Quitting smoking requires desire, dedication and drive, but it also requires research. Knowing what to expect – both the pleasant health benefits and the unpleasant withdrawals – will help you persevere and overcome a cigarette addiction.
The human body is incredibly resilient and will work actively to heal itself, so much can happen during that first 24 hours without a cigarette:
In as little as 20 minutes after you stop smoking you will experience a drop in blood pressure and increased circulation to your limbs; after 8 hours without a cigarette, the levels of carbon monoxide and nicotine in your body will be cut in half, enabling your brain to get the oxygen it needs for optimal functioning; by the center of day one your carbon monoxide level is back to normal, which relieves stress on your heart; and by the 24 hours notice you have successfully reduced your chances of having a heart attack.
It is also important to know that you will experience physical and emotional withdrawals due to the absence of nicotine. The most important thing to remember is this these symptoms are temporary and will go away over time.
Nicotine craving: It can start as early as 30 minutes after your last cigarette, but just know that they tend to last only about 15 minutes.
Increased appetite: Almost 24 hours after your first cigarette, you will probably regain your appetite (cigarettes contain serotonin and dopamine, two chemicals that suppress hunger). Keep healthy snacks ready for when your stomach starts talking.
Headache: Prepare yourself for a possible mild headache or feeling dizzy, but do not worry, they do not last long.
Fatigue: Because nicotine is a stimulant, you may feel a little drowsy that first day. If so, grab a cup of coffee or tea and power on door.