Quitting smoking is the single most important thing you can do to improve the quality of your life with COPD or reduce your risk of developing it. While there are many things you can do to treat COPD and increase your health, these efforts will not be as effective as they could be if you are still smoking.
If you have COPD, quitting smoking is the best thing you can do to start caring for your lungs. Even if you feel that you are not yet experiencing any debilitating symptoms of COPD, it is important to stop smoking as soon as possible. If you continue to smoke or breathe dirty air, the damage to your lungs will not stop and your COPD will get worse over time. By quitting smoking now, you can’t undo the damage that is already done, but you can protect your lungs from more damage, reduce your symptoms and slow down the progression of COPD. You will feel better and breathe better. It is never too late to quit, and keep trying.
Here are some other good things that happen to your body once you stop smoking:
Within 8 hours: carbon monoxide level drops in your body oxygen level in your blood increases to normal
Within 48 hours: your chances of having a heart attack start to go down; your sense of smell and taste begin to improve
Within 72 hours: your bronchial tubes relax and make breathing easier; your lung capacity increases
Within 2 weeks to 3 months: your blood circulation improves; your lung functioning increases up to 30 percent
Within 6 months: your coughing, stuffy nose, tiredness and shortness of breath improve
Within 1 year: your risk of smoking-related heart attack is cut in half
Within 10 years: your risk of dying from lung cancer is cut in half
Within 15 years: your risk of dying from a heart attack is the same as a person who never smoked
Smoking is the number one cause and trigger of COPD. If you have breathing problems and are a current or former smoker do not let guilt, shame, blame, lack of knowledge, lack of funds, or lack of time steal away your life. Get tested for COPD and start taking the medication that will save your life. If you think you may have COPD, try to quit smoking and avoid places with smoke, eat a healthy diet and get physically active. All of these things will help improve your lung function and help you feel better even if you don’t have COPD. If you are diagnosed with COPD it is essential that you quit smoking and follow your physicians recommendations. Take your medication every day to protect the lung function that you have and reduce your symptoms.
Quitting smoking is the best way to treat and prevent COPD, but it can also be the most difficult. One of the most successful methods to quit smoking involves a combination of counseling and nicotine replacement therapy or smoking cessation medications. It is also important to learn how to manage or avoid situations that may trigger a relapse such as psychological stress, being around other smokers, getting into arguments, drinking alcohol, and negative moods. Ask your healthcare provider to help determine what strategies are best for you and for information on smoking cessation programs in your area.
Are you prepared to quit smoking? Are you serious about your health? You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t, so don’t delay putting this off. Join the Quit Smoking Forum on Quit.ca to ask questions and get support quitting this addiction.
Please keep scrolling down and post a comment saying whether you are going to quit smoking or not!