The Freedom You’ll Miss If You Don’t Quit Smoking

By Medically reviewed by Panel Perubatan Hello Doktor

No product is sold as contradictorily as cigarettes. In Malaysia, anyone over 18 can get them over the counter at a convenience store, but each pack is covered with horrific warnings of what could happen if you use it. As a result, many smokers are aware of the risks and intend to quit – unfortunately, many fall victim to the addiction instead.

So, in case you need motivation to kick the habit for good, keep regular reminders of all these benefits you’ll never enjoy unless you quit smoking now.

Clear & alert mind

Breaking the cycle of addiction is primarily a mental challenge. The smoker’s brain contains many nicotine receptors; quitting smoking returns them to normal state, rewiring the brain within one month.

Additionally, research has shown that smokers who quit exhibited better mental health over the long term. They were less depressed, anxious, and stressed, which is related to their better quality of life. In contrast, trying and failing to quit can weaken mental health in the long term.

Physical fitness

It’s no secret that smoking exposes the lungs to dangerous chemicals. Well, the good news is that the body’s oxygen level increases after just 12 hours without a cigarette. The lack of carbon monoxide makes it easier to breathe, especially when performing strenuous activities like exercise. Ex-smokers are more energetic as their bodies now get enough oxygen at all times.

Smoking also increases one’s heart rate, which increases the risk of blood clots, high cholesterol, and coronary heart disease. Heart rate returns to normal within 20 minutes post-cigarette, but blood pressure and circulation only improve significantly months after kicking the habit.

Taste & smell

Smoking damages nerve endings in the nose and mouth, which dulls the two important senses involved in enjoying food: taste and smell. These nerve endings begin to heal within just 2 days of quitting, restoring one’s sense of smell and taste. 

As a non-smoker, you also make a conscious decision to only enter spaces with clear air. Also say goodbye to the days of carrying the stench of smoke around in your hair and clothes – now everyone around you can breathe better, too. 

Confidence from looking & feeling good

A smoker’s lips always betray their habit. Not only does smoking darken the lips and gums, it also dries out skin and hair. This may cause breakouts, patchy skin, and brittle, frizzy hair. 

After you stop smoking, lips, gum and skin gradually clear out and hair regains its shine and strength. This improved appearance can be a great motivator to keep cigarettes at bay. When one looks and feels good, their confidence will receive a boost more powerful than the temporary satisfaction nicotine delivers. 

Healthy golden years

All the benefits above prove that quitting smoking contributes to a greater sense of well-being. This improved quality of life will follow you into the golden years, maintaining healthy vital organs and increasing immunity against diseases. 

Research on millions of ex-smokers reveal that the benefits of smoking cessation are solidified over time. Within 5 years of quitting, your risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart attack and stroke is lowered by 38% compared to those who continue smoking. That’s why it’s better to quit while young and enjoy the rest of your life smoke-free. 

So what are you waiting for? These days there is ample support for you to quit smoking, whether it is the use of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (such as patches and gums) or the government-provided mQuit service that has been made widely available so no one has to fight the battle against addiction alone.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Review Date: July 11, 2019 | Last Modified: November 15, 2019

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