The short- and long-term benefits of quitting smoking
Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for yourself. You’ll feel better, you’ll look better, and your health will be better. But the benefits of smoking aren’t just some far-off future dream; they start within minutes of quitting. So, let’s find out the benefits of not smoking, both now and in the future.
You’ll notice the difference straight away
Only 20 minutes after your last smoke, your heart rate slows and your blood pressure drops slightly.1 Not long after that, the levels of carbon monoxide in your blood start going down.1 Your body is already beginning to heal itself.
Your breath, clothes and hair will smell better, which is just as well because the nerve endings in your nose and mouth will begin to regrow, heightening your sense of smell and taste.2
It just keeps getting better
After about two weeks of staying smoke-free, some big changes will start to kick in. Your lung function will increase, and blood circulation will improve.1 That means you'll have more energy to do all kinds of things: more energy to walk, run and play sport.2,3 Your love life could also improve – as non-smokers have been found to be 3x more appealing to prospective partners than smokers!3
You’ll also feel better within yourself. You’ll gradually find that your shortness of breath will improve. There will be less coughing, fewer colds and asthma attacks.1,2
It doesn’t stop there. Not only will you feel better, you will look better too. Your teeth and nails won't continue to be stained yellow from smoking, and you'll even have younger-looking skin.2,3
The future is golden
As a smoke-free future stretches out before you, the benefits of quitting become long term.1
At one year, you have halved your risk of coronary heart disease.1 By two to five years, your risk of stroke is now the same as a non-smoker, and at five years you have halved your risk of mouth, throat, oesophageal and bladder cancer.1
By 10 years, your risk of dying from lung cancer is half that of a current smoker, and your risk of developing kidney and pancreatic cancers decreases.1
While the risk of smoking-related diseases plummets, your savings will continue to grow and grow. If you're a pack a day smoker, every year you stay smoke-free, you’ll have an extra $10,950 in the bank. That’s a lot of spare change to treat yourself with.4*
The effects of not smoking aren’t limited to you. By quitting smoking, you are helping to protect your friends and family from risks associated with passive smoking – including lung cancer, heart disease and stroke.
If you have children, you’re also reducing their risk of getting certain illnesses, including pneumonia, ear infections and asthma.3 And by setting such a healthy example, your kids will be less likely to smoke themselves.2
Quit smoking and you will see and feel the benefits every day: from your quit day all the way through to a healthier future. It’s definitely worth it, so do the deed and then stick with it.
If you’re finding it tricky, remember, you're up to 4x more likely to succeed in quitting with the help of a healthcare professional compared to quitting unaided.5 So give your doctor a call and make an appointment to start your smoke-free life.
Take the first step
The first step to quitting starts with a doctor. Find out how you can get the help you need.