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Smoking Cessation Message Board
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Old 08-26-2006, 01:03 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 33
Dane2 HB User
when are you out of the woods healthwise?

Hi. I have decided to try quitting again. I am 25 and have been probably a half pack a day smoker for just over three years. Recently I have developed allergies, and smoking makes it worse. It seems, then, that continuing to smoke is even more stupid than it is anyway. As far as cancer goes, is there a certain amount of time after you quit where you can feel truly safe, or is this something that could haunt me for the rest of my days? I quit cold turkey for about a month once, but like a lot of people, I caved when I was really stressed out one day, and haven't quit for more than a day or two since. I'm thinking about cold turkey again, because people have told me that the alternatives only drag it out and one person I know has gum damage due to the gum. Is cold turkey the right move?

Thanks, and good luck to everyone else.

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Old 08-27-2006, 05:08 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Brooklyn New York USA
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Liamsmom HB User
Re: when are you out of the woods healthwise?

it was for me

Old 08-27-2006, 03:13 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 168
mommieoftwo HB User
Re: when are you out of the woods healthwise?

Me too! And the cancer scare will always be there as some damage and exposure can never be replaced. But quitting certainly reduces the risk for cancer - but more importantly greatly reduces the risk for heart disease - which is the biggest threat.

Old 08-31-2006, 02:12 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2006
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BackInControl HB User
Re: when are you out of the woods healthwise?

Sorry to say that you really are never completely out of the woods. BUT, you can return your health pretty close to a nonsmoker. Add a healthy diet and exercise to your routine and you can put your overall health above most folks. And lets face it. It's not a smoker-friendly world anymore.

As soon as you stop smoking, your heart and circulatory system (the arteries and veins that blood flows through) start getting better. Your chance of heart attack, stroke, and other circulatory diseases begins to drop. The flow of blood to your hands and feet gets stronger. Your breathing may be more difficult in the first few weeks, but should become easier a few months after your last cigarette. Quitting smoking can't undo permanent lung damage. It may, however, help slow further damage to the lungs. Your chance of getting cancer from smoking also begins to shrink. Within 10 to 15 years after quitting, the risk of cancer and heart disease is almost as low as that of a nonsmoker.

Heres some great information many of us have come to live by.

Within 20 Minutes...
Blood pressures drops
Pulse rate drops to normal
Body temperature of hand and feet increases to normal

Within 8 hours...
Carbon monoxide level in blood drops to normal
Oxygen level in blood increases to normal

Within 24 hours...
Chance of heart attack decreases

Within 48 hours...
Nerve endings start regrowing
Ability to smell and taste is enhanced

Within 2 weeks to 3 months...
Circulation improves
Walking becomes easier
Lung function increases up to 30%

Within 1 to 9 months...
Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, and shortness of breath decrease
Cilia regrow in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean lungs and reduce infection
Body's overall energy increases

Within 1 year...
Excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker

Within 5 years...
Stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker 5-15 years after quitting
Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat and esophagus is half that of a smoker

Within 10 years...
Lung cancer death rate about half that of a continuing smoker's
Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases

Within 15 years...
Risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmokers

For those of you who have already quit, use these milestones as celebration time and work towards the next milestone.

As you can see it takes a long time to remove a lot of the risk, so it's important to start now if you havent already. Quitting is not going to be any easier next week or next month. Good luck!!!!

-Eric (3.5 years non-smoker)

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