home
RSS
10 surprising benefits of quitting smoking
Rick Morris celebrates during a workout with the Atlanta Hawks in February.
April 7th, 2012
12:00 PM ET

10 surprising benefits of quitting smoking

Rick Morris is one of seven CNN viewers participating in the CNN Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. He quit smoking on an episode of "Sanjay Gupta, M.D." and has been smoke-free since.

About two months ago, I quit smoking. At the time there were many reasons influencing my decision to finally choose a smoke-free lifestyle. I was worried about my health. I had high blood pressure. My doctor and everyone I knew was encouraging me to kick the habit. My family history is one of lung cancer and diabetes. The list goes on and on.

Now that I've been without tobacco for the past couple months (63 days, to be exact), I've noticed some changes in the way I'm living.

All are positive and are in direct relation to my body's depletion of those nasty chemicals I've called friends for the last 12 years.

So I thought I would list those changes and explain how I have been affected by each. Though my list is restricted to 10, it is by no means an exhaustive one.

1. No more chronic cough: All smokers know what "smoker's cough" is. I didn't realize how annoying this was until I stopped coughing all the time. After about a week being smoke-free, I noticed I didn't have to clear my throat every few minutes.

I recall plenty of times when I was at a function or meeting and needed to cough so badly, but couldn't because I knew it would be rude and interrupting to those around me. It's like an insect hovering in your throat – not touching, just drying everything between your tongue and your stomach – and you can't do a darn thing about it.

2. The smell: I didn't know I smelled so badly until I was around other smokers. Their clothes, home, car, even their pets reek!

About a week after I smoked my last cancer stick, my daughter and her boyfriend, a smoker, dropped by for a visit. Their dog always peels for the door and makes it into the house first. Yeah, I actually smelled the odor of cigarettes coming from the dog.

3. No more cleaning butts: I swear that cigarette butts would multiply when I wasn't looking. I once placed a butt can out back on the patio and initially used it as intended. Pretty soon, I was too lazy to walk down the steps to the can and just started flipping cigarette butts out into the yard, in the area of the butt can (as if I were shooting a jump shot). I rarely scored.

Eventually, they were lying everywhere. So much that I would just wait until the weekends to "clean" them with the leaf blower. Nasty, nasty, nasty!

4. It's just an extra $200 per month: Really, the extra money wasn't even noticed, as I can easily spend that on a night grilling on the patio (I love king crab and filet mignon, and only the finest Belgium beer!) So I really didn't look at this as a true benefit of not smoking.

But, with the price of cigarettes reaching about $6 a pack in my area – and up to $11 in other areas of the nation – I discovered this adds up. And, it was clear the price of tobacco was just going to continue to rise.

So, I got out my calculator. $6 a day multiplied by 365 days in the year. Comes out to $2,190. Looking at this long term, that's about $122,000 over the next 56 years (when I turn 100). Assuming cigarettes continue to increase in price at the present rate, then it's easy to see that number growing to half-million dollars. Invested wisely, I'm sure I can leave someone a big, fat payday!

5. Lost productivity: Sure, we all need a break or two during the work day. But I realized I was taking about 20 of these 5-minute breaks. In all honesty, each was probably about 10 minutes. About two-thirds of my breaks were when I was at work (I have a home-based web development business). So, that's more than 2 hours of breaking as opposed to working.

How in the world was I getting my work done? I have since realized that I wasn't.

6. Food tastes much better: I don't know if it has something to do with a cleaner mouth, but food simply tastes better. I also find that I use less salt.

I've heard on several occasions that if one quits smoking one gains weight, but I would warn people from using the weight-gain excuse as a viable argument when attempting to become smoke-free. Trading one bad habit for another isn't the way to go.

7. Non-smoking or non-smoking?: I think the air-line industry coined the phrase: "Smoking, or non-smoking?" And, I think it was the first group to eliminate cigarette smoking from a certain area (the airplane).

Today, it's almost preposterous to think we once smoked during an international flight on a 747! "Non-smoking or non-smoking?" seems to be the rhetorical, unasked question wherever you go these days. It's understood. There will be no smoking here, or here, or there, or over there, or in there, or... well, you get the point.

Unlike the Golden era of the 1920s and 1930s, when smoking was an upper-class hobby, a smoker's world is an unfriendly one today.Since the airlines quit asking that redundant question, smoking has been eliminated from virtually all public places. Restaurants, high-school football games, town parks, even bars and drinking establishments have become smoke-free.

For smokers, drinking a beer without a cigarette is like playing pool without a beer! Whether smokers realize it or not, the very fact that one uses tobacco limits them in myriad ways – especially socially. I don't have to worry about that anymore.

8. Dry, sticky contact lenses: As a wearer of these miracle discs of ocular health, I know what smoking does to your contact lenses. Smoke makes them dry. They become cloudy and you're constantly rubbing your eyes. Eventually, your lenses get to the point where you must get them out.

Fortunately, I wear disposable contact lenses. All I had to do was pop in a new set. But, at a couple dollars per lens, this was costing me. How to solve this annoying problem? Quit smoking!

9. Physical appearance: In the few months I've not smoked, I can tell my overall physical appearance has improved.

My skin isn't dry and wrinkly. My bit of gray hair is actually going brown. My self-confidence in speaking directly to someone isn't hindered by my desire to turn at an angle because of smoker's breath.

10. Bye, bye yellow teeth: No matter how hard I brushed or swished fluoride, I couldn't seem to keep perfectly white teeth.

"It's because you smoke," my dentist proclaimed. "And, unless you do something about that, your dental health will continue to deteriorate, thus affecting your overall health."

Bad teeth can lead to serious health effects throughout your body. Yesterday I had a cleaning at the dentist, and plan to keep my teeth white and healthy from now on.

You can follow CNN Fit Nation on Facebook and Twitter.


soundoff (838 Responses)
  1. canadian pharmacy generic cialis

    canadian meds cialis https://canadacialisstore.com/ canadian generic cialis 20mg

    April 15, 2021 at 00:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. parachilna Aballs Lamps

    You need to be a part of a contest for one of the greatest websites online.
    I most certainly will recommend this site!

    April 15, 2021 at 06:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. revolve table

    Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The
    words in your post seem to be running off the screen in Chrome.
    I'm not sure if this is a format issue or something to
    do with internet browser compatibility but I thought I'd post to let you know.
    The style and design look great though! Hope you get the issue
    resolved soon. Thanks

    April 15, 2021 at 08:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Feather Chandelier Uk

    This excellent website certainly has all the information and facts I needed concerning this subject and
    didn't know who to ask.

    April 15, 2021 at 09:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. tadalafil

    tadalafil gel https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalafil pills

    April 15, 2021 at 11:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. cale lamp

    Wow! Finally I got a weblog from where I can really get useful
    facts concerning my study and knowledge.

    April 15, 2021 at 13:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. cost of zithromax

    a zithromax https://zithromaxes.com/ chlamydia powder medication

    April 15, 2021 at 14:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. vardenafil prices india

    levitra (vardenafil) https://vegavardenafil.com/ side effects for vardenafil

    April 15, 2021 at 21:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. lighting replica

    I got this web site from my pal who shared with me
    regarding this website and now this time I am browsing
    this web site and reading very informative posts here.

    April 15, 2021 at 22:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. canada 20 viagra

    viagra sale canada https://canadaviagrastore.com/ viagra purchase from canada

    April 16, 2021 at 02:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. vardenafil tablets 20 mg best price

    teva pharms vardenafil https://vegavardenafil.com/ vardenafil vs tadalafil

    April 16, 2021 at 04:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. tadalafil gel

    tadalafil tablets https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalis sx

    April 16, 2021 at 06:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. zithromax 1000mg

    zithromax used to treat https://zithromaxes.com/ zithromax tablet

    April 16, 2021 at 07:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. feather pendant light shade

    This design is wicked! You obviously know how to keep
    a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos,
    I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost...HaHa!) Excellent job.
    I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!

    April 16, 2021 at 16:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. sites.google.Com

    I have been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this
    kind of space . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled
    upon this website. Reading this info So i am satisfied to convey that I have a very good uncanny
    feeling I came upon just what I needed. I such a lot undoubtedly will make sure to do not put out of your mind this web site and provides it a glance
    on a relentless basis.

    April 16, 2021 at 17:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Daryl Jaurigue

    Just desire to say your article is as astounding. The clarity in your post is simply cool and i could assume you're a professional on this subject. Well together with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thank you 1,000,000 and please carry on the gratifying work.

    https://extraproxies.com/avast-antivirus-premier-license-key/

    April 16, 2021 at 17:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. ed pills

    why sudden erectile dysfunction https://canadaerectiledysfunctionpills.com/ do erectile dysfunction pills really work

    April 16, 2021 at 19:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. revolve light

    Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a 30 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now destroyed and she has 83 views.

    I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it
    with someone!

    April 16, 2021 at 21:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. cvs ed meds

    erectile problems home remedies https://canadaerectiledysfunctionpills.com/ best erectile pump

    April 17, 2021 at 06:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. how to buy teva sob for viagra in canada

    do you need a prescription for viagra in canada https://canadaviagrastore.com/ viagra in canada

    April 17, 2021 at 08:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. арабское секс видео

    Its not my first time to go to see this web page, i am visiting this site dailly and obtain fastidious information from here all the time.

    April 17, 2021 at 11:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. chrona dish suspension

    I'm truly enjoying the design and layout of your blog.
    It's a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did
    you hire out a designer to create your theme? Exceptional
    work!

    April 17, 2021 at 13:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. sites.google.com

    I am now not positive the place you are getting your info, but great
    topic. I must spend some time finding out more or figuring out more.
    Thanks for wonderful info I was on the lookout for
    this info for my mission.

    April 17, 2021 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. бондаж секс

    This is my first time pay a visit at here and i am actually
    pleassant to read everthing at one place.

    April 17, 2021 at 15:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. vardenafil 20mg tablets

    vardenafil prices india https://vegavardenafil.com/ is vardenafil in the va formulary

    April 17, 2021 at 17:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. sites.google.com

    It's remarkable to pay a quick visit this website and reading the views of all
    colleagues about this paragraph, while I am also eager of getting knowledge.

    April 17, 2021 at 17:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. homelightingreplica.com

    Greetings from Carolina! I'm bored to death at work so I decided to browse
    your website on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the information you present here and can't wait to take a look when I get home.
    I'm amazed at how fast your blog loaded
    on my mobile .. I'm not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, very good site!

    April 17, 2021 at 21:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. aballs replica

    I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this website yourself
    or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz respond as I'm looking
    to create my own blog and would like to know where u got this from.
    thanks

    April 17, 2021 at 23:34 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Leave a Reply to KndnMile


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.