The Center for Disease Control and Prevention offers some very compelling reasons for a former smoker to stay nicotine-free. In fact, there is a whole list of reasons that should prove to be excellent incentive.
The benefits of quitting are tremendous and start with a heart rate that drops just 20 minutes after having the last cigarette.
A mere 12 hours after that last cigarette, the carbon monoxide in your blood stream will be at a normal level.
Within the first few months, the risk of heart attack starts to drop and the former smoker's lung function begins getting stronger and better.
Also within the first months, breathing will be easier and there will be less coughing. When you have not smoked for a year, the
coronary disease risk becomes half of what it was when you were smoking.
If you still need more incentive, just remain a non-smoker for 5 years and your risk of stroke begins reducing greatly. Somewhere between 5 and 15 years after quitting, although you won't know the exact moment it happens, you will suddenly not have more risk of having a stroke than a non-smoker always had!
Within a decade, your risks of various types of cancers is decreased. Last but not least, when you have reached your 15 year anniversary of being smoke-free, you can celebrate the fact that your risk of coronary heart disease has returned to an equal level as someone who has never smoked.
Extreme mood swings are common when you quit smoking, though not everyone has them. If you have too many other stresses in your life, it may not be the best time to quit smoking, which is stressful. You will be able to quit later, if you decide this is not the best time. If you have already quit more than a couple weeks ago and are still having trouble with mood swings, it would be a good idea to see a counselor who is experienced with addictions and/or smoking cessation.
Diseases aren't caused directly by smoking, but smoking increases the risk for diseases. Smoking makes it much more likely that you will get the disease. If you smoke, you are 22 times more likely to be at risk for lung cancer. Emphysema is very strongly associated with smoking. Other cancers, such as of the pancreas, kidney, and bladder, are more common in smokers. Smoking makes it 2 to 4 times more likely you will get heart disease, and twice as likely you will have a stroke. The likelihood of developing gum disease, osteoporosis, and asthma attacks is also higher in smokers. And those are just some of the diseases associated with smoking.
Hypnosis works. Multiple studies show that hypnosis is a viable and effective method to stop smoking.
One-time sessions with hypnotists are often used to help a smoker kick cigarettes. However, multiple sessions are even more effective.
The Non-Smokers Edge is a 7 disc CD set authored by Dr. Randy Gilchrist. This audio program gives smokers multiple hypnosis sessions to help them stop smoking with hypnosis right in the comfort of their own home, and at a fraction of the price of live sessions with a hypnotherapist.
Go back into the recesses of your mind and conjure up the “you” who didn't smoke. Think of the “you” who had never been scarred by inhaling a cigarette. Did you feel more energetic? Were you more physically active?
Chances are you'll have a hard time remembering just how you felt before you were a smoker, because for most it was many years ago. If this is the case, talk to others that have quit and find out what keeps them smoke free. What benefits have they gained that are so important to them that it's worth the struggle they went through to succeed and to stay a success.
When you decide to quit smoking, making a list of reasons to quit can help tremendously. Pick a number, and start there. So once you have 5 things on your list, pin it up somewhere in your home that will grab your attention multiple times on a daily basis. Once you think of more reasons (There are always more reasons) add them to your list. Make a game of it, and let it help you through the process to succeed!
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|