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. RV Roof Repair Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 02:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. www.pharmaceptica.com

    erectile winstrol https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 25, 2021 at 03:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. appomannoni

    erectile vacuum pump costs http://claritinpill.com#

    June 25, 2021 at 03:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RV Repair Shops Near My Location

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon every day. It's always interesting to read through content from other writers and practice a little something from their sites.


    June 25, 2021 at 05:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. RV Repair


    June 25, 2021 at 07:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RV Service Repair Near Me

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon everyday. It will always be useful to read through content from other authors and use something from other websites.


    June 25, 2021 at 07:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. appomannoni

    erectile recovery after prostatectomy http://tadalafilvet.com#

    June 25, 2021 at 11:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Vapor Creations

    I look after a vape shop directory site and we have had a posting from a vape shop in the USA that additionally advertises CBD product lines. A Month later on, PayPal has contacted use to say that our account has been limited and have asked us to get rid of PayPal as a payment method from our vape shop submission site. We do not offer for sale CBD product lines such as CBD oil. We simply offer advertising and marketing solutions to CBD firms. I have looked into Holland & Barrett– the UK's Leading Health and wellness Retailer and if you take a close peek, you will witness that they promote a pretty comprehensive range of CBD items, particularly CBD oil and they also happen to take PayPal as a settlement solution. It emerges that PayPal is administering double standards to different companies. Due to this restriction, I can no longer accept PayPal on my CBD-related internet site. This has restricted my payment options and currently, I am greatly reliant on Cryptocurrency payments and straightforward bank transfers. I have consulted a barrister from a Magic Circle law practice in London and they stated that what PayPal is doing is totally unlawful and inequitable as it ought to be applying a consistent standard to all firms. I am yet to consult with yet another legal representative from a US law office in The city of london to see what PayPal's legal position is in the United States. In the meantime, I would be highly appreciative if anybody here at targetdomain could offer me with different payment processors/merchants that work with CBD firms.


    June 25, 2021 at 11:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Describe Your Leadership Style

    A motivating discussion is worth comment. I do believe that you need to publish more on this subject, it might not be a taboo matter but generally people do not speak about these subjects. To the next! Best wishes!!


    June 25, 2021 at 14:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Roof Repair Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 16:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. appomannoni

    buy erectile dysfunction meds http://chloroquinestrx.com#

    June 25, 2021 at 19:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RV Repair Places Near Me

    I blog quite often and I genuinely thank you for your content. This great article has truly peaked my interest. I will book mark your website and keep checking for new details about once a week. I subscribed to your Feed too.


    June 25, 2021 at 19:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Mark

    Mark says don't be sad this Summer! Get these deals at MSM Jewelers – https://www.msmjewelers.com and be fresh this Summer!


    June 25, 2021 at 19:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. RV Repair Shop Near My Location

    I was very happy to uncover this page. I need to to thank you for ones time due to this wonderful read!! I definitely appreciated every part of it and I have you book marked to look at new information in your site.


    June 25, 2021 at 19:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. RV Suspension Repair Near Me

    I could not refrain from commenting. Well written!


    June 25, 2021 at 21:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Camper Repair Shop Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 21:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. slotxo

    Greetings! This is my first visit to your blog!
    We are a team of volunteers and starting a new project
    in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on. You
    have done a extraordinary job!

    June 25, 2021 at 21:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Best RV Repair Shop Near Me

    After I originally commented I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the same comment. There has to be a way you can remove me from that service? Many thanks!


    June 25, 2021 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. RV Repair Near My Location

    Everything is very open with a very clear explanation of the issues. It was really informative. Your website is useful. Thanks for sharing!


    June 25, 2021 at 23:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. RV Repair Shops Nearby

    This is a topic which is near to my heart... Thank you! Where are your contact details though?


    June 26, 2021 at 01:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. appomannoni

    erectile dysfunction treatment http://sildenafilicp.com#

    June 26, 2021 at 02:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RV Repairs Nearby

    bookmarked!!, I really like your site!


    June 26, 2021 at 03:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Jody Klepac

    I used to be able to find good information from your articles.


    June 26, 2021 at 06:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. vp globe hvid 40

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this
    matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I'm looking forward
    for your next post, I will try to get the
    hang of it!

    June 26, 2021 at 07:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. RV Refrigerator Repair Near Me

    Pretty! This was a really wonderful article. Thank you for supplying these details.


    June 26, 2021 at 07:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RV Repair Santa Ana

    Greetings, I do believe your blog may be having browser compatibility issues. Whenever I look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in Internet Explorer, it's got some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Apart from that, excellent site!


    June 26, 2021 at 09:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. appomannoni

    erectile capacity http://sildenafilbtc.com#

    June 26, 2021 at 10:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. RV Air Conditioning Repair Near Me

    Hello there, I think your blog could possibly be having browser compatibility problems. When I take a look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to give you a quick heads up! Aside from that, great site!


    June 26, 2021 at 10:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. RV Repair Near Here

    There is certainly a lot to find out about this issue. I like all the points you made.


    June 26, 2021 at 12:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Daniele Daidone

    I need to to thank you for this excellent read!! I certainly enjoyed every bit of it. I have got you book-marked to look at new stuff you postÖ


    June 26, 2021 at 12:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. msmjewelers.com

    MSM Jewelers is having their annual Summer Jewelry Sale! Get these deals at MSM Jewelers – https://www.msmjewelers.com and be fresh this Summer!


    June 26, 2021 at 13:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Edwardqbg

    tips on international dating tendencies

    internet dating is a digital mechanisms for heart to heart talks where exactly people today may want to handle specific buddies by online all together process and enlarge circuit by incorporating completely new. because this devoted course is proved to be marvelous principle for easy, wallet compatible conversations, its just acceptability gets quickly augmented amongst mechanic informed users as for accessible not to mention overnight sociallizing process.

    dating sites ought to be the heart to heart talks program to do this online interplay job where ever reactions are provided and / or experienced. There are different types of sites similarly to american singles sites, matchmaking internet dating, Networking niche sites, web sites to suit lgbt escort, or anything else,.,and so. a web based dater has the potential to sign up one or many communities towards seeing each other.

    online dating site process is over from posting online information; within these users personal information and some basic detail of a man or woman is written to make sure that different kinds of website part study get a good theory about your and browsing your boyfriend's within the profile. it's the same expected that web profile specifics is usually given at the ideal sincere release so your google listing or reactions opposed to a profile productive plus working plenty of.

    online dating site may be done by two choices; One is through free internet dating and also also the second item has taken program in made sites exactly where the signing up is accomplished in the direction of a regular and ongoing price tag. as well as production creative good combined with co-workers, injured aim of in search of their lifestyle mates by just this process web connection development they will likely get an signing up involved with finished course system how well matched people are also enrolled if you need to purpose online dating corporations over kind of electronic communicating.

    you will find basic protocols about creating a web-based profile. along with eating best of web data the specific descriptions probably will be designed in descent communication with sobriety in addition to the raising constructive obtain of lives mankind. a price guide should not have type of racial elegance or bias find of way of living. not to mention gaining an on-line introduction be aware of dater is the that the outline our first individuality of so therefore holds big getting pleasant weightage in accomplishment and.

    and earn reactions to fight uniform dating is a fantastic step to learn. an replies needs cause with crispy preferably should tap have some attached to blameless humor. The reviews are suitable to be made so so your pride using the responder must not be broken combined with you will need to not trespass in other business owners deeply unique environment.

    Initial tendencies from one more culture folks to become briefly detailed and if you experience a mixture of oh no- a dater should every single an over-all with react manner. if it turns out the actual the mark [url=http://charmingdate.overblog.com/]charmdate.com scam[/url] has much atune for the these they can begin via the internet speaking. If they feel conversation through the process of for the task by utilizing courting chat rooms satisfies his fees, They have the ability to swapping their valuable digital IDs also telephone numbers to win these web based side effects into a reality of interacting with your dog in the condition of the truth.

    The results in the online dating services action are the roll-out of a totally new intimate relationship. serious amounts of improve replies on additional challenge can fix the real upcoming of the couples and online dating sites performs this initial intro containing finest functionality, Decency, And best possible modesty.

    June 26, 2021 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. RV Glass Repair Near Me


    June 26, 2021 at 14:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Repair Shop

    You have made some good points there. I looked on the web for more information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.


    June 26, 2021 at 14:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. pharmaceptica

    chloroquinne https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 26, 2021 at 15:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. msmjewelers.com

    MSM Jewelers is having their annual Summer Jewelry Sale! Get these deals at MSM Jewelers – https://www.msmjewelers.com and be fresh this Summer!


    June 26, 2021 at 16:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. appomannoni

    which erectile dysfunction drugs work best http://canadassildenafil.com#

    June 26, 2021 at 18:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. boomer and gio podcast


    June 26, 2021 at 18:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. bachelor happy hour podcast


    June 26, 2021 at 18:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. melt table light copper

    It's awesome in favor of me to have a site, which is valuable
    designed for my knowledge. thanks admin

    June 26, 2021 at 18:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Leadership Synonyms


    June 26, 2021 at 19:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. msmjewelers.com

    MSM Jewelers is having their annual Summer Jewelry Sale! Get these deals at MSM Jewelers – https://www.msmjewelers.com and be fresh this Summer!


    June 26, 2021 at 22:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. appomannoni

    erectile supplements http://tadalafilbch.com#

    June 27, 2021 at 01:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Define Leadership

    I love reading through a post that will make men and women think. Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!


    June 27, 2021 at 02:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. taccia flos miglior prezzo

    This article gives clear idea for the new people of blogging, that
    actually how to do blogging and site-building.

    June 27, 2021 at 03:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. history podcast

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who had been doing a little research on this. And he actually bought me dinner because I found it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to discuss this subject here on your web page.


    June 27, 2021 at 04:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Strength Based Leadership


    June 27, 2021 at 04:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Non Profit Leadership Podcast Katie Prentiss Onsager And Jamie

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article! It is the little changes which will make the largest changes. Thanks for sharing!


    June 27, 2021 at 04:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. citation needed podcast


    June 27, 2021 at 06:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. 15 Commitments Of Conscious Leadership


    June 27, 2021 at 06:39 | 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 toy hauler remodel


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.