When does smoking feel best?

Frequently asked questions about quitting smoking

Is it worth quitting even if you only smoke a few cigarettes a day?

Few cigarettes a day are also harmful to health, as they contain toxic and in some cases carcinogenic pollutants that are released when burned and get into the human body. For many of these substances, no limits can be defined below which they would not be harmful. These substances are clearly harmful in themselves, but they often reinforce each other so that the mixture is more dangerous than the sum of the individual effects.

Cigarettes with a lower nicotine and tar content, which until recently were traded as "light" and "mild", are no less harmful to health. On the contrary, the smoke is inhaled deeper and smoked more frequently to make up for the lack of nicotine. The more intensive and deeper inhalation of tobacco smoke is blamed for forms of lung cancer that are difficult to treat. So every cigarette is a health hazard.

Should pregnant women who smoke keep smoking?

Smoking during pregnancy should be avoided under all circumstances, as it is harmful to the unborn child (e.g. premature birth, allergy). Pregnant women who smoke should strive to consistently quit smoking in the first few weeks of pregnancy. Smoking partners should at least refrain from smoking in the presence of their pregnant partner, but it is best to stop smoking together.

The highly toxic substances that enter the mother's and child's body when smoking can cause them to be underweight, impair lung development and make them more susceptible to asthma and allergic reactions. The risk of miscarriages, premature births or stillbirths increases. There is also a connection between sudden infant death syndrome and smoking.

What is the best way to stop smoking?

For the path to a tobacco-free life, a method should be chosen that suits the person of the “future non-smoker”. Find out about smoking cessation options and how you can improve the chances of success in quitting smoking under Methods to quit smoking and support in quitting smoking.

Do I automatically get fat when I stop smoking?

After quitting smoking, you will not "automatically" become fat. Rather, your body's metabolism normalizes and you burn fewer calories than with a cigarette. On average, you consume 200 fewer calories per day. In addition, your taste and olfactory nerves will recover after you quit - many things simply taste better.

Even old habits can become calorie traps: After quitting smoking, some “fresh” non-smokers reach for sweets or snacks in the situations in which they smoked before and thus absorb more calories than before. In addition, nicotine suppresses appetite. Hunger and appetite are therefore typical symptoms of quitting smoking.

All of these factors mean that when some people stop smoking, the scale pointer moves a little further to the right. About 60 percent of people who quit smoking report weight gain between 2.5 and 4 kg. Only about every tenth person gains up to 10 kg. For most of them, the weight levels off again over time.

An important tip for everyone who wants to maintain their weight after quitting smoking: crank up your metabolic engine through a healthy, wholesome diet and sufficient exercise. Also, drink enough - preferably water, fruit spritzers or other low-calorie drinks. Be careful not to consume more calories. However, a strict diet is not recommended. Instead, choose foods that are healthy and tasty - enjoyment should not be neglected, especially in the first weeks and months of your new life as a non-smoker.

Are there tricks that will help me to get a better grip on the desire for a cigarette after quitting smoking?

In fact, there are a number of methods that can be used specifically when the desire for a cigarette arises. First of all, you should know that cravings after quitting smoking are completely normal and should not be interpreted as a weak will. Be active in dealing with the situation.

The four help A tips:

A as in postponement: For example, take ten deep breaths in and out. Trust that the desire will weaken and then it will no longer be felt at all.

A for dodging: Avoid situations that might be too difficult for you, especially in the first few days and weeks. This can be, for example, the break with those colleagues who light a cigarette after eating. Later, when you feel more confident overall, you will master these situations as well.

A for run away. You can use this tip if it has already become stressful: Leave the place or the situation you are in until you feel better and the desire subsides. Choose a place that you associate as little as possible with a cigarette.

The fourth tip is also helpful: A for distraction. Consciously replace smoking with other activities. Activities that are fun and as incompatible as possible with smoking are best.

How does my body recover after quitting smoking?

It takes about 8 hours for the carbon monoxide in the bloodstream to evaporate and make room for vital oxygen. After just 24 hours, the risk of a heart attack decreases slightly, after 48 hours the nerve endings begin to regenerate. This improves your smell and taste skills, for example, so you can smell and taste better again.

Your circulation will stabilize after about two weeks to three months. Major changes are also evident in the lungs: in the first few months after quitting smoking, they are cleansed and the airways become less mucous. This gives you noticeably longer breath - whether during sport or in everyday life, for example climbing stairs.

Over the years, you will then significantly reduce your risk of various cancers. 10 years after quitting smoking, for example, the risk of lung cancer for an ex-smoker is only half as high as if they had continued to smoke permanently. About 15 years after quitting smoking, the risk of cardiovascular disease is almost the same as that of non-smokers. It is therefore worthwhile to stop smoking consistently - a short time after the last cigarette!

Is it also worth quitting for a person who has smoked for many years?

Yes, shortly after the last cigarette the body begins to regenerate and over the following months and years the risk of various diseases decreases.

Even after many years of consumption, it is worth stopping smoking. For example, if you stop smoking at the age of 40, statistically speaking, compared to those who continue to smoke, you gain nine valuable years in life.

The chances of success for smokers who decide to quit later in life are also good. Practical experience shows that many of them manage to live without a cigarette. No one should be discouraged by unsuccessful attempts to quit in the past. Because: On average, smokers need seven attempts before they can successfully exit permanently. Of course, the following always applies: the sooner you stop smoking, the better. But there is no time in life when it is no longer worth leaving.