Ten Immediate Positive Effects of Quitting Smoking

by Stacy Thomas | June 1, 2020

Smoking is one of those things that is so bad for you, when you quit it, you notice the positive impact immediately.

When you smoke a cigarette, you’re sucking on poison. The chemicals in cigarettes enter the bloodstream through the lungs and start wreaking deadly havoc on every single system in your body. We all know that cigarettes can make you sick, and that smoking is a money pit, and most of us even know that as a smoker you’re far more likely to die of cancer, heart disease, or one of the many other deadly diseases that are directly caused by smoking, but smokers still be smoking.

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It’s hard to look to the future benefits of quitting, when the right-now discomfort of smoking cessation rolls in. When confronted with the irritability, coughing, anxiety and headaches that are part of quitting
smoking, it’s hard to look towards a nebulous future “better”. Studies have shown that focusing on the positive effects of quitting can be a huge help in sticking to it, and there are so, so many of them! It’s time to stop focussing on how hard quitting smoking is going to be, and instead, look forward to the immediate benefits of quitting. If you’re thinking about quitting, or you have quit (amazing!) and need a little encouragement to keep it up, here are ten things that you will notice right away when you quit smoking.

1. Your skin will start to glow.

Within eight hours of stomping out your very last cigarette, the carbon monoxide levels in your blood will return to an almost normal level. Once carbon monoxide recedes, oxygen will rush in to replace it. Your skin is going to love this process, and you’ll notice a new colour in your cheeks. Going from pallid increasingly grey skin, to fresh and rosy is an aesthetic plus that we can all get on board with.

2. Your senses return.

Two days after you quit smoking, nerve endings that had been damaged by cigarette toxins start to regrow. That means that you’ll be smelling things that you may have forgotten even had smells, like subtle spring blossoms in the air on warm evenings, or the sweet smell of your lover’s skin. Welcome back to the sensory world!

3. You smell better.

I mean you, as a person, will actually smell better. You probably already know this, but in case you didn’t: while you were walking around with your inhibited sense of smell your hair, skin, and clothes reeked of smoke. Hate to be the one to tell you!  Don’t be embarrassed, because now that you’ve quit you get to smell like your lovely perfumed, shampooed self again. The point is, you’ll no longer notice people leaving the room when you enter, well, at least not because you smell smokey. Maybe do your laundry?

4. You breathe better.

You’re going to breathe better, like, right away. With the cessation of smoking, your breathing tubes relax and open up more, and your lung capacity increases. Take a deep breath, doesn’t that feel nice?

5. You can plan for the future.

According to the American Cancer Society, smoking cigarettes takes at least ten years off the life of every single smoker. If you quit before you’re forty, your likelihood of dying of a smoking-related disease is reduced by 90 percent, no matter what age you are. If you quit now, you’ll add years to your lifespan, right away.

6. Food tastes better.

One of the major drawbacks to smoking is that you don’t get to enjoy delicious food as much as you would like. What that adds up to is that going out for dinner becomes a boring waste of money. Food is life! When you quit smoking, take yourself out for dinner, and you’ll notice at once, how much better everything tastes.

7. You get to be part of society again.

The “good ol’ days” of smoking are long gone. Smoking anywhere, and anytime you like is a thing of the distant past. Smoking now looks less like a cool kids’ activity, and more like grown adults huddled alone on the street in the rain, far, far away from where their smoke can pollute anyone else’s lungs. When you quit, well, you get tomstay inside, where it’s warm.

8. You get to have warm hands and feet again.

Speaking of being warm, you know how you’re known for your icy cold hands and feet? You know, those frigid fingers that are great for placing on your loved ones when they’re least expecting it? Great for a laugh, but not so great just, in general. When you quit smoking, your blood circulation returns, which warms up your skin. Your friends and family will thank you for it.

9. You’ll have more money.

Have you seen the price of cigarettes lately? On top of the coughing, the chronic bronchitis, the bad skin, the wrinkles, the bad breath, the yellowing teeth, you’re also throwing your hard-earned cash away for the privilege of taking years off of your life. It doesn’t take a lot of calculations to figure out that no, smoking is not worth the cost.

10. You’ll like yourself more.

This is the best one. Making positive, life-affirming choices that improve your health and wellbeing is great for your self-esteem. As hard as quitting smoking is, the sense of empowerment you feel when you take your health into your own hands is worth the withdrawal. We’re not minimizing the symptoms of withdrawal, because they are rough, but they’ll pass, and you’ll be left with all of the amazing pluses outlined above. The improved vitality, energy and overall general health you will enjoy when you quit smoking will last your entire lifetime.

Stacy Thomas


Stacy Thomas was born and raised among the orchards of the Okanagan Valley. She studied journalism in Vancouver, B.C., and has worked as a reporter in places such as Germany, Ukraine, Northern B.C. and rural Alberta. Passionate about nature, she now lives in Squamish with her partner Nicki and her rescue dog Harley. She is currently a student of creative writing at the University of British Columbia, where she draws comics and writes poetry.