Quit Smoking Today: Your Back Will Thank You

Quit Smoking Today: Your Back Will Thank You


Smoking causes serious and long-lasting health problems. It is accountable for 30% of all cancer deaths in the U.S. Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that smoking is a major contributor to heart disease, stroke, COPD and other respiratory diseases.

Quitting smoking can help you improve your life and well-being.

Quitting smoking isn’t easy, but it’s doable with some help, planning and support. This article will explain what you need to know if you are thinking of quitting smoking. It will explain the steps you should take if you choose to quit, and give you helpful resources to make it easier.

With dedication, commitment and perseverance, giving up smoking is a possible goal today that can change your life for the better – mentally and physically:

  • Plan ahead and set a quit date.
  • Remove cigarettes and other tobacco products from your home, car, and work.
  • Get support from family and friends.
  • Find a support group or quit-smoking program.
  • Talk to your doctor about medications and other tools that can help.
  • Stay active and find healthy ways to cope with cravings.

The Health Risks of Smoking

Smoking is hazardous! It can cause many health issues, such as:

  • Lung cancer
  • Heart disease
  • COPD
  • Stroke
  • and many more.

Even worse for those who smoke pipes and cigars.

Let’s take a look at why it is essential to quit. The medical problems linked to smoking are severe.

Short-term Health Risks

Smoking tobacco brings with it many short-term health risks. It can affect an individual’s breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. Smoke reduces oxygen levels in the lungs, causing shortness of breath and fatigue. Plus, it raises the risk of respiratory infections.

Studies have found that smokers have higher resting heart rates and blood pressure after smoking one cigarette. This can lead to serious cardiovascular issues such as heart attack or stroke. Especially for those with pre-existing conditions.

Smoking can also cause eye problems. It increases inflammation at the surface of the eyes, causing blurry vision. Heavy cigar and pipe smokers have a higher chance of developing cataracts.

Finally, nicotine oxidation can cause plaque buildup in blood vessels. This can lead to peripheral vascular disease (PVD). PVD causes pain and numbness, and can lead to long-term disability if not managed.

Long-term Health Risks

The long-term health risks of smoking are far worse than any short-term benefits. Research has proven the dangers of cigarette smoke. Long-term effects can include cancer, respiratory diseases, premature aging and an increased risk of infection.

Smokers are at risk of deadly carcinogens linked to:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Esophagus cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Pancreas cancer

Cigarette smoke can clog blood vessels, causing heart attack or stroke. Smokers may also experience impotence, infertility and other health issues, including:

  • Gum disease & tooth decay
  • Asthma & emphysema worsening
  • Chronic coughing & wheezing
  • Reduced physical fitness & endurance
  • Vision loss (related to diabetes)

Quitting smoking can reduce these risks by 90% within five years, although some effects will remain. Quitting is the best way to reduce the risk of developing health problems due to smoking.

Benefits of Quitting Smoking

Quitting smoking can boost your health in lots of ways. Physically, it can reduce inflammation, better breathing, and decrease the chances of serious illnesses like cancer.

Let’s discover the rewards of quitting smoking!

Improved Lung Health

The moment you stop smoking, your body starts to repair itself. After 20 minutes, both your blood pressure and pulse rate will return to normal. Plus, after 8 hours, oxygen levels will be higher than usual.

In only one year, you’ll notice dramatic improvements in your lung function. Coughing and difficulty breathing will reduce, and the cilia (tiny hairlike structures) that clear mucus from the lungs will start to recover. When these cilia are damaged by cigarette smoke, the mucus can cause infections like bronchitis or pneumonia.

It gets even better with time! Within 15 years of quitting, your risk of lung cancer death reduces to those of non-smokers. Your risk of coronary heart disease decreases after one year, and stroke risk drops after two to three years! Even if you started smoking at a young age, quitting still reduces your risk. So don’t wait any longer. Quitting smoking is a lifesaver!

Reduced Risk of Cancer

Smoking increases cancer risk. Quitting reduces it. The American Cancer Society says that smoking causes almost 20% of all deaths in the US each year. Lung cancer alone causes nearly a third of all cancer deaths.

When you quit, your risk of developing lung, throat, and other cancers decreases. The more you smoked, the greater your risk. Even if you smoked heavily, you can reduce your risk over time. It’s nearly that of a non-smoker after five years without smoking.

Quitting has cosmetic benefits too. Smokers show more signs of age than non-smokers due to wrinkles and yellowed teeth. Quitting can help reverse many (though not all) of these effects:

  • Look younger for longer!

Quitting Strategies

Quit smoking? That can be tough! But don’t worry, there are many strategies that can help you out. In this article, we will discuss the best quitting strategies. They can help you kick the habit and improve your health. Ready to get started? Let’s dive in!

Cold Turkey

Quitting “cold turkey” is when you quit smoking without any nicotine replacement products or meds. Just stop abruptly and use willpower! This way may be tricky, but it works for many.

To make it more likely, set a quit date in the near future. Then get ready:

  • Have activities to fill your time
  • Plan how to handle cravings
  • Remove smoking reminders from home, work, and car – no ashtrays, lighters, or matches!
  • Let friends and family know you’re quitting to get support.

No failures! Just keep trying and focus on being smoke-free forever. If you need help, join a group of quitters online or through local meetings.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) is a medication used to fight nicotine withdrawal. It can be delivered as gum, patches, inhalers, tablets, lozenges or nasal sprays with measured amounts of nicotine. A doctor may prescribe one or several forms of NRT with other strategies like counseling.

NRT aims to provide short-term nicotine supply to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Each person’s body reacts differently to nicotine, so consult a doctor to determine the right dosage.

Studies show that smokers are more likely to quit successfully with NRT than other methods. That’s why it’s important to consult your doctor before using NRT.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy is a powerful tool to quit smoking. It’s based on the fact that many of us use cigarettes to cope with negative feelings, creating a psychological dependence. To help, this therapy teaches us how to improve our lifestyle and reduce stressors, developing new coping skills.

Popular behavioral therapies used for this are:

  • Motivational Interviewing,
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy,
  • Mindfulness Training,
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy,
  • Solution Focused Brief Therapy,
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy,
  • Systematic Desensitization,
  • Relaxation Training, and
  • Contingency Management.

Motivational Interviewing lets us explore our uncertainty about quitting, before acting. It encourages us to think about the effects of smoking and motivates healthier choices when facing stress or cravings.

CBT helps us identify negative thoughts and replace them with positive beliefs. It challenges our negative ideas about quitting, like “I can’t quit because I’m weak” or “I’m too addicted to quit.”

Mindfulness Training teaches us acceptance strategies when we get cravings or face stressful situations. It focuses on being present in the moment, observing thoughts and feelings without reacting.

ACT is similar, but it also encourages decision making despite discomfort, such as cravings.

SFBT focuses on what we want out of life, rather than what we don’t want. This allows us to focus on solutions more than problems, while going through cravings or stress related to quitting.

Finally, Contingency Management gives rewards (items or services) for abstaining from smoking. This reinforces behaviors connected to controlling urges, and decreases nicotine dependence over time.

Prescription Medications

Prescriptions can be great for quitting smoking. Your doctor may advise you on the best ones for you. Generally, these medications come in two forms: Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and non-nicotine medication.

NRT includes items like gums, patches, inhalers, and sprays. They deliver nicotine over time, and help reduce cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and elevate mood and concentration.

Non-nicotine meds are called ‘non-tobacco’ meds. They help with things like headaches, constipation, depression, or irritability. You’ll need doctor approval before using them. Examples include Bupropion (Zyban or Wellbutrin) and Varenicline (Chantix).

It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions to get the best out of quit smoking therapy, and to stay healthy.


Smoking is a big factor in chronic back pain. Quitting isn’t easy, but it can be done with help and determination. You can look forward to healthier lungs, improved breathing, more mobility, and less pain from reduced inflammation. Plus, a healthy back gives you the ability to do physical activities that make life more exciting.

Don’t wait any longer – take steps to quit now and make a healthier future.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why does smoking affect my back?

Smoking reduces blood flow to your spine, which can cause narrowing of the blood vessels and reduced oxygen supply to the tissues in your back. This can lead to chronic pain, muscle weakness and increased risk of developing osteoporosis and disc degeneration.

2. Will quitting smoking help to alleviate my back pain?

Yes. Quitting smoking can improve blood flow to your spine, which can enhance the delivery of oxygen and essential nutrients to your back, reduce inflammation and promote healing.

3. How does smoking affect my spinal discs?

Smoking can cause degeneration of the spinal discs, which can result in chronic back pain, reduced mobility and loss of function. This occurs because smoking decreases the flow of nutrients to the discs, which causes them to dry out, shrink and become brittle.

4. How quickly can I see improvements in my back pain after quitting smoking?

Generally, you may start to notice improvements in your back pain and mobility within a few weeks to months after quitting smoking, depending on the severity of your condition and how long you have been smoking.

5. What can I do to reduce my back pain while quitting smoking?

You may find that doing regular low impact exercises such as walking, swimming and stretching can help to ease your back pain while you are quitting smoking. You can also try using heat and cold therapy, massage and over-the-counter pain relief medications to alleviate your symptoms.

6. What are some other health benefits of quitting smoking?

Quitting smoking can provide numerous health benefits such as increased lung capacity, improved circulation, reduced risk of cancer, heart attack and stroke, brighter skin, fresher breath and a healthier immune system.

the back recovery program by alex larsson
Jane Smith is a natural health enthusiast on a mission to uncover effective methods for achieving pain-free living. Through her personal journey with chronic back pain, she has become well-versed in holistic approaches such as yoga, Pilates, and essential oils.

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