Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Do You Know The Advantages Of A Stop Smoking Timeline

A quit timeline will help you measure your success.

There are many reasons to quit smoking. For some people health is the issue, for others, money. Additionally, smoking is just not acceptable in today's society, it can do harm to others via secondhand smoke, it makes your hair and clothes smell, and there is likely pressure from family members to quit. Whatever the reasons, it is important to have a clear quit date and knowledge of the beneficial effects. Having a specific timeline will inspire and encourage you to quit smoking.

Create a Quit Timeline

Creating a quit timeline for a cessation program is an important first step to a lengthy and difficult process. The new nonsmoker needs to have a clear idea of what to expect as the quit process moves along and what to expect as he is completing recovery. The quit timeline will be individual in its specifics, but the basic outline will be as follows:

Why are you quitting? (i.e., health, family, finances, etc.)

When are you quitting? (There must be a firm quit date and commitment to the process.)

How are you quitting? (Do you have a support system in place and any medications or outside assistance?)

What is happening to your body, emotions and psychology on day 1 and 2, week 1 and 2, and so on?

Outlining the answers to these questions can increase your knowledge, rally your commitment, and generate the positive mentality needed to tackle this powerful addiction.

Why Quit Cigarettes?

Health concerns including heart disease and lung cancer usually top the list of reasons to quit smoking. Few of the chemicals found in cigarettes are safe for human consumption in large quantities. There are many other reasons to quit smoking, such as social constraints, cost, and cosmetic issues like stained teeth and wrinkles.

Establish a Quit Date

Having a plan and sticking to it are just part of the smoking cessation process. You have to set a quit day, plan your method of assistance such as Chantix or nicotine replacement, keep a support system in place, be prepared for setbacks, and most importantly, you have to want to quit. If you are ambivalent regarding the quit process, then you are unlikely to be successful. Set a goal, inform yourself, and surround yourself with positive images and role models, and the last day you smoke a cigarette could be the first day you reap the benefits of a smoke-free lifestyle.

Methods to Help You Quit

Smoking has powerful physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms, and it is important to seek assistance during this challenging time. Quitting cold turkey (without any assistance and using willpower alone) increases the chances that the person will smoke again within six to 12 months. Proven forms of assistance include quit lines and groups, nicotine replacement therapy using patches or gum, hypnotism, acupuncture and even prescription drugs such as Chantix or Wellbutrin. The future nonsmoker should ask her doctor and research these methods to ascertain which will be most successful.

Timeline During and After the Process

The American Cancer Society lists the following benefits of quitting smoking:

20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.

12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.

2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.

1 to 9 months after quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hairlike structures that move mucus out of the lungs) regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs and reduce the risk of infection.

1 year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's.

5 years after quitting: Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker from five to 15 years after quitting.

10 years after quitting: The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a person who continues smoking. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix and pancreas decrease.

15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a nonsmoker's.

The Healing Process

The body has an amazing ability to reverse smoking damage even in long-term, heavy smokers. Improvement begins immediately and is exponential as time moves on. This is why it is important to keep sight of the improvements and benefits to chart your progress and give yourself little milestones to celebrate. Cross off the days on a calendar so you can visualize the hard work you and your body are doing. Major benefits arise from quitting smoking within just 24 hours. Not only do carbon monoxide levels drop, but heart rate and blood pressure drop to normal levels. The risk of heart attack significantly lessens. Within a couple of days, taste and smell start to return to original state, lung capacity increases, you no longer smell like a cigarette and your wallet is already fatter! Keep a log and indulge in a journal to help you understand and relate to these and other changes as the process moves along the timeline. Remember that your commitment will increase your chances of success.

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