In the last 40 years, there has been increasing amounts of information pointing to the harmful effects of smoking on your health. The addiction to nicotine and the habit of smoking isn’t easy beat. But there are plenty of benefits of quitting smoking which ought to encourage staying the course and beating the habit.
We’re going to take a look at 10 of the many benefits of quitting smoking that you’ll feel right away. But before we do, let’s look at some of the different ways that you can beat the smoking habit. Then, take advantage of those benefits.
What Are Some Ways to Quit Smoking?
A nicotine habit is as difficult to beat as any other drug addiction. It takes willpower, discipline and commitment to overcoming smoking. Some individuals can quit on their own without any assistance. But others need additional help to get through the initial phases of quitting smoking. Briefly, here are the common ways of quitting smoking:
- Cold Turkey: This method is accomplished by the individual without any form of therapeutic assistance.
- Behavioral Therapy: With this method, a counselor or therapist assists you in identifying the triggers that lead you to smoke. Once the triggers are identified, alternative coping strategies are utilized to replace the smoking behavior.
- Nicotine Replacement Therapy: This therapy provides you with doses of nicotine from gum, sprays, patches, inhalers or lozenges. This one weans off of smoking, but avoids the intense withdrawal symptoms in order to get you over the early stages of quitting.
- Prescription Medications: Bupropion (Zyban) and varenicline (Chantix) are the ones that help with your cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Each of these methods, other than cold turkey, can be used in varying combined degrees in order to achieve the goal of quitting smoking. Whichever method you choose, you can get some additional motivation and encouragement from our list of 10 benefits of quitting smoking that you’ll feel right away.
10 Benefits of Quitting Smoking for Your Mind and Body
Being able to breathe better is one of the first noticeable benefits of quitting smoking. An article in the European Respiratory Journal reports the rapid effects smoking cessation has on respiratory issues.
Improved Insulin Resistance
Swedish researchers note that insulin resistance is greatly improved and the risk of diabetic development lowered from cessation of smoking. Thus, we can add improved insulin resistance to the benefits of quitting smoking.
Improved Concentration and Cognitive Function
Another of the quickly felt benefits of quitting smoking is better concentration and cognitive function. According to researchers at the Center for Health Sciences at SRI International, long-term neurotoxic effects can be halted and reversed with the cessation of smoking.
You might not be looking for you or your partner to become pregnant. But one of the many benefits of quitting smoking is an improvement on fertility. Studies by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine point out the harmful effects of smoking on reproductive functions of both men and women.
Better Mental Health
Research at the University of Birmingham, UK cites better mental health as another of the benefits of quitting smoking. They identified a more positive mood and improved quality of life away from anxiety, stress, depression in association with smoking cessation.
A Revival of Smell and Taste
Better, acute smell, which also effects taste, is another of the most noticeable benefits of quitting smoking. The University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine saw a dramatic improvement in olfactory sensation with the cessation of smoking.
Healthier skin is also one of the benefits of quitting smoking that you’ll notice right away. The morbidity (death) rate of skin tissue cells is extremely high in those who smoke. But it can quickly reverse with smoking cessation, according to studies at the University of California.
According to the King’s College Dental Institute, UK, another of the impressive benefits of quitting smoking is improved oral health. Oral cancer and pre-cancer, periodontal disease, caries and tooth loss, gingival recession and other benign mucosal disorders are quickly evident from smoking cessation.
Highly important among the benefits of quitting smoking is its impact on immunity. Research from the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology reported a significant increase in lymphocyte activity one month after the cessation of smoking.
Wound Healing Faster
Japanese studies reported the importance of quitting smoking in relation to wound healing after surgery. This translates into all forms of wound healing as another of the valuable benefits of quitting smoking.
A Note of Caution
Smoking has potentially deadly consequences over time and quitting will help prevent those consequences. But there are some dangers in smoking cessation, which you need to be aware of. The for certain individuals, cold turkey or going it alone with the use of nicotine replacement therapy will work fine. Meanwhile, others need professional assistance. Here are some of the instances where quitting smoking can have adverse side effects:
- Side effects of nicotine replacement therapy products: headaches, nausea and other digestive issues, and/or insomnia.
- Zyban: Drug interactions and possible side effects can include restlessness, anxiety, irritability, shortness of breath, trouble sleeping, headaches, and rashes.
- Chantix: Some individuals experience psychosis, blackouts, hallucinations, and aggression from taking Chantix. A significant number of patients using this medication have attempted or successfully committed suicide.
Being fully aware of the possible side effects of these aids to quitting smoking should help you to realize the need for being completely honest with your proscribing doctor or therapist. These cautions should also make you aware that your best course of action for reaping the benefits of quitting smoking is to obtain the assistance of a health care professional.
There is little doubt to the benefits of quitting smoking. There is overwhelming research to back up the claims associated with the harms of smoking. Also, those benefits which come when you quit.
If you’re ready to reap the long-term benefits of quitting smoking as well as those which you’ll feel right away, then choose one of the methods of quitting smoking from above and be on your way to better health. If you have questions, comments or success stories, please don’t hesitated to share them below.