We can hardly believe that with all of the research on the negative health effects of smoking that you still are, but this list of things that happen when you quit smoking should be the last time we need to remind you to quit already.
These Things Happen When You Quit Smoking
To read all about how quitting smoking is good for your health, here is a link to the Surgeon General’s report on The Health Benefits of Smoking Cessation. Here are a few health-related, but also lifestyle and well-being related things that happen when you quit smoking.
1. Sleep better
Nicotine is a stimulant, so if you smoke anywhere from one to three hours before your bedtime, your heart is a little faster than a resting rate would be for a non-smoker. When you remove this stimulant nicotine from your daily intake, you help yourself to reach a calm physical state before bedtime.
2. Smell better
Your skin, hair, fingernails and clothes have all been absorbing the smell of cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoke is not a pleasant smell to non-smokers, so by quitting, you will have a more attractive scent to both yourself and others.
For that matter, pursing your lips into that smoker’s pucker over and over again is a real good way to wrinkle the skin around your lips and cause you to look older than you are. Although you can use wrinkle creams to repair the damage, you can certainly stop adding to the damage by quitting smoking.
3. Better senses of taste, smell
Food will taste better and less bland to you. Flavors that were too subtle for your dull palate to pick up will become more evident to you. You will feel like a gourmet restaurant critic describing the new sensations that you discover. Of course non-smokers knew this the whole time.
Your sense of smell will be less dull now too. The scent of cigarette smoke will be gone, which masked part of the normal essences floating around your living environment, but you will also be able to pick up on subtle, hardly noticeable scents now that you have quit smoking.
4. Less coughing and better lung health
Breathing better, deeper, more full and relaxing breaths are one of the most immediate benefits of quitting smoking. Your lung capillaries were constricted before you quit smoking, and now they are able to receive more blood. When the capillaries fill, the lung lining can expand to its full size to accommodate more air per breath.
According to the Surgeon General’s report on The Health Benefits of Smoking Cessation, ‘The risk of dying from lung cancer is 22 times higher among male smokers and 12 times higher among female smokers.’ When you finally quit smoking, the risk is cut between 30-50% of what it would be if you continued smoking, but this is only after a period of 10 years.
But don’t let that daunting timeframe bother you – quit now and start the countdown to less lung cancer risk starting today. An ancient Chinese proverb says ‘The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.’
5. You develop your self-control muscle
Researchers studying self-control see habits like smoking as a failure of self-control. They compare self-control to the function of a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets.
Basically, your choice to smoke, and your continuing to smoke is a decision to self-medicate in response to stress. Start developing your toolkit to handle stress in other ways (meditating, reading, laughing, exercise, yoga, etc.) and you will feel more confident in your ability to exercise your self-control.
6. More energy
A recent non-smoker reported feeling more energetic within 8 days of quitting. Think how much more you could get accomplished in your day with more energy.
7. Your voice changes
You lose that husky, throaty, deep phlegmy voice that smokers have.
8. You get more done
Now that you have both hands free, you can be more productive. You also don’t have to sneak outside on a smoke break and stand __ number of feet away from the building so that others don’t have to walk through your second-hand smoke. You can also either act superior over other smokers or be compassionate to them since you’ve been in their shoes before.
9. You have more time and money for other things
One smoker who smoked about a pack per day calculated his monthly expense at around $500. It’s hard to be upset about having that much more income per month. This is one of our favorite things that happen when you quit smoking.
You no longer have to drive to the store for cigarettes or stop on your way home. You don’t have to find someone you can bum a smoke off of. You gain back all of that time that you would be spending smoking, and greater productivity when you would have been multi-tasking while smoking.
10. You quit hanging out in unsafe places
Let’s face it, smokers who are sometimes without their crutch often feel compelled to hit up another smoker for a cigarette. The best place to find a smoker who can lend you a smoke is outside of a convenience store or gas station. These places are not the safest of environments, and the folks you are hitting up for a small favor might not be the most upstanding people in the neighborhood.