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. academy near me


    June 17, 2021 at 20:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. computer repair near me

    I really like looking through an article that can make people think. Also, thanks for permitting me to comment!


    June 17, 2021 at 20:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. serge mouille australia

    Heya i'm for the first time here. I found this board and I find It really useful &
    it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and aid others like you helped me.

    June 17, 2021 at 21:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. houses for rent near me


    June 17, 2021 at 22:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. appomannoni

    erectile pills online india kayamy how erectile dysfunction affects reproduction
    erectile implants side effects slilicy erectile dysfunction exercises
    do erectile pills permanently increase size sicAdofs erectile failure

    June 17, 2021 at 22:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. https://sites.google.com/view/kugelhang-lampe/

    I'm impressed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog that's both educative and amusing, and
    without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head.
    The problem is something too few men and women are speaking intelligently about.
    I'm very happy I came across this during my search for something regarding

    June 17, 2021 at 23:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. 먹튀검증

    Great article, just what I was looking for.

    June 18, 2021 at 00:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Orb light

    What's up it's me, I am also visiting this site daily,
    this site is actually good and the visitors are really sharing pleasant thoughts.

    June 18, 2021 at 00:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. pg slot game

    Wow, this article is good, my sister is analyzing these things, therefore I
    am going to convey her.

    June 18, 2021 at 04:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. convenience store near me

    You're so awesome! I do not think I've read through a single thing like that before. So wonderful to discover another person with original thoughts on this subject matter. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that is required on the web, someone with some originality!


    June 18, 2021 at 04:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. appomannoni

    can erectile dysfunction be revewsw kayamy erectile function returns as copper decreases
    how erectile dysfunction affects women slilicy best erectile dysfunction drug
    erectile booster method reviews sicAdofs erectile diet

    June 18, 2021 at 06:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Daftar Situs Judi Pragmatic

    I delight in, lead to I discovered just what I was looking
    for. You have ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great
    day. Bye

    June 18, 2021 at 07:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. judi bola

    I'm not positive where you're getting your info, however good topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning much more or figuring out more.
    Thanks for excellent info I was searching for
    this info for my mission.

    June 18, 2021 at 08:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. 33820X Dumps

    Hello there I am so happy I found your website, I really found you
    by accident, while I was browsing on Digg for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say thanks for a fantastic post and
    a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don't have time to look over it all at the minute but
    I have bookmarked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have
    time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the superb job.

    June 18, 2021 at 09:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. tires near me


    June 18, 2021 at 09:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. TukTukPatrol Hairy Bush Pounded By White Hammer Dick

    What's up i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anywhere, when i read this piece of writing i
    thought i could also create comment due to this sensible piece of writing.

    June 18, 2021 at 10:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Renea Eperson

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life websites and blogs


    June 18, 2021 at 10:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Sprinter Repair Orange County


    June 18, 2021 at 11:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. appomannoni

    erectile amazon kayamy does erectile dysfunction pills work
    erectile gel slilicy erectile means
    erectile rehabilitation program sicAdofs erectile exercises video

    June 18, 2021 at 14:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. deck repair and staining near me


    June 18, 2021 at 15:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Sprinter Repair Orange County

    Very good post! We will be linking to this great article on our website. Keep up the good writing.


    June 18, 2021 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RV Repair Shop Near My Location


    June 18, 2021 at 16:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV Repairs Near Me

    I was able to find good information from your content.


    June 18, 2021 at 19:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. เว็บคาสิโนออนไลน์

    You really make it seem really easy together with your presentation however I in finding this matter to
    be really something which I feel I might never understand.
    It seems too complex and extremely extensive for me.

    I am taking a look ahead to your subsequent put up, I'll
    attempt to get the cling of it!

    June 18, 2021 at 20:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. pnc bank near me

    Having read this I believed it was very enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this article together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!


    June 18, 2021 at 20:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. ice skating near me


    June 18, 2021 at 21:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Sprinter Repair Shop Near Me


    June 18, 2021 at 22:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. appomannoni

    erectile medicine new zealand silvasta kayamy does erectile dysfunction cause infertility
    erectile disorder dsm v slilicy what erectile dysfunction solution works best
    do erectile pills work sicAdofs can erectile dysfunction happen suddenly

    June 18, 2021 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Sprinter Repair Orange County

    I couldnít resist commenting. Very well written!


    June 18, 2021 at 23:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Repair Nearby


    June 19, 2021 at 02:19 | Report abuse | Reply

    hey just wanted to say nice website. and can you send me some info on who may make me a lovely website like your please


    June 19, 2021 at 03:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Repairs Near Me


    June 19, 2021 at 05:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me

    I was pretty pleased to uncover this great site. I need to to thank you for ones time for this fantastic read!! I definitely really liked every little bit of it and i also have you bookmarked to see new stuff on your site.


    June 19, 2021 at 05:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. appomannoni

    top erectile dysfunction doctors in tx kayamy erectile nerves
    low cost erectile treatment slilicy erectile dysfunction when viagra doesn t work
    best erectile drug sicAdofs muse for erectile dysfunction

    June 19, 2021 at 06:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Chuck Strohl

    The game requires place using a no restrict Texas holdem format. There are a great deal of different types of poker tables that can be discovered in the market. Overall, more visitors in one space, the better.


    June 19, 2021 at 07:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. orb industrial light

    I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish. nonetheless,
    you command get bought an shakiness over that you wish be delivering the following.
    unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly
    the same nearly very often inside case you shield this hike.

    June 19, 2021 at 12:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. RV Repair Orange County California


    June 19, 2021 at 13:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. appomannoni

    erectile stamina in older men kayamy erectile wow video
    erectile medication bimix slilicy icd 10 erectile
    discount erectile dysfunction medications sicAdofs erectile pills from canada

    June 19, 2021 at 14:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. power outage near me


    June 19, 2021 at 16:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. mega888login

    Hello there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group?
    There's a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content.
    Please let me know. Many thanks

    June 19, 2021 at 18:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Camper Repair Near Me


    June 19, 2021 at 19:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Repairs Near My Location

    I really love your website.. Great colors & theme. Did you develop this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as Iím looking to create my very own site and want to know where you got this from or what the theme is named. Appreciate it!


    June 19, 2021 at 20:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. appomannoni

    erectile sonic kayamy erectile vacuum systems
    erectile herbs and vitamins slilicy best erectile dysfunction remedies
    erectile brokenness sicAdofs erectile coffee

    June 19, 2021 at 22:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Kayla Sonkin

    Leave the lengthy sessions to the individuals who go to Vegas just for the gambling. It is no question why so many players flip to poker tournaments to progress their seat and their winning purse.


    June 19, 2021 at 22:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Repair Santa Ana


    June 19, 2021 at 23:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. pharmacepticacom

    erectile medicine https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 19, 2021 at 23:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. RV Repair Nearby

    bookmarked!!, I really like your blog!


    June 20, 2021 at 00:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Digital Marketing Companies


    June 20, 2021 at 02:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Social Media Marketing Company Near Me


    June 20, 2021 at 04:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Digital Marketing Consultant


    June 20, 2021 at 04:30 | 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 window washing denver CO


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.