There is a nifty tool on the government website on women’s health; it gives you the time at the moment you see the web page, and asks you, What happens when you stop smoking right now, and goes on to calculate the time 20 minutes from that point, the dates a few days, a few weeks, and a few months from that point, to tell you what your risk of heart disease will be at those times. The risk falls Very quickly to begin with, and falls more slowly and steadily as time wears on. In about six months, you can look forward to a better respiratory condition, in about five years, you will have no higher a risk of getting getting a stroke than someone who never smoked, and so on. But on a practical level, in your daily battle with your urge to let your fingers trot over to your pack, what is the level of temptation and personal anguish that you can expect? To begin with, you need to know what it is you’re up against. To put a number on it, tobacco is hundreds of times more addictive than alcohol, and can be ten times more difficult to quit than, say, cocaine. It takes a great deal of savvy and cunning to trick your temptation into playing along with your resolve. What happens when you stop smoking often depends to a great extent on how well you know to trick your mind. The people you have always smoked with are always going to remind your smoker’s brain of all the good times you had; you might actually need to build an elaborate plan to avoid seeing those people in the smoking situations you saw them in before. Building an elaborate plan is not really that difficult for smokers often. Lots of us are smokers in hiding, trying to keep our politically incorrect habit from our disapproving family and friends. Finding an excuse to go out alone every now and then, finding a reason why we have a cough, all require elaborate planning, of just the kind we need to quit. It doesn’t always have to be a simple matter of choosing a Zyban or a Chantix or something; but these can always help when used in conjunction with a proper plan. What happens when you quit smoking basically comes down to resolve over everything else. When you read up for advice on quitting smoking, what you basically hear are of ways to hold on to your resolve. Everyone knows what happens when you quit smoking: it is incredibly difficult. But you can ask your family to champion your cause by admiring how wonderful your effort is; you can try any of several great ways that help the mind believe in itself: take up exercise, take up yoga, or a sport. Above all, give yourself credit for what you’re trying to do. If you were trying to set a world record and found the going difficult, would you blame yourself for how slow the going was? To quit smoking is really that great a deal.You need to go about it not like it was anything you’re expected to do. You need to go about it like the backbreaking achievement it really is.