You probably understand all the best-known benefits of stopping smoking, so we thought we’d round up our favourite lesser-known upsides of quitting. If you’re interested in stopping smoking, don’t forget you can join us for Stoptober.
Your mental health will improve
Lots of people think that smoking helps to manage stress, but studies show that your stress levels are actually lower after you’ve quit. And that’s true for anxiety and depression too. In fact, it’s been proven that stopping smoking can be as effective as antidepressants in managing those conditions.
Your eyes become healthier and you’ll protect your hearing
One of the benefits of stopping smoking is improvements in your eye health. This includes conditions such as dry eyes, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Stopping will also help keep your hearing sharp - even mild hearing loss can have a big impact on your day-to-day life.
You’ll find it easier to manage (and avoid!) long-term conditions such as diabetes
Smoking both increases the chance you’ll develop Type 2 diabetes and makes it more likely you’ll suffer from complications related to the disease. If you have diabetes, you already have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease - this risk doubles when you smoke. However, the good news is that quitting cuts your risks.
Your wallet will thank you
By giving up smoking, on average you could save around £2,375 a year (if you smoke 10 cigarettes a day). Or around £3,558 a year if you smoke 15 a day. With finances tight for many of us at the moment, how else could you use that money?
You’ll look better
As a non-smoker, your skin gets more nutrients because blood flow improves. Plus you’ve removed over 4,000 cell-damaging chemicals from each breath. Stopping will make your skin look healthier, the stains on your nails and fingers will fade, and your teeth may even get whiter. Smokers are twice as likely to lose teeth as non-smokers, so quitting increases your chances of healthy teeth and a better-looking smile. As a final boost to your looks, stopping smoking will reduce the amount of belly fat you lay down, making you look and feel healthier!
You’ll have a longer, healthier life
Quitting smoking by the age of 30 will add an extra 10 years to your life expectancy if you’re a man. Stopping at 60 will add 3 years on average. And the good news is that those years will be healthier than if you’d continued smoking. You’re less likely to suffer from cancers, cardiovascular disease or lung conditions.
Your immunity and kidney function will improve
Smoking reduces the effectiveness of your immune system, making you more prone to common illnesses. But you can boost your immunity back up to almost full strength by quitting. The risks of conditions such as reduced kidney function will also decrease as circulation improves and chemicals are removed from your bloodstream.
You’ll stop the impacts of second hand smoke for those around you
In children, secondhand smoke doubles the risk of getting chest illnesses, including pneumonia, ear infections, wheezing and asthma. Children also have three times the risk of getting lung cancer in later life from passive smoke. By stopping smoking, you instantly remove second hand smoke for everyone around you.
Your pregnancies will be lower risk and babies healthier
By stopping smoking, you’re ensuring the vital supply of oxygen to your baby and removing exposure to over 4,000 harmful chemicals. Your chances of having a low risk pregnancy and a healthy baby increase as:
- You reduce the risk of stillbirth
- Your baby is less likely to be born prematurely
- You’re more likely to have a baby with a healthy birth weight
- The risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome will decrease
You’ll have a better chance of having a baby
As a smoker, your chance of becoming pregnant is half that each month in comparison to a non-smoker. However, as soon as you stop, your chance of conceiving goes up. Smoking impacts the fertility of both men and women, so when either partner stops smoking, your chances of having a baby improve.
You’ll have better sex
Nicotine and carbon monoxide are major sexual kill-joys, reducing blood flow and lowering levels of both male and female sex hormones. By stopping smoking, you’ll increase your aerobic capacity, improve blood flow and flush out harmful chemicals from your body. This can lead to firmer erections, more intense orgasms for men and women, heightened libidos and increased energy.
Your chance of broken bones will fall
As a smoker, your risk of developing brittle bones (osteoporosis) is greater. But again, as soon as you stop, you cut that risk! Your chance of breaking bones will be reduced both now and in the future.
Join us for Stoptober
You can take part in Stoptober or start one of our programmes right now. Click the below button to take our online assessment to help you understand more about your health needs, prioritise them and find the right support for you.
Alternatively, if you would like to speak to someone about any of our services, or would like assistance taking the assessment online please contact us on 0300 303 9988 or email email@example.com to talk to one of our friendly team members.