The perks of quiting

The many ways the body heals when a person stops smoking

Stockbridge graduate Tammy Sanchez started smoking shortly after she graduated with the class of 1981. Sanchez said she “went to a party and saw everyone else was smoking so thought ‘why not.’ It got to be when I was coughing all the time.” Although, she wasn’t really a full-time smoker, a pack of cigarettes could last her a week, she “quit smoking in order to stop coughing [and] to be with [her] husband Ken because he said he didn’t like it. He said he didn’t want to marry an ashtray.”

For most people, it can be hard not to smoke another cigarette because their bodies are addicted to smoking them, but the moment that they quit using cigarettes, the body starts getting back to its normal self, according to Quitday, an organization that specializes in information and advice on how to quit smoking. Quitting can greatly reduce the risk for numerous diseases, cancers, COPD and reproductive complications when no smoking happens.

Even though there is tons of complications acquired when smoking, people have reasons or ways how they got addicted. According to the Hood Center for Children and Families, which is a organization helping people with problems or addictions, there are endless ways teens can become addicted to cigarettes. Some of these ways are secondhand smoke, peer pressure and parental influence.

Senior Justin Hibbard became addicted to smoking through parental influence.

“When you grow up with two parents that both smoke, I learned by their habit. They seemed to be good with it, so that’s why I tended to do it,” Hibbard said. “When I stopped, I got anxious at times, but I could feel my breath getting back, and I didn’t get winded as fast as I used to.”

Many people try to heal after smoking for years, but there are more benefits to come eventually. Breathing more easily is one of the many perks quitting smoking has to offer. Voice and hair color become more vibrant as well according to the website Quit Victoria which is supported by the Heart Foundation.

The body can do a lot more to heal, according to Michigan State University fourth year medical student, Dr. Michael Doyle, who explains there are more benefits than only breathing better.

“Changes in your body occur quite rapidly after the last cigarette,” Doyle said. “Also, simple things like bad breath, yellow teeth, and skin health can drastically improve as well.”

Even though smokers know the effects of smoking, users still might find it difficult to quit. Today, there are many methods to stop the habit of smoking. Two of these are chewing nicotine infused gum or wearing nicotine patches.

However, one method that does not seem to help from loss of addiction is using E-cigarettes, which are still infused with nicotine, instead of real cigarettes, according to the website Science News for Kids. E-cigarettes, commonly known as vape, have become so popular today that they have lots of flavors available, such as cherry or grape, and are becoming more common to use for recreation. Their original purpose was to help people overcome the real cigarette smoking habit and substitute with something that is less harmful according to the American Lung Association, an organization dealing with lung health and diseases.

The U.S Department of Health and Human Services reports that E-cigarettes still might not be beneficial whatsoever. “In initial lab tests conducted in 2009 the FDA found detectable levels of toxic cancer-causing chemicals, including an ingredient used in antifreeze, in two leading brands of e-cigarettes and 18 various cartridges.”