Smoking is bad for your health, but how will quitting improve your life? There are 10 ways to improve your health when you stop smoking.

Quitting smoking allows you to breathe easier

People breathe easier and cough less when they quit smoking, as their lung capacity improves by up to 10% in 9 months.

In your 20s and 30s, the effects of smoking on your lung capacity may not be felt until you run, but your lung capacity naturally decreases with age.

Having maximum lung capacity in later years can mean the difference between having an active, healthy old age and wheezing when you go for a walk or climb stairs.

Quitting smoking gives you more energy

Your blood circulation improves within 2-12 weeks after you stop smoking. This greatly facilitates all physical activities, including walking and running.

You will also strengthen your immune system to make it easier to fight colds and flu. Increased oxygen in the body can also reduce the likelihood of fatigue and headaches.

Read these self-help tips to combat fatigue.

Quit smoking and feel less stress

Nicotine withdrawal from smoking can increase feelings of stress.

Because withdrawal stress feels the same as other stresses, it is easy to confuse normal stress with nicotine withdrawal, so smoking may seem to reduce other stresses.

But this is not the case. In fact, scientific studies show that people quit smoking when they stop smoking.

If you find that you are prone to stress, replacing smoking with a healthier, better way to deal with stress can give you some real benefits.

Read our top 10 stress relievers to learn more.

Giving up leads to better sex

Quitting smoking improves the body’s blood circulation and therefore increases sensitivity.

Men who quit smoking may have better erections. Women may find that their orgasms improve and they get excited more easily.

Non-smokers were found to be 3 times more attractive to potential partners than non-smokers.

Smoking cessation improves productivity

Non-smokers make it easier to get pregnant. Quitting smoking improves the lining of the abdomen and can make men’s sperm stronger.

Being a non-smoker increases the chances of getting pregnant through IVF and reduces the risk of miscarriage.

Most importantly, it increases the chances of giving birth to a healthy baby.

Quitting smoking improves the smell and taste

When you stop smoking, your sense of smell and taste intensifies.

Hundreds of toxic chemicals in cigarettes can cause your mouth and nose to become numb, and you can see that the taste and smell of food are different.

Stop smoking for younger looking skin

Smoking cessation has been found to slow down facial aging and delay the appearance of wrinkles.

Non-smokers’ skin gets more nutrients, including oxygen, and quitting smoking can change the pale, lined skin color that smokers often have.

Ex-smokers have white teeth and a sweeter breath

Quitting smoking stops staining your teeth and makes your breath fresher.

Former smokers are also less likely to develop gum disease and lose their teeth prematurely than smokers.

Learn more about dental health and teeth whitening.

Read about how smoking cessation eliminates bad breath.

Quit smoking to live longer

Half of long-term smokers die early from smoking-related diseases, including heart disease, lung cancer and chronic bronchitis.

Men who quit smoking by the age of 30 increase their life expectancy by 10 years. At the age of 60, 3 years are added to the life of people who get rid of this habit.

In other words, it’s never too late to take advantage of stopping. Not only does smoking add years to your life, but it also significantly increases your chances of a disease-free, mobile, happier old age.

A non-smoking home protects your loved ones

By quitting smoking, you will also protect the health of your non-smoking friends and family.

Breathing second smoke increases the risk of lung cancer, heart disease and stroke.

In children, it doubles the risk of developing chest diseases, including pneumonia, ear infections, wheezing and asthma.

They also triple the risk of lung cancer in later life compared to children living with non-smokers.

Read more about the dangers of passive smoking.

Read about smoking cessation treatments available in the NHS and learn how to start smoking cessation.

This page was last modified on 25 October 2018
Date of next review: October 25, 2021