Why you should stop smoking

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Despite knowing that it’s unhealthy, it can still be difficult to stop smoking. Focusing on the health benefits of quitting can be a big help.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of going smoke-free:

Breathe easier

Give up smoking and you’ll breathe more easily and cough less, as your lung capacity improves by up to 10 per cent within nine months.

In your 20s and 30s, the effect of smoking on your lungs may not be noticeable until you go for a run, but lung capacity drops with age.

In later years, you could have an active, healthy old age, rather than wheezing when climbing the stairs.

More energy

Within two to 12 weeks of quitting, your circulation will improve, making physical activities like walking and running much easier.

Less stress

Studies show people are less stressed after they stop smoking.

Nicotine addiction makes smokers stressed between cigarettes. The pleasant feeling of smoking is not a cure for stress.

Ex-smokers can also concentrate better and have higher mental wellbeing.

Save money

If you smoke 20 cigarettes a day, you could save around £4,000 a year*. What would you do with that money?

Whiter teeth

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

Smell and taste better

Kicking the habit gives your senses of smell and taste a boost as the body recovers from the hundreds of toxic chemicals in cigarettes.

Protect family and friends

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 puts children at twice the risk of chest illnesses, including pneumonia, croup and bronchitis.

They will also get more ear infections, wheezing and asthma and have three times the risk of getting lung cancer in later life. Quitting is good for their health as well as yours.

*20 Benson & Hedges cigarettes priced at £10.90 on Tesco.com, 3 March 2023.

Key sources and further reading

NHS Live Well: Quit smoking

16 March, 2023