What Will Happen If You Suddenly Stop Smoking?

Medically Reviewed on 10/11/2021
quitting smoking
Since tobacco use leads to nicotine addiction, you may experience nicotine withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability, anxiety, and weight gain.

The benefits of quitting smoking may begin immediately, and the person may feel normal within a few years.

Within days:

  • Blood pressure and heart rate return to normal. Blood circulation may improve.
  • Carbon monoxide levels in the blood may decrease and eventually get eliminated.
  • The oxygen level may return to normal, and the risk of a heart attack may be reduced.
  • Breathing may become easier.

Within weeks:

  • Both lung function and blood circulation improve.

Within a few months:

Within a year or two:

  • The risk of heart and lung diseases is considerably reduced compared with that in a smoker.

Many aspects of the body are affected by smoking, including the heart, hormones, metabolism, and brain functioning. Apart from weight gain, people who stop smoking may experience the following negative effects right away:

The dangers of smoking are far worse than any short-term side effects of smoking cessation. If you gain weight after quitting smoking, don't be too concerned; most people who quit smoking gain only a small amount of weight. Instead, concentrate on optimizing your diet and increase your physical activity.

How can I counter nicotine withdrawals?

Tobacco use often leads to nicotine addiction and dependency. Because of this, it's crucial to understand what feelings and symptoms come with nicotine withdrawal because there are methods you may do to manage them. Most symptoms are short-lived and not dangerous.

People can try the following methods to manage nicotine withdrawal:

  • The most common side effect of quitting smoking is weight gain. People who are concerned about gaining weight are more likely to relapse once they have quit smoking. If you're worried about gaining weight, the exercise would be a great substitute for smoking.
  • Do not become dissatisfied or frustrated with the changes in your body and life that occur after quitting smoking.
  • Rely on your support system and engaging distractions if you have planned any for your transition to a non-smoking life.
  • The first step is to anticipate anxiety and confusion and recognize that they are related to quitting. Wait it out or take a break to talk to a friend who understands what you're going through.
  • Understand that your emotions will be heightened for the first few weeks after quitting. Talk to anyone about your mood (such as QuitLine), go for a walk, or do some engaging work. Good exercises can help relieve stress.
  • Keep yourself occupied, especially in your smoking time. During times of craving, prepare a little snack or lookout for a job or hobby to keep you occupied.
  • Before going to bed, indulge in some relaxing activities such as a warm bath, a massage, or reading a book.
  • While you wait for this period to pass, stay away from spicy and heavy meals.
  • To relieve tension, try deep breathing or meditation. Wear light clothing and drink plenty of water to stay cool.
  • Consult a health professional. They may recommend nicotine replacement therapy to manage withdrawal symptoms or the use of an inhaler. Medication is also an option for some cases.

When you stop smoking, your body immediately begins to heal. According to the National Cancer Institute, smokers who quit before 40 years of age have a 90 percent chance of escaping from smoking-related diseases. Even if you've already been diagnosed with lung cancer or another disease, quitting makes a difference. The earlier a person quits, the better their health.

What happens if I relapse?

When a person resumes smoking after weeks, months, or years of abstinence, it is referred to as a relapse. It is usually the result of a massive trigger or an unexpected event.

A smoking relapse can result in increased:

  • Health problems
  • Negative feelings
  • Depression
  • Self-condemnation
  • Feelings of hopelessness

You will go through all the withdrawal symptoms as if you were quitting for the first time.

Most smokers attempt to quit several times, and evidence suggests that it may take seven to nine attempts to successfully quit smoking. During the quitting process, relapse is a common occurrence.

Every time you quit, you learn something new. Don't give up. You still have a chance to avoid a full relapse. Commit to the no-dragging rule. Making mistakes or slipping up can be a beneficial experience if you are willing to learn from them. Remember, you'll be stronger from every episode of relapse.

QUESTION

What is the average weight gain for those who quit smoking? See Answer

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Medically Reviewed on 10/11/2021
References
What to expect when you quit smoking: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/What-to-expect-when-you-quit-smoking

What Happens to Your Body When You Quit Smoking? https://www.webmd.com/smoking-cessation/what-happens-body-quit-smoking

5 things that happen to your body when you quit smoking: https://www.geisinger.org/health-and-wellness/wellness-articles/2020/03/30/13/45/5-things-that-happen-when-you-quit-smoking

Staying Tobacco-free After You Quit: https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/guide-quitting-smoking/staying-tobacco-free-after-you-quit-smoking.html