Want to quit smoking? Here’s how your body will react and how to stick with it

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We hear a lot about the unpleasant consequences of quitting smoking. What should we expect and how can we persevere?

How do you stop smoking?

Whether it’s your first time trying to quit smoking or just another attempt, you know that it’s an extremely difficult task. Statistics show that not many people actually quit. The most important thing is motivation. If we do not motivate ourselves, we will not be able to overcome the first difficulties that arise. Quitting smoking is based on the same principles as fighting other addictions. Just like in the case of alcoholism, it all starts with a desire. Knowing that cigarettes are bad for your health won’t help if you don’t feel that you really want to quit. However, being aware of the negative consequences of smoking is helpful in making the final decision.

Increase your motivation to stop smoking

In the beginning, it is a good idea to write down all the negative effects of taking this stimulant. This will definitely increase your motivation. Experts emphasize that you should prepare yourself for the side effects of quitting cigarettes. It is not easy, but it is worth persevering.

Side effects of quitting smoking – what can we expect?

The first few days are the hardest. This is when our body and psyche are under the greatest attack. In addition to the usual need to reach for a cigarette, you can expect the onset of withdrawal syndrome symptoms, which, contrary to appearances, does not only occur in the case of quitting alcohol

Typical symptoms of this syndrome include

  • coughing,
  • headaches,
  • anxiety,
  • insomnia,
  • trouble concentrating,
  • constipation,
  • irritability

It is not unusual for the body to react to withdrawal from a substance that has been providing it for a long time. This is the body’s own defense against being deprived of what it has become addicted to. Even at this stage it is worth remembering that the unpleasant symptoms will subside after a few days. It is worth taking care of the support of family members and friends

How do I keep my resolve?

An effective smoking cessation program is based on the choice of a specific day “0”, from which you will stop smoking cigarettes completely. It is important to realize that there will be more difficult moments. If you happen to smoke a cigarette after the “0” day, don’t break down and don’t give up on your resolution. A common mistake is giving up on quitting smoking because we broke down and lit a cigarette. It’s at times like this that you can reach for notes stating “why you quit smoking”. It’s a good idea to ask someone close to you for support. Take small steps towards your goal

Positive effects of quitting smoking

Although the withdrawal syndrome lasts for the first few days, you will definitely notice that your body not only feels the negative effects of quitting smoking, but also the positive changes in your body. The first effect is familiar to us, as it appears as early as 20 minutes after putting out the cigarette. This is when your heart rate and blood pressure level off. Then:

  • after 8 hours, the concentration of oxygen in the blood increases. As the circulation throughout the body improves, our internal organs have better access to the oxygen they need to function;
  • after another 16 hours, carbon dioxide is removed from the body;
  • within two days of quitting smoking, you will notice a sharpening of two of your senses: smell and taste;
  • during the third day, the bronchial tubes relax and you will notice that you can breathe easily;
  • the following days result in an improvement in our condition, an increase in the efficiency of our lungs, and a better moisturized complexion.


Main photo: Julia Sakelli/

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