Giving up smoking might be the most important thing you do for your health this year.
If you do manage to put down the cigarettes, you will no doubt experience a host of health benefits.
We’ve already detailed how just 20 minutes after putting down your last cigarette your body will start to heal itself.
But getting to the stage where you start to feel healthier won’t necessarily be easy.
Withdrawal can be challenging, and your body will go through various unpleasant symptoms while you recover.
According to the NHS , you may have the urge to smoke and feel restless, irritable, frustrated or tired.
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Some people also find they have difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
Less common symptoms include coughing, sore throat and wheezing, constipation, dizziness or light-headedness and/or mouth ulcers.
But it’s important to remember what these symptoms will pass, and you will be on your way to recovery.
The withdrawal symptoms usually disappear completely within two to four weeks.
You may also be tempted to snack more because of improved appetite and taste, which may cause you to gain weight.
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But once you’ve stopped smoking you will find it easier to lose weight with your increased energy.
In the meantime, there are a number of things you can do to ease the cravings.
For example, make sure you have plenty of healthy snacks like fruit or nuts, and hide the bags of crisps.
The NHS recommends using the Smokefree mobile app, which provides daily support and step-by-step tailored advice to help you quit smoking.
You can sign up for the app here .
One of their biggest tips is to distract yourself with something else.
For example, talk to someone, go for a brisk walk, stay busy, drink a glass of water or change the scene.
Keep in mind you will change your life by quitting. You won’t just be improving your health, but you will save money too.
As time passes you will find the symptoms will grow weaker, and you will think about smoking less.
For more information, visit the NHS SmokeFree website .
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