The benefits of quitting smoking

What are the real benefits of stopping smoking? Smoking kills about half of its users prematurely. Undoubtedly the best reason to stop smoking is because you want to, and you feel it’s the right time to quit. You’re less likely to succeed if you are just doing it because other people tell you to or you think you ought to.

Reasons to stop smoking

z Your health:

On average, smokers lose 10 years of their life because of their habit. Some of the health reasons to stop smoking include:

Reducing the risk of getting life-threatening diseases like lung cancer, reducing the risk of disability from chronic illness, improving your general health so you get fewer colds and minor illnesses, helping you to heal more quickly, making medication work better, and reducing the risks associated with surgery

z Your money:

Smoking is an expensive habit. If you smoke an average 20-a-day, you will smoke 7,300 cigarettes a year. Even if you buy cheaper brands, that still means you spend at least £1,500 on cigarettes every year. So the cost of smoking really mounts up.

As well as the price of cigarettes, think about the less obvious costs such as health insurance premiums. Try the online calculator to work out how much you could save by quitting at smokefree.nhs.uk/quit-tools/calculate-the-cost/.

z Other people’s health:

Stop smoking for the sake of your friends and family. A non-smoker who lives with a smoker may be exposed to about one per cent of their tobacco smoke from passive smoking. This can increase their chances of developing lung cancer or dying from a heart attack. Many smokers decide to stop to improve their chances of seeing their children or grandchildren grow up. Starting a family is often a big incentive to quit. Or maybe you just want to be able to kiss the people you love without worrying about your breath!

z Your looks:

Sometimes it’s the little things that count. Stopping smoking will improve your skin tone and colour. You’re less likely to get wrinkles round your eyes and mouth from squinting when smoke gets in your eyes, and puckering up when you draw on a cigarette.

Quitting smoking lowers your chances of developing psoriasis. Smoking makes it harder for saliva to remove germs in your mouth so you have more chance of getting gum disease, which can lead to premature tooth loss and bad breath. Stopping smoking means whiter teeth and a reduced risk of losing them.

Did you know that smoking affects body shape – smokers are likely to have a higher waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) than non-smokers, which is associated with a greater risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, gallbladder problems, cancer of the womb and breast in women. Quitting lets your body get back to normal and recover from the effects of smoking.

z Quality of life:

A big issue for some smokers is feeling they’re not in control of their life – their cigarettes are. Giving up means freedom from an addiction that restricts the way you live.

If you’d like some help and advice on stopping smoking or staying stopped, call Smokeline free on 0800 84 84 84 any time between 9am and 9pm, 7 days a week or go to www.canstopsmoking.com