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Wednesday, 11 April 2018

10 Lesser-Known Side Effects of Quitting Smoking

10 Lesser-Known Side Effects of Quitting Smoking

In my six months of ghostwriting assorted health-related articles around the web (over 90 to date), there has only ever been one submission which was flat-out rejected. There was no "would you mind writing this in a different voice?" or "could you please include more references?". Rather, it was a simple "we can't use this, Jared".

Admittedly, I kinda knew this was going to happen on some deeper stomach level. Perhaps I was testing the bathwater, seeing how hot I could run it, and trying to find the boundaries of professionalism. I found some! And maybe that's a good thing. God knows what I would be writing now if they had decided to use this fucking piece, or maybe God doesn't even know, and never will. Rather, what happened was a fat slap with a big red STOP sign, complete with an added footnote which highlighted how my article may scare people into smoking more, and from any ethical health standpoint, that was not something to proudly make money out of.

I completely understood. This was a reasonable response. Yet I was still offended. You see, having recently quit smoking myself, I felt betrayed by the common modern-day text on the matter, forever clicking their fingers in the sky, pointing towards the endless array of physical benefits one might find by spitting out these cancerous sticks of joy. But their hands hid the truth behind their backs. The truth! Which was, simply put, that quitting smoking sucks, and in ways far beyond those nagging nicotine cravings. Hence why I wrote this article! It had become my primary mission to inform other people of what I had discovered! An admirable quest with only one fatal flaw: I was trying to get paid for it.

On that note, here it is, spreading awareness from the smallest platform I have at my disposal. Educate yourself, prepare yourself for battle, and good luck. Here are 10 lesser-known side effects of quitting smoking, written in American.

1. You May Get the Flu
Officially dubbed “smoker’s flu”, you might develop a tight chest, sore throat, and a nasty cough, even worse than when you were smoking. This is a good thing though, as the tar covering the cilia (those tiny hairs in your lungs) is breaking down and hacking up in the form of repulsively dark phlegm. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to deal with this, so just get plenty of rest and wait for it to leave in its own time.

2. You May Suffer From Terrible Headaches
While your inner serotonin chemistry attempts to adjust itself back to normality, you might experience a plethora of interesting reactions. One may feel dazed, fatigued, sleepy, unable to concentrate, or could even suffer from migraines. In these tough times, use painkillers as per their instructions, and ensure you don’t skip on any sleeping hours.

3. Your Emotions Will Scream
Make no mistake: your cravings will call out from their empty pit of despair, begging for a cigarette, which can result in a very volatile emotional state. You may lose your temper in one breath, and want to cry in the next, but do not fear. Simply ask your loved ones for some understanding, and keep in mind that the first few days are always the most intense.

4. You May Struggle to Sleep
For the first week or so, it might be difficult to fall asleep. You may also wake up more often during the night, and experience the common recurring nightmare where you accidentally smoke a cigarette. The good news is that (once you settle back into it), you will ultimately sleep much better than you did as a smoker, and a healthy sleep equals a healthier life. Until then, experiment with different sleeping products until you find something which works best for you.

5. You May Become Constipated
Nicotine triggers bowel movement, and because of this, cigarettes do help smokers stay regular. When you suddenly remove this factor from your system, your digestive organs need time to adapt, which could result in abdominal pains and constipation. Fight this with warm teas, fruit, and exercise, or talk to a professional about medicinal options.

6. You May Gain Weight
After years of habitually raising your hand to your mouth to get a smoke-flavor fix, your mind has been trained well, which is why so many individuals swap one addiction for another, turning to food in hopes that this will fill the bottomless pit in their chest (it won’t). Use this compulsion to your advantage, by trading chips for carrots and soda for water.

7. Nicotine Replacements Might Not Work
Unfortunately, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health reported that gum and patches don’t help ex-smokers in the long run. That said, the removal of your routine cigarette ritual may be useful for some, but just remember that you are still ultimately feeding into the nicotine addiction itself.

8. You Will Have More Time (for Better or Worse)
Without all those smoke breaks and moments wasted as your mind fantasizes about your next puff, you will be surprised at how much free space your schedule suddenly has. This may sound great on paper, but during your initial days of cravings, this additional time could become your most annoying enemy. The trick? Distract yourself!

9. Your Senses Will Return
You should find that your senses of taste and smell come back to you rather rapidly. Once this happens, many of your favorite foods may suddenly become too sweet or too salty. Furthermore, when in the presence of another smoker, you will realize how badly you used to stink, which should at least encourage you to stick to your path of liberation.

10. You Will Get Your Life Back
Most importantly of all, once you get over the initial hump, every aspect of your life will improve dramatically. Your health will return, your sex drive will return, you will look better, you will smell better, you will have more money, you will have more energy, and you will no longer be forced to endure cravings through painful meetings or stand in the rain just to get your fix. Simply put: once you kick this demon, you will feel like an idiot that it took you so long to do so.


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