Stop smoking: Ten benefits of stopping smoking

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  • 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.