Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Quitting smoking?

I've given up smoking. 

Well I say given up.  I am on the cusp of the fifth week without lighting up or having the remotest inclination of inhaling one. 

Do I feel any better?

I've been smoking for the last 24 years.   Ranging anywhere from 10 cigs per day to over a 100 fags when socially stress-pressed.   And then one day, four weeks ago, I stopped.  Stopped without needing the usual cold, flu or other bodily ailment as an excuse to refrain from the mad morning scramble of opening a packet, lighting up and inhaling along with my first coffee of the day. 

Ate far less though, as breakfast all the way through till lunch simply comprised of cigarettes and large barrels of coffee.

I thought I'd look and see what health benefits would occur under this newly discovered additional bout of abstinence that's joined the ones of sex, recreational helpers, and the way its going - alcohol, all careering off into the distance, without a religious conversion anywhere in sight!


The theory

The actual

20 minutes

Blood pressure and pulse returns to normal.

From all the blood pressure and pulse tests I have had done in the past, better than most non-smokers let alone smokers.


8 hours

Nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in blood reduce by ½, oxygen levels return to normal and circulation improves.

Oxygen and carbo levels were always very good.


24 hours

Carbon monoxide and nicotine levels are eliminated from the body.

Never noticed anything different here.


48 hours

Ability to taste and smell improves.

Well i can certainly begin to smell london. Didn't realise people bathed in cologne or perfume. Or seemingly nothing at all. Ewwww!

not sure

3 days

Breathing becomes easier as your bronchial tubes begin to relax.

Stopped sounding like a slightly old steam train first thing in the morning, so that's been a plus.


Few days

Fingers lose their yellow stains and skin looks better.

Never ever had those yellow stained fingers. But could have been mistaken for one of the greys from roswell on a muggy dawn.


1 month

Appearance improves, skin loses greyish pallor and becomes less wrinkled.

A few days to go for this one, but the way the body's deciding to break out and looking more like a relief map of a rice pudding bowl, i'm starting to have my doubts.

starting to

3 – 9 months

Coughing and wheezing declines.

Shall wait and see.


1 year

Risk of heart attack reduces by half compared to that of a smoker.

As above.


10 years

Risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker.

As before.


15 years

Risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non-smoker.

Aren't I dead or uploaded yet!


I do seem to need more sleep - if that were possible. But that would cut into the 16 hours I spend in front of the computer screen, anyway. 

Eating more, but have cut down on alcohol, down from 1818+units (and had to check a couple of times to make sure) a month to less than 15 units a month.   The upshot is that i will have to take up some form of exercise; there's only so much leeway hereditary genetics will allow the body, before it irrecoverably passes beyond pear shape. 

On this the turn of a cusp week i'm starting to feel something hinting of a beneficial turn, the skin is starting to feel as if its mine again. 

Along with that, the past few months have seen an increase in the flats population of greenery. Help combat the diesel/petrol fumes pouring in from the street as well as gaseous exhausts from my ever increasing bean-laden diet, by adding wonderful surplus amounts of oxygen into the air.  But just in case it does, I'll need to take more antioxidants (fruit/veg and vitamin/mineral supplementation) to combat the potential increase in free radical.


Amused by the increasing appearance on tv of people who have joined the lengthening unemployment queues. My advise?  Don't worry or panic. It will only become unmanageable if you really let it get to you.  Cut down what you can, cut out what you can sensibly cut out, ensure you eat properly.  As if you let that go, you could end up as a dreaded er statistic.

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