Younger-Looking and Healthier Body After Quitting Smoking

Overview

It's never too late to quit smoking. No matter when you quit, your health will improve.

People who quit smoking reduce their risks for cancer, lung diseases, heart attacks, strokes, blood vessel diseases, and blindness from macular degeneration. They get sick less often, heal faster, and have fewer colds and flu episodes. And they have less bronchitis and pneumonia. Their mood is better, and they are less stressed.footnote 1

But it's more than avoiding disease. You'll also look and feel better and will probably find your own personal benefits as well.

  • Your taste buds will come back to life.
  • Your sense of smell will improve.
  • You'll have fewer wrinkles. Because smoking lowers the body's ability to generate new skin, people who smoke get wrinkles and show other signs of aging sooner.footnote 1
  • Your voice may improve as irritation of the voice box (larynx) from cigarette smoke is reduced.
  • You will look better. Your hair, clothes, and breath will smell better, and your teeth will be whiter. And this also is true if you use spit tobacco.
  • Your shortness of breath, energy, and asthma symptoms will likely get better within the first 2 to 4 weeks after you quit.
  • You will tire less easily after physical activity. Athletes perform better after they quit smoking.
  • You will be more in control of your life after you quit. Nicotine is addictive.
  • You will save money. Add up how much you spend each week, month, or year on cigarettes (or chewing tobacco or snuff). What else could you do with that money?

And you'll help others when you quit.

  • You will reduce the health risks for your family members caused by secondhand smoke.
  • Your kids will be less likely to start smoking. If your teen already smokes, he or she is more likely to quit smoking if you quit.footnote 2
  • You'll help your unborn baby. Underweight babies and problem pregnancies are less likely in women who quit smoking.

References

Citations

  1. American Cancer Society (2013). Guide to quitting smoking. Available online: http://www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/guidetoquittingsmoking/index.
  2. Sunday SR, Folan P (2004). Smoking in adolescence: What a clinician can do to help. In VC Reichert et al., eds, Medical Clinics of North America, 88(6): 1495–1515. Philadelphia: Saunders.

Credits

Current as of: November 8, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Michael F. Bierer MD - Internal Medicine, Addiction Medicine

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