Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Still Smoking? Here Are Some Things You May Not Have Thought About.

You already know that quitting smoking has enormous health benefits. You would have to be from another planet to not know that and if you're reading this I'm going to assume you're from Earth.

Maybe there are some things you haven't thought about though. Certainly you've heard that smoking greatly increases your chance for heart attack, stroke, and lung cancer. But have you given consideration to what that really means?

Have you ever known anyone personally who's had a stroke? Have you seen how they live? Problems with paralysis, speech, walking, concentrating, and more. Have you thought about how different your life would be if one side of your body was paralyzed and you couldn't say what you wanted to say? Not to mention, with many stroke victims these are permanent effects, not temporary.

Have you thought about not being able to get on your computer? Some types of strokes can render your brain's ability to connect with your fingers on the keyboard useless. It's the same connection as inability to talk normally. It affects the same part of the brain that does writing and typing. You can't even write out a message.

What about other things you like to do? Well whether it's going to a kids' Little League game or college football game or a party or maybe just a walk in a park or on a beach, you may not be able to do it. You could find being extremely difficult or even impossible to do even simple things like walking into a restaurant.

And that's just a stroke. Ever known anyone that's had a mid to severe heart attack? It knocks them on their butts and with some it's permanent. A heart attack can cut off vital blood flows to various organs. If this happens for anything but a short amount of time, a heart attack victim can end up with permanent damage to their kidney, liver, and other organs. Not to mention that the heart itself is damaged and to what extent determines your future which may affect your energy levels, breathing, and much, much more.

We're human beings and that means we have a tendency to bury these types of cold hard facts in the far reaches of our minds. But every smoker has to face them at some time or another.

The big question is this: If you don't die early then are you prepared to live on with the consequences of your actions now? Are you ready to possibly live a life as described above?

As if those are not good enough reasons to stop smoking then also be sure to take these under consideration:

- Your blood pressure will drop within the first hour. Smokers typically have higher BP.
- In the same day your oxygen levels increase. This gives you more energy, increases blood flow, helps heart rate.
- Your chance of a heart attack starts to decrease within 2 days, how cool is that?
- In 3-4 days your bronchial tubes will ease and open up and you'll experience even more energy and vigor.

- In an average of 6 months your breathing problems will get better, you'll cough and wheeze less and your lung capacity will increase by 10-15%.
- In 12 months you'll have a 50% less chance of a heart attack
- Your chance of having a stroke drops to that of a non-smoker after 5 years
- Within 10 years your chance of lung cancer returns to a level of non-smokers have.
- Your chance of having a heart attack will return to what someone who doesn't smoke has after 15 years.

And we haven't even talked about the cost: If you smoke one pack a day at $5 a pack (more in many states/cities)  then you spend $150 a month. That's $1,800 a year! What could you do with an extra $1,800? And if you're a 2-person household of smokers then how much would an extra $3,600 a year help you?

No matter what method you use to quit smoking, just do it. And remember to not get discouraged. Statistically, people aren’t successful until their 2nd or 3rd try. Don't give up! If you slip, take note as to what happened. Learn from it. Address it. And then get back on your horse.

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