In just 20 minutes
You’ll feel your pounding heart is returning to normalcy. Your Blood Pressure will normalize.
After 2 hours
you’re an ‘average’ smoker, you start feeling discomfort. You feel like
‘it has started’; Nothing has started though! It’s the addict in you
that’s trying to break your quit in the bud. Your blood nicotine level
has gone down by 75%.
The Phase of ‘Denial’:
is the first stage of facing an emotional loss. At this stage you’ll
feel “I’m fine”, “nothing bad is happening”, it is a temporary stage of
an individual’s false self defense. It is recommended that you get
yourself out of this delusion as quickly as you can.
When 8 hours have passed
95% of the nicotine have been excreted through urine. Your body, for
the first time is seriously ‘nicotine hungry’. Pump up the adrenaline,
now you’re well into the fight.
12 hours, your first significant mark, is achieved
you feeling the exact opposite, Blood oxygen level has reached that of a
non-smoker now, Carbon Monoxide level lowered down to normal too. You
start feeling a bit ‘blurred’ here. Again, the situation is much
worsened in your ‘mental image’. Just remember, you have often slept
through this length of time quite comfortably without any cigarette!
24 hours- a day without a cigarette has passed
feel really Anxious. Your real journey through the difficult part of
quitting smoking has started. This is the peak level of Anxiety which,
within two weeks would return to near pre-quitting levels.
The Phase of ‘Anger’:
this second stage of your emotional journey, you have now identified
the futility of your denial. Now you know something has gone the way
that you don’t like. You become angry now. This anger can demonstrate
itself in different forms- impatience, restlessness, intolerance etc.
“why is this happening to me”, “Why should I face this”, “Hell, I hate
ALL”: are some common feeling at this stage. The target of this anger is
often yourself and the closest ones- friends and family members.
When 48 hours are gone
are possibly angry and irritable to the highest order and your negative
bearings will gradually return to normalcy within 3 weeks. For the
first time you begin to ‘notice one benefit of quitting’- food tastes
better! Flowers actually Do smell nice! Damaged nerve endings are
healing, giving you better sense of taste and smell.
Once the all important 72 hours mark is down
body has cleaned itself off nicotine. All the quit related
negative physical and mental symptoms are at their peak. Good news is it
only gets better from this point onwards. The number of trigger induced
crave-episodes experienced during any quitting day will hit the highest
point. Lung bronchial tubes leading to ‘alveoli’ are beginning to
relax. Breathing has become easier and the Lungs-function increase.
as many quit experts describe, is The Most important point in a quit. A
‘make or break’ point indeed. Believe it, it doesn’t get any worse from
here. Since today, everyday it gets easier on you.
The Phase of ‘Depression’:
you’re successfully out of the ‘anger stage’- you realize that being
impatient, treating others bad, being intolerant to the kids is NOT
going to be of much help, you, for the first time, realize that “this is
a ‘love it or leave it’ kind of a situation”. And guess what, you start
a relatively longer period of ‘Depression’. “It’s over with me”, “I
have lost all the charms of life”, “Nothing much of a life is left
anymore” and “I am Sad”- are the common inner feelings here. Unlike
‘anger’ at this stage it’s more of an ‘internal game’; you detach
yourself, to some degree, from the outside world and remorse for
During day-4 to day-8
trigger induced craving have got down to 3 a day. From this point on
the quit is more of a mental game than physical, as the ‘physical’ war
has actually ended after 72 hours.
By the end of 10 days
the reminiscence of the physical addiction has left you. The "average
ex-user is down to encountering less than two crave episodes per day,
each less than 3 minutes.
The Phase of ‘Bargaining’:
is the highest hurdle for a quitter. The inner “junkie” starts
Bargaining. This is a clear stage of a “Split inner-self”; the ‘con
part’ tries to convince the ‘sane part’ of your mind of many things and
‘give you the permission to smoke’ in return! The thoughts are sometimes
very deceiving like “Ok, now that I’m a non-smoker, I can safely take
One Puff”, “ What’s wrong in being only an ‘occasional smoker”, “OK, I
can have one cigarette on the condition of not Starting again”, “This
time I’ll be really sensible, now go and have One”. The simplest Test
at this stage is- “Is this thought or Bargain finally leading me to a
Cigarette?” if the answer is “yes” then identify this as the Bargaining
of the junkie.
Up to 2 weeks
consistently minimizing their visits! On and off, less than once or
twice a day the ex-smoker ‘thinks of a cigarette’. Blood circulation has
improved a lot. Some avid smokers may face bleeding gums during this
time, which actually is a healthy sign; this is happening because of the
increased blood circulation in the gums.
Within 2 to 4 weeks
related symptoms, like- anger, anxiety, concentration lapse,
impatience, insomnia, restlessness and depression, have subsided. The
excess risk of having a heart attack has started its long descend.
Visible improvement in breathing is seen; Lung function has started
improving. Some old smokers would experience deep cough and expel phlegm
during this time. The lungs, now free from the bullying of Tar, have
started its long process of self cleansing.
From 3 weeks to 3 months
circulation in the whole body substantially improves. You feel less and
less “out-of-breath” with increased physical activity. Your chronic
cough, if any, is going to disappear at any point in this time period.
The Phase of ‘Acceptance’:
from person to person, an ex-smoker finally enters this stage after one
to three months of complete abstinence. Now you know this is your new
‘life situation’. And you finally start appreciating the bright side of
your decision. You are now recognizing you are actually way better-off
without your old friend hanging from your lips.