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What Happens To The Body When People Quit Smoking?

First Posted: Feb 07, 2017 05:42 AM EST
What happens when you get rid of cigarettes?
A new video encourages people to quit smoking.
(Photo : Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Smoking is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. While some smokers often ignore this fact, a new video explains what happens to the body moments after they stop.

The Huffington Post reported that a new video released by AsapSCIENCE gives people an insight on the effects of quitting cigarette smoking. There are currently 1.3 billion regular smokers in the world, which means the same number of people is prone to the deadly effects of chemicals found in tobacco. But what if these people quit?

According to the video, the blood pressure and heart rate returns to normal 20 minutes after they quit smoking. The nicotine in cigarettes apparently releases epinephrine and norepinephrine to increase heart rate and narrow blood vessels.

Two hours after, a person's nicotine cravings will trigger his or her moodiness, drowsiness, tense feelings and sleeping difficulties. These physiological effects are caused by the decrease in dopamine release, which have been increased by nicotine while a person was in the habit.

Oxygen levels will return to normal eight hours after as it clears away inhaled carbon monoxide for oxygen to flow. However, carbon monoxide increases the size of red blood cells for long-term smokers, which makes them at risk for higher blood pressure and blood clots.

After 24 hours, the body would automatically clear the toxins out of the lungs, which explains the "smoker's cough." Risks of developing coronary diseases will then decrease, leaving former smokers with a healthier heart.

Damaged nerve endings will begin to regrow after 48 hours when nicotine and other chemicals are completely eliminated. Furthermore, food taste will be restored to normal once the blood vessels in the tongue are clear from tar and other chemicals.

However, the grim part comes 72 hours after quitting as nicotine withdrawals trigger emotional symptoms such as anxiety and depression, as well as headaches, nausea and cramps. On a lighter note, this is the worst that could ever happen, which means all good things follow after this stage.

Risks of developing type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart diseases will decrease after one month, while a former smoker's lungs will almost be fully repaired within three to nine months.

"Of course this skyline is not definitive and the average amount you smoke per day or year will play a role on how well your body recovers," the video explained. "Unfortunately there will be irreversible damage to the lungs and decrease in susceptibility to developing lung diseases."

"Quitting may be difficult but the benefits greatly outweigh the initial withdraw," the video concludes. "Ultimately the best way to prevent this from happening is to not begin smoking at all."

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