Healthy Minds, Healthy Bods advocates a healthy lifestyle, with focus on mind-set, nutrition, exercise, routine, and generally taking an interest in improving your health overall.
Over the last two blog entries we have looked at the Respiratory and Immune Systems in different ways. Both are affected by inhaling cigarette smoke. It is people's choice to smoke - even if they are addicted, or say they are. HMHB will never tell people what to do, but instead present facts and figures, research and studies, and allow people to decide for themselves, but the overwhelming advice from evert medical angle is "smoking is bad for your health".
Let's look at some startling facts first.
- The World Health Organisation have said there are over a billion smokers in the world
- Tobacco kills more than six million people every year (all preventable). That translates to one-smoking related death every five seconds. The overall total is a million more deaths than occurs as a result of HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria combined.
- On average, a smoker's life expectancy is reduced by thirteen years.
- People think of lung cancer when they think of smoking. However, it is not the only malignancy you can get. Others include cancer of the bladder, blood, bone marrow, cervix, colon, esophagus, kidneys, larynx, liver, mouth, pancreas, rectum, stomach and throat.
- Smoking has been shown to increase your risk of coronary heart disease and stroke from anywhere from 200% to 400%
- Around the world upwards of five trillion cigarettes are produced and smoked every year
- There are more than 4000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, or which more than 250 are known to be harmful, more than 50 are cause cancer
- It is understood, if you smoke the odds are you will suffer a smoking related disease, and 50% of smokers will die because they smoked (again, totally preventable)
Right, hopefully people are seriously alarmed by the above.
But, at this time of lockdown, what a terrific time to give yourself and M.O.T. and give up smoking. It will save you money and improve your overall health, even if you have smoked for many years.
Let's look at it financially first:
We will look at if you smoked 5 a day, 10 a day, or 20 a day - based on a cost of a pack of cigarettes ar £11. Naturally it will differ a but between manufacturers, but this is an average.
5 a day 10 a day 20 a day
Within a day you save: £2.75 £5.50 £11.00
Within a week you save; £19.25 £38.50 £77.00
Within 2 weeks you save: £38.50 £77.00 £154.00
Within 1 month you save: £83.65 £167.30 £324.60
Within 6 months you save: £501.90 £1003.80 £2007.60
Within 1 year you save: £1003.80 £2007.60 £4015.20
Within 5 years you save: £5019.00 £10038.00 £20076.00
That is a staggering figure when it comes down to it. On all of them. Even if you smoked just five a day you would save over £5000 in five years, at a current price - and they are bound to increase in price during that period.
So how quickly can you health improve?
- Within 1 hour; , and probably quicker, your heart rate drops and returns to normal, your blood pressure will also begin to drop, and your circulation may start to improve.
- Within 12 hours; cigarettes contain a lot of known toxins including carbon monoxide, a gas which is present in cigarette smoke. This gas can be harmful or fatal in high doses and prevents oxygen from entering the lungs and blood. If inhaled in large doses in a short time, suffocation can occur from lack of oxygen. After just 12 hours, the body cleanses itself of the excess carbon monoxide, and their levels return to normal. This in turn increases the body's oxygen levels.
- Within 1 day: your risk of heart attack begins to decrease - just one day!!! Smoking raises the risk of developing coronary heart disease by lowering good cholesterol, and this can make certain exercise harder to do. Smoking also raises blood pressure and increase blood clots, which in turn increases the risk of stroke. Your blood pressure is decreasing. Exercise is easier because you have more oxygen in your body. Carbon monoxide is eliminated from the body. Lungs start to clear our mucus and other smoking debris.
- Within 2 days: the nicotine has mostly now been removed from your body. This means that your ability to taste becomes more vivid, as well as a heightened sense of smell.
- Within 3 days: you will probably start to get nicotine withdrawals now. This is the most difficult time. Your motivation may have waned, and the odds are you could become moody and irritable, and this could have you wanting to reach for a cigarette. Cravings can cause you to be sweaty and even experience headaches. Breathing though becomes easier, bronchial tubes begin to relax and energy levels increase.
- Over the next 9 months: lung function begins to improve and heal. Smokers will notice less coughing and shortness of breath. Athletic endurance increases and you can do more cardiovascular activity - such as running and jumping. The delicate, hair-like structures inside your lungs, known as Cilia, have recovered from the toll cigarette smoke took on them. These help push mucus out of your lungs and help to fight infections.
- After five years: your body has healed itself enough for your arteries and blood vessels to begin to widen again. Cigarettes cause them to narrow. The widening means the blood is less likely to clot, lowering the risk of heart attack and stroke. This continues to reduce as time goes on
We are in lockdown due to a virus that affects your lungs. Smokers are more at risk of suffering more heavily than non-smokers. What a great time to decide that smoking (which is totally the choice of the user) should not be part of your life.
Don't put it off - make that decision now!!!