When it comes to addiction, many people think of substances like alcohol, cocaine, heroin, opiates, and prescription drugs. However, nicotine is an addictive substance as well, and smoking can take a serious toll on your health. Some people smoke in addition to using other drugs or drinking, enhancing their risk of health complications. According to the American Cancer Society “tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States.”
Making the decision to quit smoking can have a positive impact on your life almost immediately. Within just 20 minutes of smoking your last cigarette, your heart rate and blood pressure decrease, and within 12 hours your blood’s carbon monoxide level returns to normal. In less than one day you are already turning your health around for the better.
Over the next few days, weeks, and months of not smoking, you are reducing your risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack, heart disease, cancer, and more. You’ll begin to notice that you can breathe better, are not coughing as much, and have more endurance when doing physical activities. After five to 15 years of not smoking, your risk of developing certain cancers and heart conditions are the same as those of nonsmokers. It may take a while, but you can get there.
Another benefit of not smoking is increased savings. Calculate how much money you spend on cigarettes each week, and then think about everything else you could be putting this money toward – bills, savings, vacation, education, or something else you’ve had your eye on. In addition, foods will taste better, your sense of smell will improve, and you’ll start looking and feeling better.
As with any addiction, there is a period of withdrawal when you quit smoking. However, you can cope with these challenges in a safe, supervised detox program at Above It All while in treatment and recovery for substance use. Make the choice to turn your life around for the better and improve your health, well-being, and future, by quitting smoking (and other substance use) today.
- Smokefree.gov, Benefits of Quitting. Accessed April 5, 2016.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration | SAMHSA, National Helpline. May 14, 2014, Accessed April 5, 2016.
- American Cancer Society, Benefits of Quitting Smoking Over Time. Accessed April 26, 2016.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Smoking & Tobacco Use. February 1, 2017, Accessed February 8, 2016.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Smoking & Tobacco Use. June 30, 2017, Accessed February 13, 2016.