10 health benefits of stopping smoking

Smoking’s bad for your health, but exactly how does quitting make life better? Here are 10 ways your health will improve when you stop smoking.

Quitting leads to better sex

Stopping smoking improves the body’s bloodflow, so improves sensitivity. Men who stop smoking may get better erections. Women may find that their orgasms improve and they become aroused more easily. It’s also been found that non-smokers are three times more appealling to prospective partners than smokers (one of the advantages, perhaps, of smelling fresh).

Find out more tips for having good sex.

Stopping smoking improves fertility

Non-smokers find it easier to get pregnant. Quitting smoking improves the lining of the womb and can make men’s sperm more potent. Becoming a non-smoker increases the possibility of conceiving through IVF and reduces the likelihood of having a miscarriage. Most importantly, it improves the chances of giving birth to a healthy baby.

Read more about how to protect your fertility.

Stop smoking for younger looking skin

Stopping smoking has been found to slow facial ageing and delay the appearance of wrinkles. The skin of a non-smoker gets more nutrients, including oxygen, and can reverse the sallow, lined complexion that smokers often have.

Watch this video to find out how smoking can ruin your looks.

Ex-smokers have whiter teeth

Giving up tobacco stops teeth becoming stained, and you’ll have fresher breath. Ex-smokers are less likely than smokers to get gum disease and lose their teeth prematurely.

Find out more about dental health.

Stopping smoking lets you breathe easier

People breathe more easily and cough less when they give up smoking because their lung capacity improves by up to 10% within nine months. In your 20s and 30s, the effect of smoking on your lung capacity may not be noticeable until you go for a run, but lung capacity naturally diminishes with age. In later years, having maximum lung capacity can mean the difference between having an active, healthy old age and wheezing when going for a walk or climbing the stairs.

Quit smoking to live longer

Half of all long-term smokers die early from smoking-related diseases, including heart disease, lung cancer and chronic bronchitis. Men who quit smoking by 30 add 10 years to their life. People who kick the habit at 60 add three years to their life. In other words, it’s never too late to benefit from stopping. Quitting not only adds years to your life, but it also greatly improves the chance of a disease-free, mobile, happier old age.

Ditch the cigarettes and feel less stressed

Scientific studies show that people’s stress levels are lower after they stop smoking. Nicotine addiction makes smokers stressed from the ‘withdrawal’ between cigarettes. The pleasant feeling of satisfying that craving is only temporary and is not a real cure for stress. Also, the improved levels of oxygen in the body means that ex-smokers can concentrate better and have increased mental wellbeing.

Read our top 10 stress-busters.

Quitting smoking improves smell and taste

Kicking the smoking habit gives your senses of smell and taste a boost. The body is recovering from being dulled by the hundreds of toxic chemicals found in cigarettes.

Stop smoking for more energy

Within two to 12 weeks of stopping smoking, your circulation improves. This makes all physical activity, including walking and running, much easier.

Quitting also boosts your immune system, making it easier to fight offcolds and flu. The increase in oxygen in the body makes ex-smokers less tired and less likely to have headaches.

Read these self-help tips to fight fatigue.

Smoke-free homes protect your loved ones

By stopping smoking you’ll be protecting the health of your non-smoking friends and family.

Passive smoking increases a non-smoker’s risk of lung cancer, heart disease and stroke. Second-hand smoke doubles the risk of children getting chest illnesses, including pneumonia, croup (swollen airways in the lungs) and bronchitis, plus more ear infections, wheezing andasthma. They also have three times the risk of getting lung cancer in later life compared with children who live with non-smokers.

Now, read about smoking treatments available on the NHS and find out how to get started on stopping smoking.