4 Surprising Benefits Of Quitting Smoking
The benefits of stopping smoking are numerous and widely reported.
From improved physical health and reduction in the risk of chronic disease, to greater financial freedom and life changing cash savings.
But there are some benefits that smoking cessation clients report that surprise them! Benefits of quitting smoking that were not expected, but warmly welcomed.
Let’s take a look at a few of them now.
1. Increased Mood and Improvement in Mental Health
It’s a common misconception that cigarettes help us to relax and feel at ease. The image of the 'cool smoker’ in popular culture is certainly not a true representation of what’s really happening when you light up a cigarette.
In reality, smoking increases anxiety, stress and tension.
There are even correlations evidenced between smoking and mental health problems.
For example, people who suffer from anxiety, depression, or schizophrenia are more likely to smoke, and smoke more heavily than the general population.
When you quit smoking, it is likely that your mood will increase, you will feel much calmer and more positive.
Evidence even suggests that quitting smoking can benefit the symptoms of anxiety and depression equal to that of taking antidepressants.
The coping skills you learn during treatment are transposable across many areas of your life and numerous smoking cessation clients report a decrease in general anxiety many months after treatment.
Clients also report that the sense of achievement at quitting has resulted in increased confidence to make changes and improvements to other areas of their lives too.
2. Improved Sexual Health
Smoking cigarettes has a negative effect on blood circulation by constricting blood vessels. Poisonous ingredients in cigarette smoke such as carbon monoxide starve the blood of oxygen, effectively suffocating smokers up to 15%.
This reduction in blood flow throughout the body has direct effects on sexual performance and sexual health, both in the short and long term.
Studies demonstrate the link between smoking cigarettes and arousal disorders such as erectile dysfunction and lubrication problems. One study even demonstrates that just one cigarette can cause a 20% decrease in erectile
performance compared to a non-smoker. For regular smokers, problems achieving and maintaining strong erections can be as high as 40%.
In the long term, smoking can also negatively affect fertility in both men and women. In men, smoking reduces the quality and count of sperm, whilst in women, smokers have greater difficulty getting pregnant, taking almost twice as
long as non-smokers.
The good news is that when you quit smoking, these effects can begin to reverse, as oxygen levels in your blood increase and your circulation improves. You may find it easier to become sexually aroused as your libido increases, and
strong and durable erections and vaginal lubrication can return.
3. Food Tastes Better
Smoking tobacco degrades your olfactory system, ie, your sense of smell. Cigarette smoke not only destroys olfactory cells, but causes sustained inflammation in your smell receptors, leading to decreased sensitivity.
This means that not only are you less sensitive to smells, but also to tastes.
Cigarette smoking dulls your sense of taste making food and drink less enjoyable. However, because this can be a gradual process as you smoke more and more, you may not even notice the difference!
Fortunately, when we quit smoking, our olfactory system begins to repair and your sense of smell and taste can return surprisingly quickly.
Smoking cessation clients commonly report how much better food and drink tastes after they quit smoking, often surprised at just how big the difference is.
If you regard yourself a foodie but you’re still smoking, consider quitting cigarettes and reawakening your senses!
4. Improved Sleep
Nicotine is a powerful neuro stimulant, affecting your natural ‘sleep architecture’ or circadian rhythms, interfering with your ability to fall and stay asleep.
Smokers on average take longer to fall asleep, spend more time in bed wide awake rather than asleep, sleep for less time overall, and spend less time in deep, restorative sleep.
Also, cigarette smoke can inflame and damage the upper airway of your throat, causing mucus congestion and damaging muscle function.
This puts you at higher risk of developing or worsening obstructive sleep apnoea – a condition that causes you to repeatedly stop and start breathing during sleep.
One study shows that smokers are more likely to have obstructive sleep apnoea than former smokers and non-smokers combined.
The signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnoea include excessive daytime sleepiness, loud snoring, and abrupt awakenings accompanied by gasping or choking.
The knock on effects of poor sleep are far reaching, including difficulty concentrating during the day, high blood pressure, poor mental health such as depression and mood swings, and decreased libido.
When you quit smoking, you may see an improvement in your sleep, finding it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep for longer.
Is now the right time to quit smoking?
As we’ve seen above, the benefits of quitting cigarettes are numerous and far reaching.
It’s reassuring to know that when we stop smoking, many of the negative effects of the habit can begin to reverse themselves.
This is true for smokers at any stage in their journey.
Whether you’ve been smoking 40 a day for the last 20+ years, or you only smoke a few on the weekend, you will always experience benefits of quitting smoking.
It’s never too late to quit, and today is always the best day to begin your journey to becoming a healthy, happy non-smoker.
I have tried various methods including hypnosis sessions previously, but to no avail.
Alex, I just wanted to take a moment to contact you. Since taking your Stop Smoking course It’s been a revelation ! It’s not even like I am an ex-smoker… I am a NON SMOKER ! I literally have not had a single thought about wanting to have a smoke ! For years on and off I have stopped and started again.. The lead up to the main event and the fact that the videos are available after the main session have proven to be just what is needed ! I have tried various methods including hypnosis sessions previously, but to no avail. So I just wanted to say a big thank you from me and my wife.
30g of rolling tobacco is roughly equivalent to 60 cigarettes.
50g of rolling tobacco is roughly equivalent to 100 cigarettes.
1 bowl of tobacco is roughly equivalent to 2.5 cigarettes.
4 bowls of tobacco is roughly equivalent to 10 cigarettes.
8 bowls of tobacco is roughly equivalent to 20 cigarettes.
1 small cigar is roughly equivalent to 1.5 cigarettes.
1 medium cigar is roughly equivalent to 2 cigarettes.
1 large cigar is roughly equivalent to 4 cigarettes.
Heal’s online Stop-In-7 Smoking Cessation Treatment Plan is expertly curated and accessible from the comfort of your own home, without the need for face-to-face therapy.
Combining techniques from Hypnotherapy, C.B.T, and Mindfulness-based therapies, this 7 day course provides you with — and guides you through — everything you need to break through your habit and stop smoking once and for all.
- Christopher B Harte, BA, and Cindy M. Meston, PhD, Acute Effects of Nicotine on Physiological and subjective sexual arousal in nonsmoking men: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Sex Med 2008;5:110-121
- Condra M, Morales A, Owen JA, Surridge DH, Fenemore J. Prevalence and significance of tobacco smoking in impotence. Urology 1986;27:495-8
- Juenemann KP, Lue TF, Luo JA, Benowitz NL, Abozeid M, Tanagho EA. The effect of cigarette smoking on penile erection. J Urol 1987; 138:438-41.
- Shabsigh R, Fishman IJ, Schum C, Dunn JK. Cigarette smoking and other vascular risk factors in vasculogenic impotence. Urology 1991;38:227-31.
- Milett C, LM Wen, C Rissel, A Smith, J Richters, A Grulich, R de Visser, Smoking and erectile dysfunction: findings from a representative sample of Australian men. Tobacco Control, BMJ 2005
- J Y Jeremy, D P Mikhailidis : Cigarette smoking and erectile dysfunction. J Roy Soc Health, 1998
- Stillman RJ, Rosenberg MJ, Sachs BP, Smoking and reproduction. Fertil Steril. 1986
- VIII. Tansavatdi K, McClain B, Herrington DM. The effects of smoking on estradiol metabolism. Minerva Ginecol. 2004 Feb;56(1):105-14. PMID: 14973414.
- Da Ré, A. F., Gurgel, L. G., Buffon, G., Moura, W., Marques Vidor, D., & Maahs, M. (2018). Tobacco Influence on Taste and Smell: Systematic Review of the Literature. International archives of otorhinolaryngology, 22(1), 81–87. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0036-1597921
- McNamara, J P, et al. “Sleep Disturbances Associated with Cigarette Smoking.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 17 Sept. 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24040938
- Hwang, Jae-Woong et al. “Circadian clock function is disrupted by environmental tobacco/cigarette smoke, leading to lung inflammation and injury via a SIRT1-BMAL1 pathway” FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology vol. 28,1 (2014): 176-94.
- Patterson F, Grandner MA, Malone SK, Rizzo A, Davey A, Edwards DG. Sleep as a target for optimized response to smoking cessation treatment. Nicotine Tob Res. 2019;21(2):139–148. doi:10.1093/ntr/ntx236
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