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 (2,380 Responses)
  1. discount water pipes

    Dab Pads & Silicone Matsgrinder for sale14mm 45 Degree Showerhead Ash Catcher By DiamondThe Medicali Ash Catcher with Showerhead Perc has a colored showerhead percolator and is available to order in a selection of colors. Please select your favorite color from the available option in the drop-down menu when you place your order. Please note that you can select the color of the showerhead percolator, it is not possible to select the color or style of the logo. The logos come in a wide variety of colors and styles, you will receive one at random, depending on availability.


    June 5, 2021 at 10:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. bongs and water pipes

    Dab Pads & Silicone Matsone-hitterDiamond Glass 18mm 45 Degree Showerhead Perc Ash CatcherThe Medicali Ash Catcher with Showerhead Perc has a colored showerhead percolator and is available to order in a selection of colors. Please select your favorite color from the available option in the drop-down thực đơn when you place your order. Please note that you can select the color of the showerhead percolator, it is not possible to select the color or style of the logo. The logos come in a wide variety of colors and styles, you will receive one at random, depending on availability.


    June 5, 2021 at 13:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. marijuana one hitter

    Dab Paddab oens14mm 45 Degree Tree Perc Ash CatcherThis is because the ash catcher would make your piece top-heavy, increasing the likelihood of an accident and breakage. On the contrary, massive bongs are usually paired with large ash catchers to keep the aesthetic consistent.


    June 5, 2021 at 13:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. appomannoni

    best erectile supplements kayamy erectile hyperfunction
    how to erectile dysfunction slilicy erectile vacuum pump costs
    when does erectile dysfunction happen sicAdofs erectile curve

    June 5, 2021 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Mercedes Benz Sprinter Chassis Repair

    This web site truly has all of the information I needed concerning this subject and didnít know who to ask.


    June 5, 2021 at 18:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. hydroxychloroquine uk

    chrloroquine hydroxychloroquine for sale what is chloroquine

    June 5, 2021 at 18:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. store xnxx


    June 5, 2021 at 18:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. soul food near me

    This blog was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something which helped me. Thanks a lot!


    June 5, 2021 at 20:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. appomannoni

    is erectile dysfunction a symptom of diabetes kayamy erectile neuroplasticity
    erectile prescription pills slilicy erectile help massage
    erectile pills that work sicAdofs erectile cherries

    June 5, 2021 at 23:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Alternator Mercedes Sprinter 2016 Repair


    June 6, 2021 at 00:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. mila blown glass pendant

    Hey there! I'm at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone!
    Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all
    your posts! Carry on the outstanding work!

    June 6, 2021 at 06:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. appomannoni

    does erectile dysfunction come on suddenly kayamy top erectile dysfunction doctors in tx
    best erectile herbs slilicy does erectile dysfunction affect desire
    best erectile pump sicAdofs erectile tools

    June 6, 2021 at 07:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. tadalafil contraindications

    side effects for tadalafil tadalafil research chemical tadalafil mechanism

    June 6, 2021 at 08:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. appomannoni

    erectile stimulation treatment kayamy erectile disease quiz
    erectile injury slilicy erectile com
    erectile dysfunction in men sicAdofs erectile dysfunction pills

    June 6, 2021 at 14:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. lampadario flos skygarden

    Wow that was strange. I just wrote an really long comment
    but after I clicked submit my comment didn't appear.
    Grrrr... well I'm not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to
    say superb blog!

    June 6, 2021 at 17:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Sprinter Black Death Repair

    I need to to thank you for this very good read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it. I have got you book marked to check out new stuff you postÖ


    June 6, 2021 at 22:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. vcm collision center

    I couldnít refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!


    June 6, 2021 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. appomannoni

    what erectile dysfunction drug works best kayamy erectile curve
    erectile disorder slilicy erectile band
    erectile implants video sicAdofs cheapest erectile dysfunction pill comparison

    June 6, 2021 at 22:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. vertigo light sale

    Its like you learn my mind! You seem to grasp a lot approximately this,
    like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you just can do with a few percent to drive
    the message home a bit, however instead of that, that is great blog.
    A fantastic read. I'll certainly be back.

    June 6, 2021 at 22:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. lampe gras rea

    Hi, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.

    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, fantastic blog!

    June 7, 2021 at 01:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. https://sites.google.com/view/how-to-buy-grass-ceiling-lamp/

    Great blog here! Additionally your website quite a bit up very fast!
    What host are you the usage of? Can I get your affiliate hyperlink to your host?
    I desire my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

    June 7, 2021 at 01:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. grande vertigo Pendant

    Hi there, the whole thing is going nicely here and
    ofcourse every one is sharing data, that's truly good,
    keep up writing.

    June 7, 2021 at 02:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. appomannoni

    erectile function healthy dads healthy kids kayamy erectile discomfort
    icd 10 erectile dysfunction slilicy erectile doctor memphis tn
    erectile disorder mayo clinic sicAdofs erectile problems home remedies

    June 7, 2021 at 06:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. best buy near me

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and the rest of the site is extremely good.


    June 7, 2021 at 11:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. EncoxGtv

    how to order drugs from canada [url=https://pharmacyhrn.com/ ]canadian rx pharmacy online[/url] Enalapril

    June 7, 2021 at 13:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. appomannoni

    how erectile dysfunction affects women kayamy erectile prosthesis
    which erectile dysfunction drugs cost more slilicy muse for erectile dysfunction
    can erectile dysfunction come on suddenly sicAdofs erectile therapist

    June 7, 2021 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. EncoxHtf

    buying cialis in usa [url=https://cialishav.com/ ]bootleg cialis[/url] buy cialis cheapest

    June 7, 2021 at 16:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Alisia Ducotey

    This was great! I would like you to clean up all this spam though


    June 7, 2021 at 16:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. repairing rv blinds


    June 7, 2021 at 21:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Dodge Sprinter Service Near Me

    Hi, I do think this is an excellent blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will come back once again since i have book-marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.


    June 7, 2021 at 21:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. rv supplies orange county


    June 7, 2021 at 21:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Slide Out Los Angeles

    I was extremely pleased to find this site. I want to to thank you for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely appreciated every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new things in your site.


    June 7, 2021 at 21:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. melt mini pendant light

    This piece of writing is in fact a pleasant one it helps new web visitors, who are wishing in favor of blogging.

    June 7, 2021 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. aj lamp wall

    Howdy! I could have sworn I've been to this
    blog before but after browsing through some of the post I
    realized it's new to me. Anyhow, I'm definitely delighted I found it and
    I'll be bookmarking and checking back frequently!

    June 7, 2021 at 22:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. appomannoni

    erectile suppliers kayamy erectile vasoconstriction
    erectile function after prostate cancer slilicy erectile vacuum pump demonstration
    erectile problems home remedies sicAdofs erectile solution ratings

    June 7, 2021 at 23:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Zisseloh

    compare cialis prices [url=https://rcialisgl.com/ ]homemade cialis[/url] order cialis

    June 8, 2021 at 00:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. pulpo oda big lamp

    You really make it seem so easy along with your
    presentation but I in finding this topic to be actually
    one thing which I think I might by no means understand.
    It seems too complicated and extremely extensive for me.
    I am taking a look forward for your next submit, I'll attempt to get the hold
    of it!

    June 8, 2021 at 02:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. flos ic wandlamp

    Thank you for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting
    for your further post thanks once again.

    June 8, 2021 at 04:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. appomannoni

    can erectile dysfunction be healed kayamy erectile help massage
    why does erectile dysfunction happen slilicy best erectile
    erectile dysfunction and topical formulas sicAdofs coupons for erectile dysfunction

    June 8, 2021 at 07:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. auto body paint shops near me

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you so much, However I am experiencing problems with your RSS. I donít understand the reason why I can't join it. Is there anybody having similar RSS issues? Anybody who knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanx!!


    June 8, 2021 at 08:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. aralen chloroquine phosphate

    where do you get hydroxychloroquine chloroquine for lupus hydrocholorquine

    June 8, 2021 at 09:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. camper frame repair

    After I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I recieve four emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is an easy method you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks!


    June 8, 2021 at 12:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. EncoxDev

    online doctor pharmacy [url=https://cjepharmacy.com/ ]ed pills online[/url] board of pharmacy

    June 8, 2021 at 13:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. RV Wraps Near Me

    I wanted to thank you for this wonderful read!! I absolutely enjoyed every little bit of it. I have you saved as a favorite to check out new stuff you postÖ


    June 8, 2021 at 14:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. seats near me


    June 8, 2021 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. MileSwa

    liquid cialis buy [url=https://ckacialis.com/ ]best prices for cialis[/url] 10 mg cialis for sale

    June 8, 2021 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. appomannoni

    compare erectile dysfunction medication kayamy what erectile dysfunction pill is the best
    erectile disorder 38 cfr slilicy erectile rehabilitation
    erectile after you quit drinking sicAdofs cheapest erectile disfunction drug

    June 8, 2021 at 15:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. ZisseVed

    how much does cialis cost in canada [url=https://krocialis.com/ ]does cialis really work[/url] cialispills online

    June 8, 2021 at 20:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. appomannoni

    is erectile dysfunction reversible kayamy erectile function healthy dads healthy kids
    is erectile dysfunction a va disability rates slilicy low cost erectile treatment
    erectile vitamins sicAdofs why erectile dysfunction happens

    June 9, 2021 at 00:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. sites.google.com

    Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon on a daily basis.
    It's always exciting to read through articles from other authors
    and use something from other sites.

    June 9, 2021 at 00:57 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47

Leave a Reply to tadalafil tablets


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.