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Vince Lombardi is famous for the quote, 'Winners never quit and quitters never win.' Truer words have never been spoken... except for in this instance!

You see, I've been smoking since I was a teen. I'm thinking 14 years old, maybe 15 and I'm not proud of it. That means I've been smoking for darn near 30 years! I can't imagine the damage I've done to my body thus far, but it stops NOW. In fact, with the help of the drug Chantix, I'm now 14 days, that's two whole weeks, smoke free and I'm not having a single issue.

I've tried quitting before in the past. I've gone cold turkey. I've been hypnotized. I've given smoking up for Lent. I've tried Wellbutrin and yes, even Chantix once before. Each time I went back to the same nasty habit. For some reason, this time is different than my other attempts. This time, I was ready.

Before when I used Chantix, I had crazy mood swings and vivid, sometimes even violent, dreams. This time, I'm still dreaming vividly for sure, but the subject matter seems to much tamer. Maybe I'm in a better place? Who knows? I just know that the idea of setting a firm quit date scared the absolute mess out of me, so I opted for the 12 week program and let my body decide when enough was enough... And it did!

I can't believe I let something like cigarettes/nicotine control my life for so long. I don't have to look for a way to sneak out for a quick fix anymore. My clothes fit better. I'm more productive at work and I just FEEL better. So, if you're considering quitting, talk to your doctor like I did once you know you're ready. My moment was when I found out my ex-husband had lung cancer. I was on the phone the following Monday telling my doctor's office what I needed. Maybe you're strong enough to quit cold turkey, I knew I wasn't.

Need some help making the decision? Here are the effects quitting smoking has on your body over time according to Medical News Today:

The benefits are almost instant. As soon as a person stops smoking their body begins to recover in the following ways:

 

After 1 hour

In as little as 20 minutes after the last cigarette is smoked, the heart rate drops and returns to normal. Blood pressure begins to drop, and circulation may start to improve.

 

After 12 hours

Cigarettes contain a lot of known toxins including carbon monoxide, a gas present in cigarette smoke.

This gas can be harmful or fatal in high doses and prevents oxygen from entering the lungs and blood. When inhaled in large doses in a short time, suffocation can occur from lack of oxygen.

After just 12 hours without a cigarette, the body cleanses itself of the excess carbon monoxide from the cigarettes. The carbon monoxide level returns to normal, increasing the body’s oxygen levels.

 

After 1 day

Just 1 day after quitting smoking, the risk of heart attack begins to decrease.

Smoking raises the risk of developing coronary heart disease by lowering good cholesterol, which makes heart-healthy exercise harder to do. Smoking also raises blood pressure and increases blood clots, increasing the risk of stroke.

In as little as 1 day after quitting smoking, a person’s blood pressure begins to drop, decreasing the risk of heart disease from smoking-induced high blood pressure. In this short time, a person’s oxygen levels will have risen, making physical activity and exercise easier to do, promoting heart-healthy habits.

 

After 2 days

Smoking damages the nerve endings responsible for the senses of smell and taste. In as little as 2 days after quitting, a person may notice a heightened sense of smell and more vivid tastes as these nerves heal.

 

After 3 days

3 days after quitting smoking, the nicotine levels in a person’s body are depleted. While it is healthier to have no nicotine in the body, this initial depletion can cause nicotine withdrawal. Around 3 days after quitting, most people will experience moodiness and irritability, severe headaches, and cravings as the body readjusts.

 

After 1 month

In as little as 1 month, a person’s lung function begins to improve. As the lungs heal and lung capacity improves, former smokers may notice less coughing and shortness of breath. Athletic endurance increases and former smokers may notice a renewed ability for cardiovascular activities, such as running and jumping.

If you'd like to read more about the long term benefits of smoking cessation, click here. Good luck! If you do decide to quit smoking, please reach out! We're stronger together!