There are numerous benefits in deciding to quit smoking. You'll not only improve your health and prevent disease, but you'll also save money in the long term. Some people can feel the benefits of quitting not long after they've given up smoking as the body begins to repair itself.
Smoking can lead to a range of health conditions including cancer, lung damage, as well as problems affecting eyes and teeth. According to the Department of Health and Aged Care, there are certain milestones you'll reach over a period of time when you decide to quit smoking.
Within the first month:
12 hours - Excess carbon monoxide is out of your blood.
5 days - Most nicotine is out of your body.
1 week - Your sense of taste and smell improves.
1 month - Your skin appearance is likely to improve.
Within the first year
2 months - Your lungs will no longer be producing extra phlegm caused by smoking.
3 months - Your lung function and blood flow improve.
12 months - The previous risk of heart disease has now halved.
5 years from now, your risk of a stroke has dramatically decreased
10 years from now, the previous risk of lung cancer is less than half that of a continuing smoker and continues to decline.
15 years from now, the previous risk of heart attack and stroke is almost the same as that of a person who has never smoked.
Other benefits beyond your health
While the health benefits should make you more inclined to quit, there are other reasons which you might not have considered.
Your social life
By not smoking, you're reducing passive smoke which could affect the health of others. You may find yourself less isolated at social gatherings as you won't have to go to the smoker's area and miss out on conversations. You may also find that you have more energy to socialise when you stop smoking and that you'll smell better, as you won't have that lingering smell of smoke on your clothes.
By forgoing your pack of smokes, however often you buy them, you will certainly save more money. If, for example, an individual smokes a pack a day, this could mean saving over $9,000 a year if they quit. Use the Quit HQ calculator to determine your individual savings if you stopped smoking. Rather than buying smokes, save that hard earned money for something you really want.
Helping the environment
By quitting smoking, you're helping the environment and reducing your carbon footprint. You'll be helping just by reducing the amount of smoke in the air as well as cigarette butts on the streets.
How to quit
Understand what makes you smoke
Understanding why you smoke can help you to find ways to ultimately conquer your smoking addiction. You can learn to change ingrained habits by practicing awareness of when you tend to reach for a cigarette. For example, you might be more inclined to smoke after an emotional situation or when you smell smoke in the air.
Gradually cut down the amount you smoke
By slowly decreasing the amount of cigarettes you smoke every day, you can eventually get down to zero and quit completely. Gradually cutting down can help you quit when you might not be quite so ready to quit cold turkey straight away.
In order to hold yourself accountable, it's wise to create a quit plan. There's several resources and tools which can help you make one:
Join iCanQuit to make a plan and track your progress
Make Smoking History's quit plan template
Having a support network is key and can increase your chances of quitting. Let your family and friends know that you're trying to quit in order to hold yourself accountable. You could also have a quit buddy who is wanting to quit as well so you can both help each other to stay on track.
Visit your GP for more information on ways to quit. If you need extra support or just want someone to talk to, contact the Sonder team who can help.
If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app.
All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.