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 normalIn 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 bodyCarbon 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 systemUnfortunately, 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 betterCigarette 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 mucusThis 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 moneySure, this isn’t exactly something that happens to your body, but it’s still very much worth noting (so start thinking of how else you can treat yourself with that money!).