7 Benefits of Quitting Smoking

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Quitting smoking is known as one of the hardest personal goals to set for yourself, but there are countless benefits if you can successfully quit it.


Smoking tobacco is a global addiction, thanks to the addictive quality of nicotine. Some experts actually claim that quitting smoking is more difficult than giving up any other drug. Although almost everyone knows the risks of smoking cigarettes, there are still millions of people around the world who smoke. The uplifting, stimulant effects of a cigarette are highly desirable, and the drug itself makes you want more almost immediately. As soon as you finish smoking a cigarette, your body begins the slow growth of craving for nicotine, resulting in your desire for another cigarette. [1]

However, when you quit smoking, your body can begin to heal. While this process can take an extended period of time, it is possible to return to your previous level of health and lower your risk of lung cancer and a decreased quality of life. [2]

A poster of a quit smoking flag on top of a pile of cigarettes

To live a healthy life, one must avoid smoking cigarettes. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Benefits of Quitting Smoking

The primary benefits of quitting smoking include improved heart health, boosted energy levels, reduced stress and anxiety, brighter teeth, and improved fertility, among others. [3]

Breath Capacity

After you stop smoking, the cilia in your lungs will begin to regrow, and you will lower your risk of emphysema, meaning that your breath capacity will begin to increase again, allowing you to be more active. [4]


Although cigarettes do have a stimulant quality to them, they also impair your overall energy levels. By reducing your circulation and stymying your breath capacity, cigarettes actually make it harder for your metabolism to work properly and generate energy. [5]

Stress Levels

Similarly, although cigarettes are often used for their stress-relieving tendencies (the short-lived result of nicotine), they can also increase stress hormone levels in the body, particularly once you deny your body that drug for an extended period of time. [6]


There is no debate that smoking has a negative impact on fertility, so if you are trying to have a child, eliminating cigarettes from your daily intake will boost circulation and chances of conception. [7]

Skin Care

The carcinogens and other chemicals in cigarettes, as well as the toxins in the smoke itself, will begin to discolor your skin and can increase your risk of wrinkles and age spots. By eliminating this habit from your life, you can keep your skin from aging too quickly! [8]

Life Expectancy

Smoking cigarettes actually is a cause behind nearly 50 percent of cancer-related deaths every year in the United States alone. By not smoking, you can protect yourself from the risk of mouth, lung, throat, esophagus, and bladder cancer. Even heart problems like high blood pressure can be potentially prevented by quitting smoking. [9] [10] [11]

Better Breath

No one wants to smell smoke every time you open your mouth, or when they stand beside you on the subway. Not smoking will improve your odor and the smell of your house and closet too! [12]

Quitting Smoking Timelines

When you quit smoking, depending on how long you smoked previously, the timeline of your recovery may change. However, as a general guide, after quitting smoking, your body will begin to heal in the following ways after these amounts of time.

  • 1 Day: Irritability and heightened anxiety, as well as cravings for nicotine and susceptibility to peer pressure.
  • 1 Week: Dizziness, headache, increased appetite, irritability, cravings, fatigue, and insomnia.
  • 1 Month: Fatigue, hunger and the production of mucus/phlegm. Restlessness and boredom are also common.
  • 6 Months: Nostalgia for smoking, but no strong cravings, unless exposed to direct peer pressure.
  • 1 Year: Cilia has regrown in the lungs, shortness of breath should be gone. Increase in energy.
  • 5 Years: Your risk of internal hemorrhaging is now equal to a non-smoker.
  • 10 Years: Cancer risk has dropped to 50% of that of a continuing smoker. [13]
  • 15 years: Your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as that of someone who never smoked.

Say no to the next stick!

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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