It is important for all people who quit smoking to recognize that life goes on without smoking. Over time after a person quits smoking there will be changes: medical, psychological, professional, economic, life roles, relationships, etc. What is important to recognize though is that most of these changes would have occurred whether you had quit smoking or not or even whether or not you ever smoked. As many of my friends are now in their mid-forties and fifties, it is amazing how we share stories of new ailments and new medications being introduced into our lives. Some of these people had quit smoking decades ago, some of them never smoked. None of the ex-smokers bring up a new disorder and say or think to themselves that it must be happening now because they quit smoking ten or twenty years ago. It would be like a person who never smoked who finds out they now have high blood pressure and then thinks to him or herself that it must be because he or she stopped using some product twenty years ago. As we age things happen-it is just the way things go.
If a person gets diagnosed with a smoking related ailment like emphysema or lung cancer years or decades after quitting it is likely that their mind is shifted to think about their past smoking. But medical and psychological conditions that are experienced by smokers and non-smokers alike, the concept of smoking or quitting should not be considered a primary focus anymore.
Smoking did not cause everything. It causes a whole lot of things though and many things that it does not cause, it makes worse. On the same token, quitting does not cause everything. Quitting is usually accompanied with many repairs, but there are also some adjustments (see Medication adjustments) that go on that may need a partnership with your physicians to get worked out.
My general rule of advice is whatever happens the first few days of a quit, whether it is physical or psychological reactions, blame it on not smoking. It is probably the cause of most early quit reactions. If it is a symptom to a condition that could be life threatening, such as severe chest pains or signs or symptoms of a stroke-contact your doctor immediately. While it is probably nothing and just a side effect of quitting, in the long shot that it is something else coincidentally happening the week you are quitting, you need to get it checked out.
Things happening weeks, months, years or decades after your quits though should not ever be assumed to be a quit smoking reaction. It is life going on without smoking. Some of these things may trigger smoking thoughts-especially if they are similar to conditions you did have in the past when you were a smoker. The situation now is a first time experience with a prior feeling where smoking was integrated thus creating smoking thoughts. But even in this case, the condition is creating a smoking thought, it is not that your smoking memories or your smoking past is creating the condition.
Life goes on without smoking. It is likely to go on longer and it is likely that you will be healthier at each and every stage than you would have been if you had continued smoking. Your life will continue to stay better and likely last long longer as long as you always remember to never take another puff!
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