With over 7,000 chemicals released each time you light a cigarette, it's no surprise that smoking is one of the leading causes of deaths worldwide. But with 1.3 billion people actively smoking what actually happens when you stop smoking?
Within the first 20 minutes of quitting, your blood pressure and heart rate return to normal. This is because the nicotine in cigarettes releases epinephrine and norepinephrine, which increases your heart rate. This also leads to narrowed blood vessels. These effects also cause smokers extremities to feel colder. But by now your hands and feet have returned to their normal temperature. Two hours in and the nicotine cravings begin causing lewdness, drowsiness, intense feelings and even
difficulty in sleeping because nicotine also releases more dopamine than normal. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms usually start about two hours after your last cigarette.
Carbon monoxide, which can be toxic to the body at high levels, is released from burning tobacco and inhaled as part of cigarette smoke. Carbon monoxide bonds very well to blood cells, so high levels of the gas can prevent the cells from bonding with oxygen.