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 (1,046 Responses)
  1. Daegu Night Address Guide

    Ahaa, its good dialogue regarding this post here at this web site,
    I have read all that, so now me also commenting here.

    May 4, 2021 at 07:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. escort

    Thanks a lot for sharing this with all people you actually know what you
    are talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly additionally consult
    with my site =). We can have a link trade arrangement among us

    May 4, 2021 at 07:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. 대구오피

    It's hard to find well-informed people in this particular subject, but you seem like you know what you're talking about!
    Thanks

    May 4, 2021 at 07:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Daegu OP

    Awesome! Its really amazing article, I have got much clear idea about from this post.

    May 4, 2021 at 07:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. www.astro.wisc.edu

    An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this onto a colleague who had been conducting a little research
    on this. And he in fact ordered me breakfast simply because
    I found it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this....

    Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time
    to discuss this matter here on your web site.

    May 4, 2021 at 07:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Daegu restaurant

    Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4
    year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She placed the shell to her ear and screamed.

    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants
    to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!

    May 4, 2021 at 07:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Rodolfo

    I was curious if you ever thought of changing the structure of your blog?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1
    or two images. Maybe you could space it out better?

    May 4, 2021 at 07:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Daegu Night Address Guide

    Hello, I check your new stuff like every week.

    Your story-telling style is witty, keep doing what you're doing!

    May 4, 2021 at 07:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. dusk to dawn lamp

    Having read this I believed it was very informative.

    I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this information together.
    I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and leaving comments.
    But so what, it was still worthwhile!

    May 4, 2021 at 08:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RebfZisse

    free cialis in canada [url=http://rcialisgl.com/ ]cialis pro[/url] cialis uk

    May 4, 2021 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. betcasino

    Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article.
    I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info.
    Thanks for the post. I will certainly return.

    May 4, 2021 at 14:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. http://www.gyvunugloba.lt

    Aliexpress – это популярный интернет-магазин
    электроники, модной одежды и обуви, аксессуаров, товаров
    для дома и многих других товаров от китайских производителей.
    Широкий ассортимент продукции представлен более
    100 миллионами изделий по низким ценам. http://www.gyvunugloba.lt/url.php?url=https://akciya.kiev.ua/store/aliexpress/

    May 4, 2021 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. freightliner truck repair shop

    http://google.pl/url?q=https://fleetvehiclerepairshop.com

    May 4, 2021 at 15:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. aika online private servers

    I love it when individuals get together and share thoughts. Great site, keep it up!

    https://google.ad/url?sa=j&source=web&rct=j&url=https://aikareborn.com

    May 4, 2021 at 16:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Wrap Around Prescription Sunglasses

    Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article! It's the little changes that produce the biggest changes. Thanks for sharing!

    https://www.hunghungphat.info/301.php?url=https://sunglasseseyedoctorsoptometristphoenixaz.com

    May 4, 2021 at 16:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. journaling group

    https://clients1.google.tl/url?q=j&source=web&rct=j&url=https://masteringthemanwithin.com

    May 4, 2021 at 20:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. aika online gameplay

    This website was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something which helped me. Appreciate it!

    https://google.fr/url?q=j&sa=t&url=https://aikareborn.com

    May 4, 2021 at 20:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. LebnEncox

    Adalat https://xlnpharmacy.com/ pharmacy online cheap

    May 4, 2021 at 22:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. chloroquine nz

    chloroquine https://chloroquineorigin.com/ chloroquinone

    May 4, 2021 at 22:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. LbsoZisse

    cialis generic prices [url=http://ucialisdas.com/ ]generic cialis black 800 mg[/url] herbal cialis

    May 5, 2021 at 06:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Optometrist

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely believe this site needs a great deal more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the advice!

    https://auto-glass.com.ua/goto.php?url=bettersightovernight.com

    May 5, 2021 at 07:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. executive van

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely believe this amazing site needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the info!

    http://google.sm/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://commercialrepairshop.com

    May 5, 2021 at 13:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. BbshMile

    bob dole viagra http://loxviagra.com/ herb viagra green box

    May 5, 2021 at 15:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. BB guns for kids

    very nice! Ireally like your blog

    http://www.gympie.edu.asn.au/home/forums/users/isabellahaag86/

    May 5, 2021 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Taekwondo Gambrills MD

    Thanks for wonderful information I used to be in search of this info for my mission.

    https://www.loveisnowfilm.com/what-can-we-learn-from-the-chinese-language-martial-artwork-tai-chi/

    May 5, 2021 at 17:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. GtnbCrulk

    what are the side effect of viagra https://jokviagra.com/ over the counter viagra

    May 5, 2021 at 18:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. best chinese food near me

    Hi, I do believe this is a great web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may return yet again since i have book marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.

    https://ojomistico.com/link_ex.php?id=https://www.forkliftsforsalenearme.com

    May 5, 2021 at 19:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. online executive coach

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It's always helpful to read articles from other authors and practice a little something from other web sites.

    https://clients1.google.sm/url?q=j&sa=t&url=https://mastermindformen.com

    May 5, 2021 at 20:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. dapoxetine

    buy priligy canada dapoxetine 90 mg

    May 5, 2021 at 22:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. AnooEncox

    metformin with viagra https://llviagra.com/ alergia ao viagra

    May 5, 2021 at 22:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. LbsoZisse

    cialis in ireland http://ucialisdas.com/ cialis on line

    May 5, 2021 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Arizona's Vision

    Good blog you've got here.. It’s difficult to find high quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you! Take care!!

    https://google.cm/url?rct=t&sa=t&url=https://eyedoctorphoenixaz.com

    May 6, 2021 at 01:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. glass globe mobile chandelier 46

    Hi everybody, here every one is sharing these experience, so it's fastidious to read
    this website, and I used to visit this webpage daily.

    May 6, 2021 at 01:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Seats Orange County

    May I simply just say what a comfort to find a person that actually knows what they are talking about online. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More and more people must read this and understand this side of the story. It's surprising you are not more popular because you certainly possess the gift.

    https://images.google.tm/url?q=https://ocrvcenter.org

    May 6, 2021 at 05:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. JebgEncox

    universal drugstore http://pharmacylo.com/ Fluoxetine

    May 6, 2021 at 08:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Buy Histafilin online

    Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it,
    you can be a great author. I will remember to bookmark your blog and will often come back from
    now on. I want to encourage yourself to continue your great job, have a nice evening!

    May 6, 2021 at 10:17 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Leave a Reply to бондаж секс


 

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.