Let’s not beat around the bush: quitting smoking is a major life change, and can be a challenging goal to achieve. In exchange for your efforts, though, you stand to reap some big rewards! You may already know that the health benefits of quitting smoking are significant, but did you know that quitting smoking could also improve your looks1, your energy levels, your finances2, your performance at work, your overall enjoyment of life1 – even the lives of your loved ones2?
When working towards any kind of goal (especially if it’s an ambitious one), it can be really helpful to keep the pay-off of achieving that goal at the forefront of your mind. Read on to learn more about the potential benefits of quitting smoking, and keep them in mind as you embark on your quit for plenty of motivational oomph!
Experiential benefits of quitting smoking
The benefits of quitting smoking become apparent almost immediately, as you’ll notice an improvement in the way you feel after just a few hours. You’ll notice an increase in physical energy and stamina, and everyday activities like housework and climbing stairs won’t leave you huffing and puffing as much1, helping you to feel a little bit fitter and healthier.
Your sense of taste and smell will also improve. Flavours and scents will be more intense, and food will taste better overall1, so you may find yourself savouring meals in a way you haven’t been able to for years. After a few weeks of not smoking, you might notice some additional subtle-but-positive changes in your day-to-day activities. For example, now that you’re not frequently stopping what you’re doing to light up a cigarette, you may find that you’re a bit more productive – which is great for boosting your professional self-confidence and smashing your next performance review at work!
Source: Health Canada, Smoking and tobacco –Benefits of Quitting, 2012-01-12
These experiential benefits of quitting smoking could lead to an increased feeling of joie de vivre and overall wellbeing and satisfaction. Enjoy it! A smoke-free life can be joyful and pleasurable, as well as good for your health.
Financial benefits of quitting smoking
Quitting smoking can be great for your bank balance – tobacco products are expensive! While you may have anticipated the benefit of saving money on things like cigarettes, what you might not have thought about is the fact that if you have life and/or house insurance, your premiums might go down when you quit smoking2, saving you even more money.
A timeline of the health benefits of quitting smoking
AFTER 20 MINUTES
Your blood pressure drops to a level similar to what it was before your last cigarette.
AFTER 8 HOURS
The level of carbon monoxide (a toxic gas) in your blood drops to normal.
AFTER 24 HOURS
Your risk of having a heart attack begins to decrease.
AFTER 2-3 WEEKS
Your airways relax, allowing more air into your lungs, helping you breathe easier.
AFTER 1-9 MONTHS
You’ll begin to cough less, and your lungs will function even better.
AFTER 1 YEAR
Your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's.
AFTER 5 YEARS
Your chance of having a stroke is the same as a non-smoker.
AFTER 10 YEARS
Your chance of dying from lung cancer is significantly lower. So is your chance of getting cancer in your mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and/or pancreas.
AFTER 15 YEARS
Your risk of coronary heart disease is like that of a non-smoker.
Appearance-related benefits of quitting smoking
Once you’ve quit smoking, you’ll also start to notice improvements in your physical appearance. The benefits of quitting can seem age-defying, slowing the development of wrinkles around your mouth and eyes. Your teeth and fingernails will stop yellowing,1 too, and you can also expect a reduced rate and incidence of tooth loss (as well as gum disease and oral cancers).3 Quitting smoking will also allow mouth sores to heal and disappear.3
Altruistic benefits of quitting smoking
When you quit smoking, you lower the chance that those around you (your loved ones and those you live with, including your furry friends4) will have health issues from second-hand smoke exposure.2 If you were looking for a reason to quit smoking that’s bigger than just you, well, what could be more motivating than helping to protect the ones you love?
What’s the best way to quit smoking?
If you’ve read this far, hopefully you’re feeling fired up and motivated to start (or continue) your journey to a smoke-free life! If so, you might be wondering what the best way to quit smoking is, or indeed if there even is one. Quite simply, the best way to quit smoking is the one that works for you! We have a page full of tips to quit smoking, to help you find the approach that’s the best fit.
Realistically, we know that motivation alone may not always be enough to keep you on track with your quit, especially when those pesky nicotine cravings set in. That’s where THRIVE nicotine replacement products come in – so you can keep your cool when cravings strike, and continue enjoying all the benefits of your new, smoke-free life.
- Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking Over Time. American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/benefits-of-quitting-smoking-over-time.html. Accessed November 2, 2021. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
- Benefits of quitting smoking. Government of Canada. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/smoking-tobacco/quit-smoking/benefits-quitting.html. Accessed November 2, 2021. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
- Smoking and Your Oral Health. College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario. https://www.cdho.org/docs/default-source/pdfs/oral-health-rpt/oralhealthmatters_smoking.pdf?sfvrsn=aeac84a0_36. Accessed January 28, 2022. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
- The Effects of Secondhand Smoke on Pets. VCA Animal Hospitals. https://vcacanada.com/know-your-pet/the-effects-of-second-hand-smoke-on-pets. Accessed January 28, 2022. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.