After quitting smoking, when do the first benefits be felt? After a day, a week of a month? You’ll see, it’s coming pretty fast. This is enough to motivate smokers to participate in the “Smoking-Free Me(s” which will take place in November. For 30 days, they will be encouraged to give up smoking. Here, very concretely, is what they can expect from it.
Every year, tobacco causes nearly 82,000 victims in the United States. The damage to the health of smokers is dramatic. Day after day, the body fights to eliminate the chemicals present in cigarettes… If you are a smoker or ex-smoker, be aware that the moment you decide to quit, your body starts to eliminate them. From a few minutes to a whole year, here’s how the body recovers from tobacco use.
20 minutes after
About 20 minutes after the last cigarette, the heart rate and blood pressure return to normal. “Nicotine consumption increases heart rate and blood pressure as arteries harden,” explains Jean-François Delot, an addiction physician in Quimper( Finistère. This greatly increases the risk of heart attack. The specialist also points out that a craft cigarette (rolled) is equivalent to two industrial cigarettes (in packs), that a cigarillo is the equivalent of three normal cigarettes and that a cigar represents 40 cigarettes.
8 hours later
“After 8 hours, the body starts to remove nicotine and carbon monoxide,” quimper’s tobacco ologist continues. Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas found in car exhausts. “This gas attaches to red blood cells instead of oxygen, resulting in dull skin, delays in healing and decreased muscle performance,” explains the specialist, who is used to testing the level of carbon monoxide present in patients’ bodies. The “crackers” (who do not inhale smoke into their lungs) absorb less carbon monoxide than those who draw heavily on their cigarettes.
24 to 72 hours after
The lungs are getting a little breathing. They begin to remove mucus and smoke residue. “When you smoke, the tar is on the breathing cabinet,” says Dr. Delot, recalling an alarming figure: “Lung cancer is responsible for 27,000 deaths each year in France.” Note that “48 hours after the stop, the risk of heart attack begins to decrease,” stresses the addictologist. Once the chemicals are removed, the senses are revived: taste and smell return to use.
2 to 12 weeks after
From the first week, sleep is better. After a few weeks, quitting smoking will have significant benefits on breathing. What Jean-François Delot translates as “a decluttering of the bronchi.” Coughing and fatigue will gradually subside. The anti-smoking centre’s website also notes that at this stage of withdrawal, the ex-smoker gradually regains “sexual vigour.”
3 to 9 months later
“Chemicals lead to lower immunity,” says the tobacco specialist. As the months after quitting smoking, the body’s immunity increases. The body is less sensitive to external aggression scans and less prone to inflammation. On the lung side, bronchial eyelashes better drain mucus from the bronchi and the ability to cleanthe the lungs increases. The risk of infection decreases considerably.
One year and more
It takes at least a year for the risk of tobacco-related illness to begin to recede. “The risk of having a heart attack is halved,” says Dr. Jean-François Delot. And after five years, the risk of heart attack is equal to that of a person who has never smoked! It is only between ten and twenty years after the last cigarette that a repentant smoker returns to a life expectancy equivalent to a person who has never smoked. “Especially in people who quit smoking early,” says the French Federation of Cardiology.