No Smoking Day: 6 things that happen in the first 48 hours of quitting cigarettes14th Mar 18 | Lifestyle
Giving up smoking isn't all about what happens in the long-term.
As anyone who has attempted to quit smoking will tell you, the first few days are usually the hardest.
What with withdrawals and cravings, it’s altogether too easy to fall off the wagon. However, new quitters shouldn’t be too disheartened – because there really is a whole host of health benefits to gain, and some of them will happen surprisingly quickly.
While giving up cigarettes has countless long-term benefits that are more than worthwhile, indeed, the short-term shouldn’t be ignored. Fair enough, not everything will feel instantly positive (cravings are never easy), but here’s everything you need to know about what typically happens during the first 48 hours of giving up smoking…
1. Your pulse returns to normal
In fact, this happens just 20 minutes after you have your last cigarette, as smoking raises your heart rate and blood pressure.
2. Carbon monoxide is eliminated from the body
Carbon monoxide can lead to cardiovascular problems, so after just 24 of stopping smoking, your risk of heart attack will start to decrease.
3. Nicotine leaves your system
Unfortunately, this means you’ll also start experiencing withdrawals and cravings. However, as tough as these can be, withdrawals should start to reduce and pass in less than a week – and remember, there are lots of handy techniques and nicotine-replacement products out there that can really help with this.
4. You can taste and smell better
Cigarette smoke dulls your senses. After 48 hours, your nerve endings will begin to grow back, meaning that your taste and smell will improve.
5. Your lungs start to clear out mucus
This can result in a more intense cough than you’re used to. However, as your oxygen levels return to normal, you’ll probably start finding it easier to breathe than before.
6. You’ll save money
Sure, this isn’t exactly something that happens to your body, but it’s still very much worth noting. Take a look at the average cost of smoking. A 20-pack of Marlboro from Tesco costs £10.70, and the ONS says that the average male smoker has 12 cigarettes a day. Taking this into account, if you stop smoking for just two days, you’ll save yourself £12.84. This really isn’t a small amount of money – particularly as over a year this will add up to nearly £2,350 (so start thinking of how else you can treat yourself with that money!).
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