Many health benefits to kicking the habit

A splendid fellow is my brother-in-law, Albert.

A more devoted husband and father one could never wish to meet. That he has been married to my wife’s sister for 58 years is testament to that.

Not so long ago, Albert and I were discussing the ban on tobacco imposed by the relevant government minister and we both agreed that, unpopular as it is, it is necessary.

One of the more commendable things that Al and I have in common is the fact that we have not puffed a cigarette in well over 50 years.

Albert will happily tell you he gave up the dastardly habit when he left school and me following his example 10 years later.

East London, as many will know, has always carried the distinction of possessing some of the finest eye specialists in the country. It so happened early in my own marriage that I needed to see an eye specialist and in the pre-examination period, we were chatting about this and that and the topic of smoking came up.

He asked me whether I smoked and I said yes – but only 20 a day!

What he then revealed put the wind up me to such an extent that I went home, handed Naomi, my wife a half-completed pack and told her I was never going to put another cigarette to my lips again.

And that was 56 years ago!

So here is a piece for you addicts out there which may just serve to make you kick the habit too.

It is an article published some years ago by the American Lung Association.

Within 20 minutes of your last cigarette:

  • Blood pressure drops to normal
  • Pulse rate drops to normal rate
  • Body temperature of hands and feet increase to normal

After eight hours:

  • Carbon monoxide level in blood drops to normal
  • Oxygen level in blood increases to normal

After 24 hours:

  • Chances of a heart attack decrease

After 48 hours:

  • Nerve endings start regrowing
  • Ability to smell and taste is enhanced

After 72 hours:

  • Bronchial tubes relax, making breathing easier
  • Lung capacity increases
  • After two weeks to three months:
  • Circulation improves
  • Walking becomes easier
  • Lung function increases up to 30%

After one to nine months:

  • Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath decrease
  • Cilia regrow in lungs, increasing abaility to handle mucous, clean the lungs and reduce infection
  • Body’s overall energy level increases

After five years:

  • Lung cancer death rate for average smoker decreases by 187 per 100,000 people

After 10 years:

  • Pre-cancerous cells are replaced with normal cells
  • Risk of other cancers, such as those of the mouth, larynx oesophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas, decrease.

Certainly a fine motivation to give up, don’t you think?


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