What Effects Does Quitting Smoking Have On Your Body?
Smoking is known to have incredibly harmful effects on your body. But what happens to your body when you give it up for good?
Vaping has been known to decrease the harmful effects of smoking, leading to it being at least 98 percent safer to sue than tobacco is. Over even just a few days, giving up smoking, whether that be for good or turning to your local vape shop for alternatives can lead to a healthier body. Below we’ve broken down the effects that giving up tobacco can have on your body in both the long term and the short term.
Quitting smoking and the heart
If you’re a smoker, over the long term you’ll find that you are twice as likely to have a heart attack. You are also far more likely to be afflicted with coronary heart disease due to the vasoconstriction of nicotine on your arteries. This means that your heart and its arteries tighten up, and with the addition of tar and other congestive materials in your system, blockages and decreased heart performance will occur. This means that when you give up, you’ll see a significant decrease in very little time at all. After a short while, you’ll see better lung performance and so you’ll exercise more, which can only mean good things for your heart.
Quitting smoking and the brain
It was assumed that with starting to smoke and the release of dopamine from nicotine, that the body adapts to this by creating less dopamine within the body. Giving up smoking and thus decreasing your nicotine intake means that your brain starts releasing less. To explore this further, a study was set up by Lubeck University’s Doctor Lena Rademacher. In the experiment dopamine levels were studied in ex-smokers and smokers and it was found that ex-smokers had 15 to 20 percent more dopamine in their system. Whilst it still isn’t clear whether those who get addicted to nicotine are more prone to addiction due to naturally low dopamine levels or whether the low dopamine comes with the addiction, this is still interesting research and goes to show the distinct affect n the brain that addiction has.
Quitting smoking and vision
The obvious effects of smoking have been seen to cause cancer and heart disease but many people don’t know about its effects on vision. Due to its increasing the risk of macular degeneration, smoking has been linked with eye muscle degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, the effect of diabetes which leads to blindness.
Quitting smoking and skin
Smoking and the toxins within means that your skin is dramatically at risk of aging when you smoke. With over 400 dangerous chemicals, it’s no wonder that smokers are known to have bad skin, as well as yellowing fingertips, stained by tar. When you give up smoking, you’ll find that those toxins will begin to be released through your skin. In the short term, this could mean that you get spots for a week or so, but once this detoxifying process has been completed, you’ll see your skin become far clearer than it ever was when smoking.
Quitting smoking and teeth
The tar from cigarettes will have a negative impact on your teeth, as does the nicotine. Nicotine and tar can cause staining whilst other chemicals within cigarettes can cause plaque to build up on your teeth. With smokers having twice the tooth loss figures as non smokers and reduces the effect of gum disease treatments. On top of this, mouth and throat cancer is far more prevalent in smokers than non smokers.
Quitting smoking and your lungs
And from mouth cancer to lung cancer. With smoke being inhaled directly into your lungs, these then become the most affected part of the body by smoking. The lungs get the full brunt of the carcinogens and toxic chemicals that are emitted by burning tobacco. It can also lead to other diseases, such as intensified asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and many other lung diseases. There is good news though, quitting will have your lungs reach back to full capacity within a few years of quitting. Although this may seem like a long time, it’s a good enough reason to stop today!
Quitting smoking and DNA
As mentioned above, smoking can cause several different cancers, and cancer is a mutation of cells. At a very basic level this means that smoking causes changes in DNA and one study has shown that a pack of cigarettes a day can lead to 150 mutations in your lung cells every year alongside 97 in the larynx and voice box. On top of this, you’d see 23 in the mouth, 18 in the bladder and six in the liver. That’s a whole lot of genetic changes which can be stopped by simply giving up smoking.
Quitting smoking and your bones and muscles
Your bones and muscles are dramatically affected by smoking in the sense that it can weaken your bodies collagen, some of the building blocks for muscle mass. On top of this, your risk of osteoporosis increases. This disease is a condition which weakens your bones and makes them more likely to break. This disease develops over years, but your chances are greatly increased by smoking due to its weakening of the muscles and bones. The most common breaks in someone suffering from osteoporosis are in the wrist and hips, mostly found in people who are older. This is why it’s a good idea to quit smoking earlier in life, so that your risks of developing such diseases are decreased.
Quitting smoking and your immune system
Unsurprisingly smoking has been linked to weakened immune systems. Reasons for this can be that your respiratory system is weakened. With your lungs and mouth weakened, more diseases are more likely to get through your airways, whilst the weakened bones and DNA changes can lead to colds you just can’t shake and an increased likelihood of catching flu and other such everyday illnesses.