There is a widespread myth among smokers that abruptly quitting is harmful and fraught with serious consequences for the body. Many people prefer to prolong this process, gradually reducing the number of cigarettes smoked per day. In fact, not everything is so scary and doctors have an unequivocal answer to the question of whether it is possible to quit smoking abruptly. Let's find out.
Nicotine as a drug
Nicotine belongs to the category of "fast" drugs: addiction appears in just a couple of months of use, but it is also quickly given up. On average, it can take three to seven days to overcome a bad habit on a physiological level.
Tobacco smoke contains approximately 4000 chemical compounds, of which 250 are poisonous. An organism accustomed to nicotine requires new doses every hour and a half, after two hours of abstinence, blood pressure may rise, a person will feel nervous. However, if you control yourself and do not smoke for at least three days, things will be much easier.
Practice shows that eliminating cigarettes is a dead end. Very often, the smoker still breaks down and returns to the previous dose of nicotine. But suddenly quitting nicotine can work.
What happens in the body
If you stop the daily portion of nicotine, the following changes will occur in the human body:
- Increased blood flow. Blood begins to flow more actively to the brain and heart. After a while, the blood pressure will stabilize and the restoration of the blood vessels that have suffered during the period of addiction will begin.
- Normalization of bowel function. The gastrointestinal microflora is greatly affected by carcinogens that the smoker inhales with smoke. With a strong rejection of nicotine, intestinal function stabilizes, vitamins and nutrients begin to be absorbed better.
- Restoration of immunity. In people with addiction to nicotine, the immune system is weakened, it cannot fully perform its functions. You have probably noticed that smokers get sick much more often than people without addiction.
- Oxygenation of the body. Due to the fact that it improves the ventilation of the lungs, more oxygen begins to enter the body. Fatigue disappears, the feeling of weakness during the working day decreases and sleep improves.
Remember that nicotine is a drug and smoking is an addiction. Like any other drug addiction, it does not go away without a trace, and the first few days a person will not feel very comfortable. The following side effects can occur when you stop smoking suddenly:
- Anxiety and irritability. The first effect a person who stops smoking will feel. It can appear after two or three hours of abstinence.
- Slight dizziness. It is caused by a lack of oxygen: the vascular tone returns to normal and this takes time. It takes place on average per day.
- Onset of dyspnea. Another consequence of the lack of oxygen, but here the reason is the restoration of the lungs. It disappears completely after a maximum of a month, usually after a week or two.
- Decreased appetite. It is most pronounced in the first few days of abstinence. In a week the appetite returns. Also, a person begins to feel the fullness of the taste of food, which he did not even know before.
- Cough. Toxic substances accumulated in the smoker's lungs are eliminated from the body, and thus a cough appears. The cough is usually accompanied by phlegm and mucus. It diminishes after a month and after six months it disappears completely.
- Insomnia. Emotional depression due to lack of nicotine makes it difficult for a person to fall asleep. In some cases, insomnia can occur. It goes away on its own after three to four days, but you can use medications to suppress anxiety and sleep better.
As we can see, there are no serious side effects that can cause serious damage to the body. Of course, abruptly quitting will require a lot of willpower, especially in the first few days, but nothing will threaten your health. In contrast, after just one week of abstinence, a person begins to feel much better than the entire period of nicotine use.
For many smokers, it is much easier to overcome physiological side effects than it is to deal with psychological addiction. Smoking is a ritual, everyone has their own. Someone smokes a cigarette before breakfast, someone does not imagine how to wait for public transport and not smoke, and coffee with a cigarette is generally sacred. It can be extremely difficult to give up such small habits and completely rebuild your life.
If your will power is not enough to stop smoking abruptly, you can communicate with your family and friends. Let them distract from bad thoughts and provide maximum support. Another option is to seek the help of a psychologist, there is nothing shameful about this.
Smoking and women
Another myth in this category concerns women: how harmful is it for them to quit smoking abruptly? For example, it is believed that pregnant women should not quit nicotine abruptly. They say that this will lead to stress, which will negatively affect the baby. In fact, doctors strongly recommend that in such a situation it is immediate abandonment of addiction. Every cigarette smoked will affect the development of the fetus.
The situation is the same with the myth that you can't quit during your period. In fact, you can. On a physiological level, nothing negative will happen to the body, difficulties can only arise on a psychological level. Another misconception is that abrupt cessation of tobacco will affect the effect of the medications that are taken. However, there is not a single scientifically proven case in which drugs change their pharmacological properties due to an abrupt cessation of nicotine intake in the body.
The positive changes to the body were written above, now we will describe the effects that are most noticeable for an ex-smoker:
- Skin looks fresher. The yellowish tint of the epidermis disappears as more minerals, vitamins, and oxygen begin to enter the blood. Healthy skin color will return in about six months after quitting.
- Increases sensitivity to taste and smell. The smoker's sense of smell and taste buds are not working at full capacity, the more a person smokes, the more dull they become. If you quit the addiction, you can feel the fullness of the taste and the smells.
- Tone enhancement. Vigor, increased activity, lack of fatigue. All this is felt by an ex-smoker. It will be possible to forget about ailments and feelings of apathy.
In summary, we can say: suddenly you can quit smoking! And even necessary. There will be no serious negative consequences for the body.