Effects on the Body After Quitting

Our lovely Emjay posted this a while ago, it might just help you to understand what your body is going through :)

Negative Effects

When you stop smoking, you will most likely encounter one or more of the symptoms associated with "quitter's flu." All this means is that your body is having trouble dealing with the sudden withdrawal of nicotine from its system. The symptoms, which are similar to a cold, are only temporary, but may last longer in some people than in others. Most people who quit smoking will only experience "quitter's flu" for a short time. Some symptoms include: cravings, irritability, trouble sleeping, fatigue, stomach issues, stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, and chest tightness.

Fighting Negative Effects

Techniques to fight negative symptoms vary, but one is to drink lots of water. It's important to stay hydrated during this time. Another tip to fight cravings is to wait it out, since most cravings don't last past five minutes. Many daily activities such as drinking, eating or stress at work can trigger cravings--acknowledge why you may be feeling the craving and try to change your mental state or thought process at that time until the feeling passes. Other tips are as simple as deep breathing for relaxation or discussing difficulties with others so that you don't feel alone in your struggle to quit.

Short Term Positive Effects

There are many positive effects to quitting smoking. Some occur almost immediately, some over time. Within a period of only 20 minutes, your blood pressure will return to normal. In the first 72 hours, your carbon monoxide level (which is poisonous to our bodies) will drop to half and oxygen levels will return to normal. Sense of taste and smell will return along with a decreased chance for heart problems. Energy levels will increase and breathing will become easier.

Long Term Positive Effects

Over the next year, circulation will increase, coughs and wheezing should subside, and risk of heart attack will drop by half. In the next fifteen years, stroke chances return to levels of a non-smoker, as well as risk of lung cancer and heart attack.

6 Replies

  • Good to know this is 'normal'! still fighting off quitters flu, it seems unfair that doing something good makes you feel sh*t in the short term! Just need to remember the long term benefits eh? thanks for posting :)

  • Hi Yoghurt, what is it they say ? you have to be cruel to be kind :)

    We have to suffer for a shot time, before we can reap the many benefits of quitting and enjoyyyyyyy life again :)

    You stay with it gal, and just watch the light getting bigger and brighter at the end of that tunnel eh :) :)

  • I had the lot for a couple of days in my first week then it lifted. Since then I have been physically fine. Which is worrisome. I mean I hear other people saying they have a cough and their lungs are clearing. I've not had any of that. So does that mean mine aren't? Or theres something wrong? Or am I freaking over nothing?

  • Aup Ellie, everybodies body is different and behaves in different ways :o

    I myself, was coughing up phlegm for about 10 days after I quit !! soooo, your not ! BUT !! you say you had the lot in your first week, so did you have to blow your nose alot ?? erm, if you see what am getting at :)

    When you stop smoking and taking all those toxins into your body, your body will clean itself, at its own rate :) its nature :)

    So dont you get freaking out over it eh :o

    We are all unique Ellie :)

  • I've just logged on, I'm in week 3 and struggling today. Full blown 'quitters flu'. thanks for the post - smiling now

  • Hi Betty, a big warm welcome to this lovely quit support site gal :) :) erm, I dont think I've met you before :o but sometimes my 1 brain cell getts it wrong !!

    I hope you dont mind, but I've just had a look at your profile, hmmmm, I see your Birthday was on the 6 Feb aswell :) thats just one great Date Betty :) but I am 3 tads older than you, so that means you cant flippin cheek me :o :D :D

    I also found out that your taking champix, ACE gal, but please please take the full course of it eh, cos I cut it short, and paid the price :o

    A big well done to getting to week 3 :) :) but I know, mr nic dosnt give up without a fight !! so you keep focused and above all positive on your quit Betty and you WILL beat him :)

    Hope to speak soon, Pete :)

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