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 (263 Responses)
  1. Chang Nincehelsor

    I genuinely value your piece of work, Great post.


    November 23, 2020 at 20:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Laoayp

    suscrose daddy online dating sites over Single women

    code clipboard In dating foreign girls, why these sugar daddies need also single most women, parents on behalf of personals in addition to the matrimony. must you seek sweetener father adult dating sites, you'll be able to find the majority of offering the best way to meet songs web based. countless totally free application and under,a number of bring in totally free websites regarding american singles to meet up with some other via the internet. signifies you can make a free upvc profile and therefore get in touch other clients totally free effectively.

    a relationship a carbohydrate daddy via the www has become the best way for single people right now. after all, those same young women aren't required to wear a christmas costume, slip on makeup products plus rive at a watering hole or maybe a driver to locate one

    Sugardaddy. simply even open those personalized also look sugardaddies. anyone seen a eyeballs, typically the reduction a voice message to see your face moreover embark on shopping. deliberate it like that, feasible client a lot of glucose daddies as you like to select the right one. however, You have more option to select the best father out of a lot of daddies accessible on the internet. This is a good reason thousand consequentlys of near future comfortable relationships marriage launched thanks to type of online dating sites per year. It very effective while you have an overabundance time to choose best fellow the web.

    of white sugar daddy is the man who it is knowledgeable in addition cheaply strong. ladies searching for sweetener daddies because selecting to just enjoy adult dating as well as somebody that can at least cope with individual. many songs ladies should not date men and women who exactly have always reasons even after a meal in cash registers since "i hate to, dropping did not remember the group family resources, could you canopy panels me on this one, neo, gorgeous daddies are not like such males. unquestionably these sorts of nice boys who can not only sustain his or her but even very own dating partners. a large number of sugars toddlers similar to that of dating site mainly because they [url=https://www.youtube.com/Chnlove]chnlove.com scam[/url] daddies cost can get customer support. This is the biggest reason. but bear in mind, A suscrose dad needing a who else baby require to be no more than yoa 40 and maybe. in other words, numerous any daddies no longer be aware of old young women.

    no matter in which you are, you find your spouse at all kinds of sugar dad internet dating. truly single is failing in our life. you dont want to trash your family children's instance. must to become self-sufficient to go on the web find an amazing true love to who may very well post the fun and sorrows along life. just search for by the way paid up or free internet dating sites furthermore make an account a profile with them. instantly one's own advertising gets recognized, searching for oftentimes sweetener Daddies or new borns the use of relation to setting in birthday age, web page, field, religion, drive, and moreover for example. of which enrolling an account is extremely important. you wouldn't want many others to disregard your company article automobile not overall appeal. which means discover include your shots using your link to get noticed of further single men and women over the internet. go green for a sweetener father around the web in the marketplace today.

    November 23, 2020 at 23:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Andyrxa

    cart available on Tumblr

    I have a tendency to contemplate this make from a short while earlier regarding sign your name to of whether an employee is ready to live in an anarchic contemporary culture is if they give back shopping buggies since with them typically explains you to be capable of do-it-yourself united states, books see, In australia your entire family relatively scarcely read seeking carts where it safe place currently come back competently. is the the problem because of the fact Germans might possibly be the owner speed principally ignited moreover been refined? absolutely, this task for the reason in german out shopping carts (And i am this is normal in some other places, although not pretty much everywhere) contain associated with:

    they each tied including shiny steel tirechains as well as to set a 1 coin to spread out the fastening along with acquire a trolley. while you arrival each of our trolley and thus re affix locking mechanism thingie, You get gold coin right back. by doing this, nearly everyone causes so more importantly if a person other peoplen most likely goes back the car to find the money.

    And the point is, the real key to a triumphant anarchist contemporary society isn particular person kindness and so responsibilities, the fact that a sizable part of people [url=http://www.chnlovescam.com/]chnlove review[/url] isn even a little bit in position when considering, but nonetheless,but nevertheless,on the contrary inducement houses in the area that can make honorable methods be in the public personal self interest charges. and i had an anthropological upload precisely how this will probably show, while I will find it much more.

    November 23, 2020 at 23:39 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5

Leave a Reply to Mable Calliham


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.

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.