Best Times to Quit Smoking
Smoking cessation is an important step you must take if you want to maintain a healthy body and lifestyle. Attempting to stop smoking is a difficult task, though there are certain circumstances that call for the immediate end to your smoking habits. If you are pregnant, trying to get fit, or suffering from an illness (particularly a chronic illness), quitting sooner than later will prove to be extremely beneficial.
Quitting When You’re Pregnant
One of the most crucial times to stop smoking is when you are pregnant, or planning to become pregnant. In utero, a baby relies solely on the oxygen provided by the air its mother breathes. Cigarettes contain over 4,000 chemical compounds, 60 of which are known carcinogens; nicotine and carbon monoxide are particularly harmful to a developing fetus, says the Baby Center. These two compounds cause almost all smoking-related birth complications. Nicotine narrows your blood vessels, effectively reducing the amount of oxygen your baby can receive. This is made worse by the fact that carbon monoxide binds to the oxygen receptors on your red blood cells, causing even less oxygen to be able to reach the baby. If you quit smoking while you are pregnant, it will reduce the chance that you will miscarry or have a stillborn baby. As well, babies born to mothers who smoked for the duration of the pregnancy are more likely to be born prematurely and underweight, or have heart, lung and cognitive complications.
Quitting When You’re Trying to Get Fit
If you are trying to get fit, implementing a smoking cessation plan is a beneficial idea. In order to get fit, your body needs oxygen-rich blood if you wish to reach your peak performance level, says the Cleveland Clinic. Due to the fact that certain chemicals in cigarettes bind to your red blood cells, your muscles and tissues are not able to get the oxygen they need. In turn, this decreases endurance, causes an increase in lactic acid during exercise, as well as more post-exercise soreness. The benefit of getting fit while you are trying to stop smoking will also help keep you from gaining weight during the quitting process, improve your mood, distract you from cravings, and allow you to cope with the stress of quitting in a positive way.
Quitting When You’re Ill
Smoking puts a great deal of strain on your body. If you have an illness, it is best to stop smoking so that your body can recover more quickly (or so you do not exacerbate the illness). A smoking cessation plan should be given extra consideration if you are living with a chronic condition, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD is a disease that affects the lungs and can cause chronic bronchitis, emphysema or both. Smoking is the number one cause attributed to COPD, says the National Institute of Health. This condition makes it difficult to breathe, causes fatigue, respiratory infection, and cough (with or without mucous). Since smoking is the main cause of COPD, and also limits oxygen intake, it is a good idea to quit smoking if you have this chronic illness.
Smoking cessation treatment is a hard process, though the difficulties you may face if you do not stop smoking can be far worse. Making an effort to quit smoking is important, regardless of the circumstances. Medical research groups in Los Angeles offering treatments and medication to aid participants in their quest to stop smoking. To learn more about Los Angeles clinical trials for smoking cessation, contact the Pacific Institute of Medical Research, which is an independent clinical research site specializing in psychiatry since 1982. Visit us online or call us at (310) 208-7144.