I have a brother.
I remember when he was born. I was a few months off turning 10, and I thought he was just the cutest thing!
See how he loved me to hold him?
But somewhere along the line, he took up smoking. And for 20 years, he's been poisoning himself with crap like tar, ammonia, acetone, toluene, nicotine, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, lead, nickel, arsenic, cadmium, DDT, methoprene, benzene and naphthalene.
Well, not any more.
Because, this week, he became a quitter. And I couldn't be more proud of him.
In just 12 hours, almost all the nicotine in his system had been metabolised.
In 24 hours, his blood levels of carbon monoxide had dropped dramatically, enabling his body to function more efficiently.
After 5 days, most of the nicotine by-products in his body are gone, and his senses of taste and smell are improving.
After 6 weeks, his risk of wound infection will drop dramatically.
In 3 months, his lungs will have regained the ability to clean themselves, improving his lung capacity.
In a year, his risk of coronary heart disease will be half that it would have been if he'd continued to smoke.
In 5 years, the risks of developing mouth and throat cancers will have halved.
In 10 years, his risk of lung cancer will be half that of a smoker and declining.
In 15 years, his risk of coronary heart disease will be that same as that of a non-smoker, and he'll have reduced the risk of stroke, too.
After 20 years, his risk of macular degeneration is that of someone who has never smoked.
(Twenty years sounds like a long time, I know, but every cigarette you DON'T smoke is doing you good!)
Hang in, there, bro. This is one time when quitters are winners in my book! And here's your medal!