Many people just pick a date and give the ciggies the flick; but is quitting smoking suddenly dangerous? It’s no secret that stopping smoking can drastically improve your health, but what if you were to quit suddenly?
Is quitting smoking suddenly dangerous? Do I need to quit gradually?
Quitting smoking suddenly is generally not dangerous, although you’re likely to feel a little under the weather- both mentally and physically- in the initial days. These feelings are also known as ‘withdrawal symptoms’ and they are the reason why a lot of people may choose to try and quit gradually rather than giving up suddenly.
Is quitting smoking suddenly dangerous? What is nicotine withdrawal?
Nicotine is the chemical in cigarettes that makes smoking addictive. Nicotine has a number of effects on the brain, including:
- improving general mood
- reducing depression and anxiety
- relieving stress
- reducing appetite
- improving concentration.
In a smoker’s brain, there are a greater number of nicotine receptors (compared to a non-smoker), due to the previous continued nicotine use. It is those receptors that lead someone to want to continue to smoke, and those receptors that leads to nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
So, is quitting smoking suddenly dangerous? No, but it can be uncomfortable because of the nicotine withdrawal. Nicotine withdrawal is responsible for the feelings of general unwellness that people commonly experience when they are trying to quit smoking. Withdrawal symptoms can include things like:
- nausea and abdominal cramps
- tingling sensations in the hands and feet
- coughing and sore throat
- difficulty concentrating
- intense cigarette cravings.
Is quitting smoking suddenly dangerous? How long might I feel unwell for?
Nicotine withdrawal symptoms can begin within a few short hours of having your last cigarette, and typically peak at day 2 or 3 of no smoking. If you continue to ignore the cravings and not smoke, over a period of a few weeks the number of nicotine receptors in the brain reduce, and therefore the nicotine withdrawal symptoms begin to subside. For most people, these symptoms disappear within around 2-4 weeks of quitting smoking, however in some people, withdrawal symptoms can continue for several months.
If you are struggling to cope with the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, don’t give up! There are so many benefits to quitting smoking, so rather than giving in to the cravings, seek help from your doctor or Quit service. There are a number of stop-smoking aids that may be of benefit to you in your journey to quit the cigs.
Other than the physical withdrawal symptoms that happen when you quit smoking, the subconscious triggers for nicotine cravings can be challenging to deal with. Everyday activities and occurrences (such as mealtimes, driving, work stress, social gatherings and more) can trigger the brain’s subconscious craving to smoke, which has occurred through past association that has become deeply rooted in the brain. Hypnotherapy can help to combat this; learn more by contacting us today, or read more about what we do.
Is quitting smoking suddenly dangerous? What about the benefits?
There are so many health benefits associated with quitting smoking. Is quitting smoking suddenly dangerous? Although it may be difficult, is not dangerous. Here’s a quick run-down of some of the benefits in the short and longer term, associated with quitting smoking:
- In as little as 20 minutes, your heart rate reduces to resting normal
- Within 24 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood returns to normal and your risk of having a heart attack is significantly reduced
- Within 2 weeks, your lung function starts to improve
- After a month of quitting, your coughing decreases and shortness of breath begins to go away
- Within 5-15 years after quitting smoking, your risk of having a stroke is reduced to that of a non-smoker, and your risk of getting cancer in the mouth, throat or oesophagus is reduced to half of that of a smoker
- And beyond that, your risk of getting bladder cancer, cervical cancer, or cancer of the larynx, kidney or pancreas also decreases as time goes on.
The bottom line: is quitting smoking suddenly dangerous?
Is quitting smoking suddenly dangerous? No. Might it be challenging? Yes, but the health benefits will far outweigh the struggles. If you would like some help getting on your way to a healthier, smoke-free future, reach out to us today to discover how we can help.