As we all know, smoking wreaks havoc on the body; tar gathers in the lungs, blood oxygen levels go down and the immune system is weakened when humans inhale cigarettes. Gross.
The effects of smoking are accumulative – the more you do it, the worse the side effects are and the longer you do it, the longer those nasty smoker symptoms last. Some smokers, unfortunately, are discouraged from quitting because they think there’s no hope for recovery. I mean, if there’s no chance of repairing the damage, what’s the point in making a change?
But, good news! This is a common misconception. The human body is a beautiful thing; after your last cigarette, it starts to heal itself almost immediately. Let’s take a little look at just how quickly switching to vaping alleviates the nasties, shall we?
Blood pressure and heart rate will drop down back to a normal level
Cigarettes contain carbon monoxide, a toxic substance that restricts the flow of oxygen in the blood. This leads to low energy and poorer circulation; that’s why smokers often complain of cold hands or feet.
E-cigarettes contain exactly 0 carbon monoxide. So once you switch to vaping, your body starts to process the carbon monoxide that’s present and starts to significantly decrease any access in roughly 8 hours.
With smoking comes a higher risk of heart attack, or developing coronary heart disease. What’s kind of scary about this is how it’s often clarified by doctors as ‘risk of sudden heart attack’. Basically, when you smoke, even if you feel completely normal and healthy you’re still at risk of collapsing from a coronary episode. Not great.
This is all to do with your blood oxygen levels and how hard your heart has to work to keep you oxygenated. E-cigarettes don’t affect your blood oxygen levels; so after just 24 hours of exclusive vaping, you’ve already significantly decreased one of the deadly risks of smoking.
After 2 days, it’s time to do yourself a favour: head out to your favourite restaurant and get the tastiest meal you can afford. You ought to notice something pleasantly different – after 48 hours smoke-free, your taste and smell receptors have started to heal themselves. That means your favourite dish will taste, that so much more delicious.
Additionally, if you were having any difficulty with the switch to vaping – some people experience a slight cough when first vaping – this should no longer be a problem. Because there are no chemicals in vapour designed to make inhalation smoother like in cigarettes (which also cause untold harm to your lungs), some people can find it harsh on their first few tries, but after a couple of days, this should have subsided.
This is when smoking recovery starts to become more noticeable. All those years of smoking will have left a significant build-up of mucus and tar on the lining of your throat, in your sinuses and in your lungs. At the three-day mark, your body leaps into action to get rid of all that tar and gunk that’s built up over the years and is playing havoc on your body.
To the inexperienced quitter, it might seem like something’s going a little bit wrong at this stage. Some fresh quitters find themselves feeling stuffed up, or coughing up excess phlegm, which can sometimes be black or brown in colour. Pretty unnerving if you’re not prepared.
Better out than in, as they always say. Don’t panic if you start to cough up scary looking rubbish; your body is just purging the toxins that it’s been plagued with.
At 72 hours, you’ll really appreciate your e-cig. Nicotine cravings peak at 72 hours, casing irritability and mood swings. With lovely, lovely e-cigs though, this isn’t an issue and you can continue on your smoke-free path unhindered.
2 – 3 weeks
It’s time to hit the gym! After over a fortnight without reaching for analogues, your lung function is improved and your circulation is improving at an extraordinary rate. That means that you’re less likely to get out of breath or feel winded, particularly when exercising.
Because oxygen is travelling around your bloodstream and your respiratory system more efficiently at this point, you’ll be less inclined to taking an embarrassing public breather after a pitifully short jog. When you’re over halfway through your first month vaping, exercise could be your new best friend.
Some people might be more enthused by this concept than others, but I promise you it’s a good thing overall.
6 – 9 months
This is around the time your body has succeeded in its mission to clear your body of all that poison brought it by cigarettes. Whilst improvements are noticeable as quickly as a couple of days quitting, 9 months after your quit date is a real landmark.
This is when, finally, thankfully, blissfully, your smoker’s cough should dissolve entirely and your lungs are at full working capacity.
Since your blood vessels were working harder when you smoked, they constricted and were put under a lot of strain, leading to a higher risk of stroke. Whilst this landmark can vary, after 5 years smoke-free, your blood vessels have been repairing and relaxing and your risk of stroke should be moving closer to being the same as a non-smoker.
10 – 15 years
Again, this figure can vary – results can depend on genetics and how heavy a smoker you were previously and for how long you consumed cigarettes. However, doctors agree that 10 – 15 years after quitting smoking – assuming that no conditions have already arisen – your health risks are returned to the levels of a non-smoker. That includes all kinds of cancer, stroke and heart disease.
If that’s not a win, I don’t know what is.
4 weeks a winner
Some of these fantastic results might seem ages away – who thinks 10 – 15 years ahead? But equally, a lot of the benefits of ditching the cigs and switching to vaping can be felt within the first month of deciding to quit. If you’re into short-term rewards, grabbing an e-cig might be the ideal choice for you! I didn’t even go into the money saving you’ll see almost immediately, either.
If you go smoke-free for one month, you’re more likely to stay that way for good and you’ll experience a whole host of great side-effects. Why not take the plunge? Give #Vapetober a go and watch yourself improve by the hour.
Remember, it’s never too late to quit; regardless of your smoking status, you’ll feel some benefits almost immediately.