Top 8 benefits when you quit smoking
We all know that it’s a good thing to quit smoking. We know that smoking is bad for us. However, anything more than this can seem a little nebulous. Why exactly is it good to quit smoking; what’s so bad about smoking in the first place?
There are plenty of health benefits to be gained from quitting smoking. In the main, smoking can increase your risk of a number of diseases and health concern. It can impair your day to day physical and cognitive health, and can cost you a fortune. Happily, when you quit smoking, you can begin to undo all of this. You can begin to get your health (and finances!) back on track.
8 benefits when you quit smoking
There are so many benefits to giving up smoking that it’s hard to gather them all in one place. It would take several books, or maybe even several bookshelves’ worth of books, to get into it in any detail. However, broadly speaking, we can gather the main benefits into 8 categories.
This is what happens when you quit smoking:
1. Quitting smoking will give you more energy
Do you ever feel listless and unduly fatigued as a smoker? There is a good reason for this. Smoking really can deplete your energy levels. Or, rather, it can impair your circulation. In turn, this means that your brain and muscles won’t be receiving the nutrient rich, highly oxidated blood they need for energy.
Your blood circulation should begin to improve in as little as a fortnight after you quit smoking. There should be a noticeable improvement withing just 2 to 12 weeks. This will make everything a lot easier – physical activities will be far less tiring and your brain will be sharper and more energised. You will also be far less likely to suffer bad headaches.
This improvement to circulation will also greatly diminish your risk of stroke and dementia in later life.
Your immune system will also start to work more optimally when you quit smoking. This will make it easier to fight the kinds of common infections and colds that often keep our energy levels lagging.
2. Your respiratory health improves when you quit smoking
You can breathe far more easily, far more efficiently, when you quit smoking. You will also cough up a lot less gunk.
If you’re younger and relatively sedentary, you probably won’t notice the diminished lung capacity brought on by smoking . If you’re not actively trying to exercise, and you’re in your 20s or 30s, you might not even realise how impaired your breathing is.
However, as soon as you try to perform any kind of physical exercise, you will find yourself getting short of breath far more quickly than non-smokers. As you hit 40 and above, you will notice your breathing getting bad even at rest.
This can make it hard to live any kind of active lifestyle. You will find yourself trapped in a vicious cycle – unable to exercise because your breathing is so bad and unable to improve your breathing because you can’t exercise.
You may also find that you’re far more prone to lung infections when you smoke.
All of this begins to diminish when you quit smoking. In fact, your lung capacity can increase by up to 10% in just the first nine months of giving up.
3. Your stress levels will fall when you’re smoke free
Many people smoke to relieve stress. It kind of works in the short term. However, in the long run, it makes things far worse.
You will experience withdrawal in miniature during every break between cigarettes as a smoker. Just a couple of hours can be enough to noticeably worsen your stress levels.
Studies have shown that people’s stress levels decrease after they quit smoking – though not directly afterwards, of course, as withdrawal will be quite bad over the first few days and weeks.
You will also be able to take part in physical activities more ably when you quit smoking. Exercise of any kind is one of the best stress busters going.
4. Your senses will improve when you quit smoking
More precisely, your senses of smell and taste will come back.
Smoking kills the nerve endings associated with taste and smell, which obviously drastically impairs these two senses. However, they will begin to recover when you stop smoking. Your taste and smell could return within just a few weeks after your final cigarette.
5. You can enjoy a better sex life without smoking
This comes back to circulation problems. Smoking causes poor circulation. In sexual terms, this means that it can impair sexual sensitivity and performance. These should improve when you quit smoking.
In fact, men who quit smoking are far likelier to get bigger, harder erections. Women may find themselves more able to orgasm, more intensely, with a greater state of arousal, after they quit smoking.
It has also been shown that people are generally more attracted to non-smokers than to smokers. If you quit smoking, you might have a better chance of getting into bed with someone in the first place!
It’s not just about what happens between the sheets, either. The end game for sexual intercourse is often conception. Smoking impairs fertility in both men and women.
For women, it can affect the lining of the womb. It can lead to a greater likelihood of miscarriage. For men, it can affect sperm potency and motility.
Quitting smoking will reverse this. Women will have improved womb health, will be less likely to miscarry, and will be more likely to conceive either naturally or through IVF. Men’s sperm count, potency and motility should return to a healthy level.
6. There are some aesthetic perks to giving up smoking
When you smoke, you speed up facial ageing and the appearance of wrinkles. This is again in large part due to poor circulation – as your skin gets fewer nutrients, including oxygen, it is unable to repair and replenish itself as it should. This often leaves a lined, sallow complexion. The act of smoking itself can put wrinkles around your mouth from the habitual puckering motion it entails.
This process begins to reverse when you quit smoking. Your skin gets the nutrients it needs and begins to look immediately healthier and smoother.
Smoking also affects your teeth quite badly. Tobacco can stain teeth yellow. It can also lead to bad breath and will make you more likely to suffer from gum disease and premature tooth loss.
You will be far less likely to suffer any of these after you quit smoking. Your teeth can also begin to repair, either naturally or through cosmetic intervention. When whitened, they should stay white.
7. You will live longer if you quit smoking
We can talk about aesthetics and sexual function all day long. They are important, undoubtedly. However, they rely on you being alive!
Smokers are more likely to die young. They are more likely to suffer from a broad range of chronic diseases, many of which are fatal. This begins to reverse pretty much as soon as you quit smoking – most markers that put you in the danger zone will be greatly diminished or even gone with 1-5 years of giving up.
Common diseases in this direction include lung cancer, oesophageal cancer, heart disease, stroke, and dementia.
If you quit smoking even at sixty, you will add an average of three years to your life.
If you quit by the age of thirty, you will add an average of ten, as you bring yourself out of the danger zone of suffering these diseases and allows your body to live and function as it should.
Longevity isn’t everything. Quality of life counts for a great deal. Giving up smoking helps here, too. Many of the diseases above can linger for years, diminishing your quality of life before killing you. There are plenty of other diseases that smoking can bring that can ruin your quality of life, even if they don’t kill you. Arthritis and osteoporosis are both far likelier in smokers than non-smokers, for example.
Live a long life of wellness by quitting smoking now.
8. Quit smoking to protect those around you
Smokers aren’t the only victims of the tobacco they inhale. Passive smoking is a big deal, too. If you smoke in the house, or around other people, they are breathing in the same chemicals as you.
If you live in a smoky environment but don’t smoke yourself, you won’t be as poorly off as a smoker, but you will still be far more likely to suffer from everything listed above than complete non-smokers.
For instance, second hand smoke doubles children’s risk of getting chest illnesses, including pneumonia. It doubles their danger from common ear infections, wheezing and other signs of poor breathing, and asthma and similar respiratory diseases. They will have triple the danger of developing lung cancer later in life compared to children who are brought up away from smoke.
Second hand smoke can also increase somebody’s risk of lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke considerably.
By quitting now, you’ll be protecting those around you from the dangers of smoking.
The last word
Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your overall health and wellbeing. It can affect every aspect of your life, giving you less energy, higher stress levels, poorer hygiene and appearance, and better functioning senses. It can diminish your sex life. And, of course, it can kill you and those around you.
However, it’s never too late to quit smoking. It’s never too late to gain the benefits to be made from giving it up. You will notice an improvement in just a day or two, so some of the gains really are short term and immediately accessible. Life expectancy will also always rise by at least a little when you quit smoking – even quitting as a pensioner could buy you a few extra years.
If you can quit smoking, you can improve every health marker going.
Increase your wellbeing in life whilst you stop smoking
Quitting smoking can be hard, in fact it takes an average number of 5 tries before succeeding. Many in recovery from addiction seek to improve their life and health and smoking may be one of the final vices you wish to knock on the head.
Within our purpose built platform, why not create a circle of support for like minded others who are trying to quit tobacco. This way you will remain accountable and have support on hand. You can also use our Wellness hub as a way of managing cravings, breath work, yoga, exercise and meditation are all very beneficial.
Author - James