods that are experienced usually come about three times per day and will last for at least three minutes. This does not seem like a long period of time, but it can seem like an eternity to those experiencing these strong, addictive cravings. By the end of two to four weeks, the benefits of stopping smoking are becoming even clearer. Lung function has started to improve by this time and the heart is also becoming stronger. There are also benefits of stopping smoking in regards of sinus issues that were related to smoking. The energy levels of most individuals will also increase by the nine month mark of not smoking and by one year, the risk of coronary heart disease has dropped significantly from where it was when the person was a smoker.