What to Expect When You Give Up Smoking

/ 4 min read
What to Expect When You Give Up Smoking

Public Health England cites smoking as the leading cause of preventable illness and premature death in England. Around 50% of all lifelong smokers die prematurely, with each losing, on average, ten years of life. In 2016, 16% of all deaths across the UK were attributable to smoking.

Of course, it isn’t always easy to give up, as nicotine is a highly addictive substance. But with the right support and a method that suits you - you’ll kick the habit and reap the rewards.

Here, we explore the benefits of giving up smoking, all cited by the NHS, providing a glimpse into what life could be like when you ditch the cigarettes.

You’ll have more energy

Finding yourself running out of steam in the gym much earlier than your non-smoking friends? When you give up cigarettes, your blood circulation will improve in as little as two to 12 weeks. As a result, all physical activity - whether it be running, walking or lifting weights - will become much easier.

Your immune system will be given a boost

As a result of your improved circulation, you’ll increase the level of oxygen in your blood. This will allow the immune system to work much more efficiently, making it easier to fight off colds, flu and other illnesses.

Breathing will become much easier 

When you give up smoking, your lung capacity will improve by up to 10% in just nine months. This means you’ll cough much less, and will be able to breathe more easily.

As you get older, this is something that will become more important - those who have a lower lung capacity may find themselves wheezing when taking a walk or climbing the stairs.

You’ll have better sex

For some, this may be the most important benefit - as the body’s blood flow improves, so will your sensitivity, which results in better sexual encounters. For men, this can improve erections, whilst women may find they become aroused more easily and have improved orgasms.

What’s more, a study by Bristol University found that smokers are less attractive than non-smokers. More than 500 people were asked to pick the most attractive of twins, where one smoked and the other did not. Findings revealed that, Two thirds of the time, men found female non-smokers more attractive. Women also found non-smoking men to be more attractive than smokers.

Your fertility will improve

As well as experiencing an improved sex life, giving up smoking will help couples who are trying to conceive as it will improve their chances of having a baby. Female non-smokers are more able to get pregnant than those that smoke, due to an improved womb lining. As for males, giving up smoking can make sperm more potent. Additionally, those who are using IVF to have a child are much more likely to conceive if they are non-smokers.

You’ll have whiter teeth and fresher breath

It’s likely that, if you’re a smoker, you won’t notice the lingering smell of cigarettes - but those around you will. Giving up will mean you have fresher breath and will also stop tobacco from further staining your teeth.

As well as this, stopping smoking will mean you are far less likely to get gum disease or lose your teeth.

You’ll look younger

Forget the fancy night creams - giving up smoking has been proven to slow facial ageing and delay the appearance of wrinkles on the skin. It’s common for smokers to develop fine lines and wrinkles - especially around the mouth and eyes. Once you’ve stopped smoking, your blood flow will improve, meaning the skin on your face will get more oxygen and nutrients.

Your sense of taste and smell will improve

Starting to think your Dominos just doesn’t taste the same as it used to? You’re probably right. When you smoke, your sense of taste and smell are dulled by the hundreds of toxic chemicals found in cigarettes. The good news is, when you give up, you’ll start to notice a boost in your senses, as your nose and mouth recover.

You’ll protect your friends and family

Breathing in secondhand smoke increases the risk of lung cancer, heart disease and stroke. What’s more, children who breathe in secondhand smoke are two times more likely to develop chest illnesses, such as pneumonia, ear infections, wheezing and asthma, than those who are from a smoke-free home. They are also three times more likely to get lung cancer in later life. When you no longer smoke, you’ll decrease this risk for your loved ones.

You will live longer

This is a big one. Figures show that half of all long-term smokers die early from related diseases, including lung cancer, heart disease and chronic bronchitis. Males who quit smoking by the age of 30 add a whole ten years to their life, whilst people who ditch the cigarettes at 60 add three. This proves it’s never too late to reap the benefits.

It’s no secret that you’ll live a longer, healthier life by no longer smoking. If you’re on a mission to kick the habit, read our comprehensive guide Finding the Right Alternative’  to discover the benefits of different methods of giving up.