7 Benefits of Quitting Smoking
Our editorial team
11 November 2020
4 min read
From improved health, to saving money, to convenience, there are many reasons why people quit smoking. If you’ve been thinking about quitting, keeping a list of reasons why you want to quit can help you ensure that you are successful. We’ve gathered some of the top benefits you can look forward to when quitting.
1. You’ll be able to breathe easier
Improved lung health is the most obvious benefit of quitting. It’s no secret that smoking damages your airways. Over time, damage from smoking can lead to serious lung diseases like lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.
Many of us are aware of the severity of lung cancer, but may not know that chronic lung diseases can be just as serious. Smoking is the leading cause of COPD, a chronic condition that can prevent you from participating in normal activities when you get older and can cause an early death.
“After two to twelve weeks of being smoke-free, your circulation is improved”
You will reduce your chances of developing these diseases if you quit. Ten years after you quit smoking, your risk of dying from lung cancer is half that of a smoker’s.
The earlier you quit, the less damage you will cause your lungs, ensuring you can breathe easier.
2. Your heart will thank you
Smoking affects more than just your lungs. Compounds in cigarettes can damage blood vessels, which can increase your blood pressure and increase your risk of a blood clot. This puts you at greater risk for stroke and coronary heart disease, which are two of the leading causes of death in the UK.
After two to twelve weeks of being smoke-free, your circulation is improved. One year after smoking, your risk of coronary heart disease is halved, and after fifteen years of being smoke-free, your risk is the same as a non-smoker’s.
With so many benefits to gain, don’t make a halfhearted attempt - quit now!
3. Your non-smoking friends will benefit, too
You’re not the only one smoking. Secondhand smoke, a combination of the burning end of the cigarette and the smoke you exhale, can stay in the air for hours after a cigarette has been put out. Just breathing it in for a short time can be harmful, and those exposed are at risk of the same conditions as smokers, like lung disease and heart disease.
Secondhand smoke may also derail the quitting efforts of those around you, as exposure to secondhand smoke can cause cravings for those who have recently quit.
Most secondhand smoke is invisible and has no odour, so even if you think you are being careful, you could still be exposing those around you to dangerous chemicals.
Without the added concern of worrying about who your smoke affects, you’ll be able to breathe a sigh of relief by quitting.
4. You’ll be able to participate in more things
Smoking is on the decline in the UK. Many spaces are also becoming non smoking areas, making finding a place to smoke difficult and time-consuming.
Quitting can make it easier to maintain your social life. Without having to wonder where or when you’ll be able to smoke next, you’ll no longer have to miss out on interesting conversations when you do take a break.
5. You’ll save a lot of money
The UK has some of the most expensive cigarette prices in the world, and they keep increasing. The more you cut down on smoking, the greater your savings will be. When you’re no longer spending money on cigarettes, you can spend more money on the things you love.
6. It will be easier to start a family
Smoking can affect your fertility. Both women and men who smoke are more likely to experience infertility than those who don’t smoke. Luckily, this is reversible - your fertility can improve after you stop smoking. For women, fertility generally improves after a year of smoking, and for men, it usually takes three months.
Smoking during pregnancy can increase your chances of complications. It also restricts oxygen to the baby and increases the chance of low birth weight and preterm birth, which can put them at risk for adverse health conditions later in life. It is never too late to stop smoking - quitting smoking at any stage during your pregnancy reduces the risk that your child will have a low birth weight.
“If you smoke, your children are more likely to smoke, too”
It’s not only essential to stop smoking if you are the one who is pregnant. If you live with someone who is pregnant, you should stop smoking as pregnant women exposed to secondhand smoke are at risk of having a preterm baby or a low birth weight.
7. Your kids will be healthier
Children breathe faster than adults, so their developing lungs take in more smoke than we do. Exposing your baby or child to smoke at an early age puts them at greater risk of developing asthma, respiratory infections, reduced lung function, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
If you smoke, your children are more likely to smoke, too.
Everyone wants the best for their child - be a healthy role model and they will follow in your footsteps.