Positive Motivation to Quit Smoking

If you are trying to quit smoking, it can be hard to look on the bright side. You may fear what your smoking is doing to yourself and others, but you probably also fear the physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms that come with smoking cessation. In the end, it's about long-term consequences versus short-term relief. As a human being, it's only natural to tend to think in the short term, especially when you're craving that cigarette.

But this is an unhealthy and dangerous way to think. What you need is a long-term motivation, not just a long-term deterrence. When you're facing a craving, it can be helpful and much more positive to keep a long term goal in mind such as how smoking cessation will benefit you in the days and years to come, not just how smoking will harm you. It's easier to strive towards a goal than to run from a consequence.

So here is a timeline of the positive effects you will experience when you stop smoking and conquer those cravings. Look forward to these things as a positive reason to put that cigarette out of your mind!

What to expect after your last cigarette:

  • 20 minutes - blood pressure and heart rate with drop back to normal
  • 8 hours - the carbon monoxide levels in your body decrease and your oxygen levels returns to normal
  • 24 hours - your chances of having a heart attack are substantially lessened
  • 2 days - enhanced ability to taste and smell
  • 3 days - your breathing will get noticeably better because of a greater lung capacity
  • 2 weeks to 3 months - your circulation will improve and your lung functioning will increase up to 30%
  • 1-9 months - the cilia in your lungs begin to regenerate - cleaning your lungs and reducing infection
  • 1 year - your risk of coronary heart disease reduces to half that of a smoker
  • 5 years - your risk of a stroke returns to that of a nonsmoker
  • 10 years - your probability of death from lung cancer drops to half that of a continuing smokers, and your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas also decreases substantially
  • 15 years - your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a nonsmoker
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