10 Great Reasons to Quit Smoking
Consider these benefits — to you and those around you
We all know that using tobacco is bad for one’s health. This is true if you smoke cigarettes, e-cigarettes (“vaping”), or smokeless tobacco-like chew or dip. If you don’t use tobacco, don’t start. But if you do, you may need a reminder of how good life can be when you’re tobacco-free. Here are 10 reasons to quit tobacco for good.
- Help improve your health right now and for the rest of your life. Within hours of quitting smoking, your heart rate and blood pressure drop, and the carbon monoxide level of your blood begins to return to normal. Along with those changes, your risk of cancer, heart attack and stroke begins to decline. That decrease continues as long as you don't smoke.
- Avoid the many dangers of e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. Think these are safer than smoking cigarettes? Think again. While e-cigarettes contain fewer toxic chemicals than regular cigarettes, they produce an aerosol that can contain nicotine, lead, volatile organic compounds and other substances that can cause cancer. The chemicals in smokeless tobacco can cause tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss. Smokeless tobacco can also cause cancers of the mouth, pancreas and esophagus.
- Breathe easier and have more energy. When you quit smoking and your lungs heal, they will begin to work better. You may have less coughing and huffing and puffing on stairs.
- Have more money to spend on things you enjoy. Tally up how much you spend on tobacco products each month. You may be shocked. Then think of what you can do with that money instead. Quitting may also help you save on health and life insurance.
- Have sharper senses of taste and smell. You may be able to delight in subtle flavors and aromas you missed while using tobacco.
- Have whiter teeth and cleaner fingers. You can also cut your risk of gum damage and tooth loss from smoking, vaping or using chewing tobacco or snuff.
- Help protect the health of others. The smoke that curls up from the tip of a cigarette contains substances that can cause disease and death in nonsmokers. The risks are especially great for infants, children and pregnant women. E-cigarette batteries can cause serious explosions and fires, and if swallowed, breathed in, or absorbed through eyes or skin, e-cigarette liquid can be poisonous. Smokeless tobacco ingested by children can cause nicotine poisoning.
- Avoid the social stigma that is sometimes attached to smoking. Smoking is less accepted by society now than ever before. Tobacco is commonly banned or restricted at restaurants, bars, schools, libraries, places of employment and even hotels and apartments. Many public places restrict smoking. Smoking could even limit your relationship choices.
- Set a better example for the children in your life. Very few people want their kids to use tobacco. But children learn from what you do, not necessarily what you say. If you smoke or use tobacco, it's more likely they will, too.
- Have more control over your life. Beating an addiction can give you a renewed sense of power and pride. Why not start now?
By Laura Grathwol, Contributing Editor
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health benefits of quitting. Accessed August 22, 2018.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Electronic cigarettes. Accessed August 22, 2018.
American Cancer Society. Guide to quitting smoking. When smokers quit – what are the benefits over time? Accessed August 22, 2018.
Updated April 23, 2018