I met a man recently who told me that he had smoked 4 packs of cigarettes per day for 40 years. Until that time, I thought 2 packs per day was shocking, and I wondered to myself if smoking that much was even possible.
At an average of 4 minutes each, it would take approximately 5.5 hours to smoke 80 cigarettes. That’s over 2,000 hours per year. For most people, that’s pretty much every waking minute outside of work in which you have a free hand.
There really wouldn’t be time for much else.
What was even more astonishing than the sheer volume of cigarettes he smoked was that, a few days prior, his cardiologist had reported that his lungs were perfectly healthy. There was no trace of any pulmonary damage since this man had quit smoking 10 years earlier. His lungs had completely repaired themselves.
Life Cycle of Cells
We all know smoking causes disease.
Cigarettes contain over 4,000 poisonous chemicals including formaldehyde, arsenic, tar, cyanide, carbon monoxide, nicotine, ammonia, benzine, acetone, and thousands of others that have never been studied.
Do an internet search on the effects of ingesting or inhaling any one of these substances and you’ll wonder how smokers live beyond the first puff. Without the miraculous ability of the human body to adapt and repair, a cigarette would mean certain death.
However, the human body is continually breaking itself down and rebuilding, every second of every day. You aren’t the same you that you were yesterday, and you’ll be a very different you tomorrow. Every organ, gland, tissue, and cell in your body is undergoing a process of repair and adaptation at this very moment, including the lungs, and everyone has the same innate healing ability when given the right tools.
Timeline of Lung Repair After You Quit Smoking
It is because of the never-ending process of cell death and cell generation that we possess the ability to heal and grow in the presence of life’s stressors. Without it, wounds would never mend, babies couldn’t grow, and the most innocuous of bacteria would kill us all.
When you quit smoking…
♦ Within 20 minutes, blood pressure and heart rate return to normal.
♦ After 8 hours, carbon monoxide levels in the blood are reduced to about half and oxygen levels return to normal.
♦ After 48 hours, chances of having a heart attack will already have decreased. All nicotine will have been purged from the body and senses of taste and smell begin to return.
♦ After 72 hours, bronchial tubes will relax and energy levels increase. Lung capacity also increases.
♦ In 2 weeks, circulation is greatly improved and will continue to improve for about 10 weeks.
♦ In 3 to 9 months, lung capacity will improve by about 10% and coughing, wheezing, and breathing problems related to smoking will resolve. Cilia in the lungs regenerate. There is an increased ability to detoxify the lungs and reduced risk of infection.
Pregnant women who quit before the fourth month of pregnancy greatly reduce the risk of stillbirth and low birth weight associated with smoking.
♦ After 1 year, chances of having a heart attack will have decreased by half.
♦ After 5 years, chances of having a stroke will be that of a non-smoker, and chances of mouth and bladder cancer decline as well.
♦ In 10 years, chances of having lung cancer will be that of a non-smoker.
♦ In 15 years, chances of having a heart attack will be that of a non-smoker.
This timeline of lung repair following the cessation of smoking is nothing short of miraculous. The power and intelligence of the human body is our absolute best hope for longevity, vitality, and wellness. Our goal should be to enhance the innate healing ability within by providing the body with the tools necessary for proper function, not to interfere using man-made chemicals and superficial education.
The Age-Old (Tired) Argument
Unfortunately, our modern health care system has convinced millions that the human body is weak, genetically prone to disease, and supposed to fall apart as we age. This is an absolute fallacy. It is impossible to have the slightest understanding of human function and not be convinced to the contrary.
The most important thing anyone can do to ensure optimal health throughout life is to minimize any and all interference with its natural operation.
Breaking any addiction is never easy. In fact, for many it is the most difficult thing they will ever do. Just know that if you garner the willpower one day, you’ll be on the road to wellness within seconds.
Natural Methods to Help You Quit Smoking
1) Fresh lime was shown in one study to be an effective smoking cessation aid (1).
2) Another study concluded that “five minutes of moderate intensity exercise is associated with a short-term reduction in desire to smoke and tobacco withdrawal symptoms.” (2)
3) Inhaling black pepper vapor (from a cigarette substitute) has reduced smoking withdrawal symptoms in test subjects (3).
4) Start adopting other healthy lifestyle practices. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, make a habit of exercising, and get plenty of sleep each night.
5) Snack on healthy foods like carrots, celery, bell pepper slices, and other fresh vegetables when you get the urge to put something in your mouth.
6) Take a quality antioxidant supplement to counteract free-radical damage caused by smoking.
Unfortunately, high levels of toxins have been found in popular E-Cigarettes, some having up to 10 times the level of carcinogens than regular cigarettes, so they are not necessarily a healthier choice.