There is a widespread myth among smokers that stopping smoking abruptly is harmful and has serious consequences for the body. Many people prefer to prolong this process by gradually reducing the number of cigarettes smoked per day. In fact, not everything is so scary and doctors have an unambiguous answer to the question of whether it is possible to stop smoking abruptly. Let's find out.
Nicotine as a drug
Nicotine belongs to the category of "fast" drugs - addiction appears in just a few months of use, but is also quickly abandoned. On average, it can take three to seven days to overcome a bad habit on a physiological level.
There are about 4000 chemical compounds in tobacco smoke, of which 250 are toxic. An organism used to nicotine requires new doses every hour and a half, after two hours of abstinence, blood pressure can rise, the person becomes nervous. However, if you master yourself and don't smoke for at least three days, things will be much easier.
Practice shows that phasing out cigarettes is a dead end. Most of the time, the smoker still gives up and returns to the previous dose of nicotine. But stopping nicotine abruptly can really work.
What happens in the body
If you stop with the daily nicotine serving, the following changes will occur in the human body:
- Increased blood flow. Blood begins to flow more actively into the brain and heart. After some time, the blood pressure will stabilize and the restoration of the blood vessels that suffered during the addiction period will begin.
- Normalization of intestinal function. The gastrointestinal microflora suffers a lot from the carcinogens that the smoker inhales with the smoke. With a strong rejection of nicotine, the intestines stabilize, vitamins and nutrients are better absorbed.
- Restoration of immunity. In people with nicotine dependence, the immune system is weakened, unable to perform its functions fully. You probably noticed that smokers get sick much more often than people without addictions.
- Oxygenation of the body. Due to the fact that the ventilation of the lungs improves, more oxygen begins to enter the body. Fatigue disappears, the feeling of weakness during the workday decreases and sleep improves.
Remember that nicotine is a drug and that smoking is an addiction. Like any other drug addiction, it does not disappear without a trace, and in the first few days the person will not feel very comfortable. The following side effects can occur when you suddenly quit smoking:
- Anxiety and irritability. The first effect that a person who quits smoking will feel. It can appear after two to three hours of abstinence.
- Slight dizziness. It is caused by a lack of oxygen - the vascular tone returns to normal and it takes time. It happens on average per day.
- Onset of dyspnoea. Another consequence of the lack of oxygen, but here the reason is the restoration of the lungs. It disappears completely after a maximum of one month, usually after one to two weeks.
- Decreased appetite. It is more pronounced in the early days of abstinence. In a week, your appetite returns. In addition, the person begins to feel the fullness of the taste of the food, which he did not even know before.
- Cough. The toxic substances accumulated in the smoker's lungs are removed from the body and therefore a cough appears. Cough is usually accompanied by phlegm and mucus. It decreases after one month and, after six months, disappears completely.
- Insomnia. Emotional depression caused by a lack of nicotine makes it difficult 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, a sudden cessation of smoking will require a lot of willpower, especially in the early days, but nothing will threaten your health. On the contrary, after just a week of abstinence, the 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 to deal with psychological addiction. Smoking is a complete ritual, everyone has their own. Someone smokes a cigarette before breakfast, someone has no idea 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 these small habits and completely rebuild your life.
If the willpower is not enough to stop smoking abruptly, you can contact your family and friends. Let them be distracted from bad thoughts and provide maximum support. Another option is to seek help from a psychologist, there is nothing embarrassing about it.
Smoking and women
A separate myth in this category concerns women - how harmful is it for them to stop smoking abruptly? For example, it is believed that pregnant women should not abruptly abandon nicotine. They say it will cause stress, which will negatively affect the baby. In fact, doctors strongly recommend that in such a situation it is the immediate abandonment of addiction. Each cigarette smoked will affect the development of the fetus.
The situation is the same with the myth that you cannot stop smoking during menstruation. In fact, you can. At the physiological level, nothing negative will happen to the body, difficulties can arise only at the psychological level. Another misconception is that the abrupt cessation of tobacco will affect the effect of the drugs taken. However, there is not a single scientifically proven case in which drugs alter their pharmacological properties due to an abrupt interruption of nicotine intake in the body.
The positive changes in the body were written above, now we will describe the effects that are most noticeable to an ex-smoker:
- The skin looks fresher. The yellowish tone of the epidermis disappears as more minerals, vitamins and oxygen begin to enter the blood. Healthy skin color will return about six months after you stop smoking.
- Greater sensitivity to taste and odor. The smoker's sense of smell and taste buds do not work at full capacity. The longer a person smokes, the more it becomes opaque. If you give up addiction, you can feel the fullness of flavors and smells.
- Improving the tone. Stamina, increased activity, lack of fatigue. All of this is felt by an ex-smoker. It will be possible to forget about illness and feelings of apathy.
In short, we can say - you can stop smoking suddenly! And even necessary. There will be no serious negative consequences for the body.