The health benefits of stopping smoking: stoptober

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Health Assured team

15 September 2022

Research shows that if a smoker can make it 28-days smoke-free they are five times more likely to quit for good.

Stoptober Is just around the corner; the month that encourages smokers to quit for good. Every year, thousands join in an effort to stop smoking for the entire month of October.

If you’re a smoker and have been looking for the right time to quit, Stoptober is the perfect time to do so. To keep you motivated throughout the month: we’ve explored some of the health benefits of stopping smoking below.

 

Why is it so hard to quit smoking?

We know that smoking is bad for us. From the disturbing images that decorate the back of cigarette packets to the facts linking smoking and a range of serious health conditions—there's no escaping these harsh realities.  

But quitting smoking can be hard when it’s become woven into your routine. It’s not just as simple as deciding to quit. Your brain and body get used to having nicotine around, which is what makes it so difficult to break the habit. 

Nicotine is the main addictive drug in tobacco. When you smoke cigarettes, nicotine gets rapidly delivered to the brain, stimulating the release of feel-good chemicals. When this habit loop exists, it changes the way your brain functions over time. You become reliant on nicotine, and it feels like you need it just to be okay. 

Quitting smoking means a withdrawal of nicotine, causing uncomfortable feelings and cigarette cravings. While this might be a difficult challenge to overcome, it is possible.

And not only is it possible—but the health benefits of stopping smoking make it more than worth it. For smokers, this is one of the most important decisions you can take to improve your health. Let’s dive deeper into some of the benefits below. 

 

Increases life expectancy 

Half of smokers die early from smoking-related diseases like heart disease and lung cancer. 

If you stop smoking at 30, research shows you’ll live 10 years longer. Even when you stop smoking past 30, you can still add years to your life. 

Stopping smoking reduces the risk of premature death by disease. And it’s never too late to make those changes. Whatever age you decide to quit, the health benefits of stopping smoking happen almost instantly.

 

Improved sense of taste and smell 

After just 48 hours, your sense of taste and smell will improve. Cigarettes contain hundreds of toxic chemicals. It doesn’t take long for your sense of taste and smell to recover. When you quit smoking, you’ll soon start to notice your taste buds come back to life and feel the flavours in your food once again. You might also notice that your voice quality improves as your voice box gets a break from the cigarette smoke. 

 

Brighter skin 

Blood circulation will increase within the first few months you stop smoking. This increase comes when you’re no longer consuming nicotine, which causes the blood vessels to narrow. These blood vessels are vital for delivering oxygen and nutrients as well as removing toxins and carbon dioxide from tissues in the body. 

As a result of this increased circulation, skin quality improves. The skin gets more nutrients, elasticity improves, as does water retention. You’ll also be preventing the onset of facial ageing and wrinkles that smoking can cause. 

 

Improved fertility 

Stopping smoking improves a woman’s ability to conceive naturally and through IVF. Quitting smoking reduces the risk of miscarriage and premature birth, increasing the chances of you having a healthy baby. 

By not smoking, you’ll also reduce the risk of delivering a low birthweight baby, a small-for-gestational-age baby and eliminate the adverse effects of smoking on foetal growth. 

 

Reduced cancer risks 

Stopping smoking reduces the risk of a range of serious health conditions. In terms of cancer, it’s one of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk. If you already have cancer, it may also improve your prognosis. Stopping smoking reduces the risk of 12 different types of cancers:

  • Bladder 
  • Cervix
  • Kidney
  • Liver
  • Mouth and throat 
  • Stomach 
  • Voicebox
  • Acute myeloid leukaemia
  • Oesophagus 
  • Colon and rectum 
  • Lung 
  • Pancreas 

 

Support for stopping smoking 

Many people try to quit smoking on their own. But research shows that a little bit of support can go a long way. The NHS offer a free Stop Smoking Service that makes it three times more likely you’ll quit for good. 

Health Assured can also support you with the effects of stopping smoking and help you improve your wellbeing. Get in touch with us on: 

UK: 0844 892 2493

ROI: 01 886 0324

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