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Ten benefits of stopping smoking

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Three women enjoying a coffee together
Smoking is a pretty unhealthy habit and it's accepted by even the heaviest smoker that it's bad for your health.

But have you ever stopped to think about the good reasons for kicking the fags? If you haven't, here are 10 reasons to help you stop!


1. Look younger and brighter

Smoking dehydrates your skin and deprives it of oxygen, so you'll notice your skin start to become smoother and brighter if you stop smoking.

What's more, the term 'smoker's face' has actually been added to the dictionary. It's used to describe people who have a face that looks a lot older than they are.

This typically means lines around the lips, shallow lines on the cheeks and a kind of grey colour to the skin. So quitting will reduce lines and wrinkles on your face and even your eyes will start to look brighter.

How about that - a face lift without the need for cosmetic surgery!

2. Extra sensory perception

Your sense of taste and smell will improve dramatically once you stop smoking.

The food you eat can be transformed by not smoking, as you experience things in a totally different way - your sense of smell and taste work in harmony when you eat, so by stopping they will both be heightened.

It may also help you to cut down on the amount of sugar and salt you eat as well. In an effort to improve the taste of food, many smokers load up on these two.

Too much sugar and salt can contribute to an increased risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. 

 

3. Whiter teeth

Depending on how long you've been smoking, you'll probably notice that
your teeth have become stained from the nicotine and tar content of
cigarettes.

While they may never return completely to their original pearly-white
look without cosmetic help, your teeth's colour won't get any worse. If
you want to try to improve the colour of your teeth cosmetically, talk
to your dentist for advice.

The other benefit is a reduced likelihood of gum disease. Smoking makes
it harder for saliva to get rid of the germs in your mouth, leading to
infection and tooth loss.

 

4. A fatter wallet
If you smoke 20 cigarettes a day then, at current prices, by stopping
smoking your bank balance will benefit by around £2,000 after just 12
months.

That's an impressive figure in anyone's eyes, but think of it as the
price of a two-week tropical holiday, or lots and lots of pairs of
shoes... don't tell us you aren't tempted now!

5. Boost your fertility

The more you smoke, the less fertile you're likely to be, whether you're
male or female. Smoking has been known to bring on impotence in men.

'Smoking reduces fertility in both women and men, and increases the
length of time it takes to conceive,' says fertility expert, Zita West.
'Women who smoke are twice as likely to be infertile as women who
don't.'

Put simply, if you want a baby, it'll help if you cut out the fags! 

6. Become a better insurance risk

It's not just your health that will benefit from going smokefree.

According to figures released last year, smokers can save up to £3,000
on life insurance premiums by kicking the habit.

The difference between premiums for smokers and non-smokers can be as
much as 75%, which over the course of a 25-year policy can easily add
up.

To be classed as a non-smoker by insurance companies, smokers have to be
cigarette free for a full year, so you've got an incentive to stop for
good. Many companies also charge smokers more for their home insurance.
Households that contain smokers are 35% more likely to suffer from a
fire, according to official figures.


7. Improve your fitness

It goes without saying that your breathing will improve once you stop
smoking - in fact, it only takes a day for your lungs to work better.

You should also notice your energy levels increase quite considerably
within as little as three days, making it easier to play sport, walk up
the stairs or run for the bus.

Your entire body shape will benefit from stopping smoking as well.
Puffing away regularly changes the glands that secrete hormones, so
smokers actually store more fat around their waist and upper body than
their hips.

This means they have a higher waist-to-hip ratio, which is associated
with developing conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, breast
cancer and gallbladder problems. 

8. Have more time

It takes between 7-10 minutes to smoke a cigarette and many of these are
puffed on outside offices, bars, restaurants and shops following the
introduction of the smokefree law in July 2007.

If you add these cigarettes up, a 10-a-day smoker can save around 1-2
hours a day when they quit.

This means that over the course of a year, you can claim back a month of
lost time - you'll have to find a new excuse for saying there are never
enough hours in a day! 

 



9. Live longer

It's generally accepted that non-smokers live for many more years than
those who puff away.

Cutting out the fags will reduce your chance of dying prematurely by
50%. If you stop before the age of 35, your life expectancy is hardly
any different from someone who has never smoked.

If you quit after that, you'll still live longer than those who continue
to smoke. For example, those who quit before age 50 have only half the
chance of dying in the next 15 years compared with those who continue to
smoke.

10. Boost your self-confidence

Many people don't realise how much of a psychological crutch smoking is.
Smokers get hooked on cigarettes very quickly and quitting isn't as
easy as some people make out.

Stopping is a real achievement and on top of the other benefits we've
listed, it can give you a real boost in confidence and self-esteem.

Continued below...


 

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