Smoking Hot? or Smoking Not?

I am not going to bore you with the harmful effects of smoking.  We all know them by heart.

So, let me try using some positive reinforcement to try to get you to consider quitting…not just for your health, but for those around you.  Really, why wait until New Year Day to start this resolution?  If you are not a smoker, but you love (or really, really like) someone who is, print this post out and leave it where they can see it.

After 20 minutes without a cigarette:                                                                               –               heart rate and blood pressure normalize (unless you light up within 1 hour)     (smoking constricts blood vessels and the raises heart rate)

After 12 hours without a cigarette:                                                                                                       Carbon Monoxide level drops to normal

After 1 day without a cigarette:                                                                                                               damage to skin stops                                                                                                         (smoking breaks down elastin in skin causing wrinkles and sagging)

After 2 days without a cigarette:                                                                                                            taste buds start to regenerate                                                                                                                  nose hairs and nerves that effect smell begin to repair                                              (smoking destroys taste buds and burns the nerve endings of the nose)

After 2 weeks without a cigarette:                                                                                                           circulation improves

After 3 months without a cigarette:                                                                                                       lung function improves up to 30 percent                                                                               (do I really have to explain this one?)

After 1 year without a cigarette:                                                                                                              You cut your risk of heart disease in half                                                                    (cigarette smoking is the leading cause of heart and cardiovascular                                          disease, heart attacks and stroke)

After 5 years without a cigarette:                                                                                                           risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half.                          risk of stroke is that of a non-smoker

After 10 years without a cigarette:                                                                                                         risk of lung cancer is cut in half

After 15 years without a cigarette:                                                                                                          risk of  heart disease is the same as a non-smoker

Oh, Kitty! No!

Some facts I must list here (sorry)
  1. It takes most people 4 tries to quit, so if you’ve tried before, try again! Maybe this time it will take.
  2. The best results occur when therapy involves counseling and support groups as well as nicotine withdrawal medication.  There are natural methods of quitting, however because they are natural there is no good data to list success rates.  I am not a proponent of drugs, but in this case, if other methods have not worked, the benefits of not smoking far outweighs the risk of taking something short term while you quit.
  3. Cigarette smokers not only have higher risk of heart and  lung disease, but also erectile dysfunction,  decreased sperm count, and macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness.
  4. Secondhand smoke damage causes asthma, cancer, and sudden infant death syndrome.  If you are smoking in your car with your child, even if you are holding the cigarette out the window, you are exposing them to the harmful effects of smoking.
  5. Just because you don’t smoke a pack a day doesn’t mean you’re fine.  Even just 2 cigarettes a day have harmful effects.
  6. When I was a nurse, I watched one of my favorite patients die of cancer.  The last thing he did before he died was smoke a cigarette (his family had to hold it up to his lips so he could take a drag).  He would always say, “How I wish to God I never picked one of these things up.”
Good news and bad news…..
Once you quit, your lungs will continue to heal for many months. Because of that, you may notice that you produce more mucous after you quit than while you were smoking. (this is usually when the quitter says, “to hell with this–I felt better on cigarettes”)
But realize that all the tiny goblet cells (cells that produce helpful mucous that eliminated impurities from our lungs) that were destroyed with smoking are growing back!  They will produce mucus to try to clean out your lungs.  During this time, there are some things you can do to help your lungs heal. (these tips can also be applied to any lung disease: asthma, bronchitis, or even just an acute cough or virus)
  • stay away from cleaners of filters which emit ozone into the air as these will compromise your lungs
  • do not take pills to “dry up” mucous like antihistamines.  The production of mucous is body’s way of expelling toxins and impurities.
  • Increasing water intake will help to get the mucous up.  Steam will also help (either in the shower, or by making a tent holding a towel over your head over a pot of boiling water and breathing deeply)
  • stay away from other smokers
  •  Dairy causes the body to produce mucous.  Stay away from milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc.
  • increase your lung intake by taking walks, or just mindfully breathe deeply during the day.
  • aromatic herbs help the lungs to heal.  Try to expose yourself to ginger, thyme, cayenne or other strong smelling herbs.
If you need help with quitting:
I will be your support if you need me. Please e-mail me at

Categories: cancer prevention, health, health and wellness, healthy living

Tags: , , , , ,

14 replies

  1. The major difference between a vaporizer and humidifier is that while a humidifier
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    All you have to do is, wait till your vaporizer heats
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  2. Hey there, thanks for the concise write up. I’m almost 10-days smoke free now using Champix (Chantix), and oddly, you’re right about the 4th try. It has been by far the most successful for me. I’ve also started a blog to track my progress.

    Do feel free to visit!

  3. I never picked it up. Being frugal, I could never spend my money to be unhealthy, but also seeing my grandfather smoke like a chimney and it was a cause of quarrels between him and my grandma, it never appealed to me. I still see that outside of the U.S. people view smoking kind of cool. Especially women seem to do it to look cool. I love your sense of humor like we all know the harmful risks of smoking by heart and the little kittie smoking.

  4. would love an article structured the way this one is on how cutting out sugar will help reduce risks….I found this structure brilliant and you can really see the concrete benefits of stopping. There’s this element of hope that all is not lost and it’s never too late.

  5. just so glad I never started or even tried it…due to fear of being caught. also as time went on I never got used to second hand smoke…and consequently never liked being in pubs or bars.

    I however, am addicted to sugar which I guess is just as bad.

  6. But I like smoking 🙂

  7. Quitting nicotine is possible. Focus on improving your health, and you can do it!


  1. What Happens When You Quit? « The Savvy Sister

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