The following content is created in partnership with Hill’s Pet Nutrition. It does not reflect the work or opinions of the NBC Owned Television Stations Group editorial staff. To learn more about Hill’s Pet Nutrition, visit HillsPet.com.
You have your reasons for smoking. Maybe it started when you befriended those people who puff outside your office building. From there, maybe you turned to smoking or vaping to relieve stress—or maybe just to feel good (like caffeine, nicotine is a stimulant). Now the habit has become an emotional crutch. And you worry that quitting will bring, not just withdrawal symptoms, but some extra pounds (which bothers you even more than all the fates of not quitting).
But what if you instead focused on all the good things that happen when you quit? Beyond dodging long-term dangers like lung cancer and heart disease, quitting can make you feel good in months, weeks, even days. Here are six ways.
You’ll sport a brighter smile: Smoking and oral health don’t go well together—the habit yellows teeth and darkens gums (which, incidentally, can signal gum disease, leading to tooth loss). Quitting can put you back on track to a more attractive smile: Immediately, your teeth will stop yellowing and, within three months, your gums will likely return to their normal color. Says Juan Vargas, an ex-smoker who quit last November, “Now when I go to my dentist, she says, ‘Oh Juan, I can see it in your teeth.’ And I’m so proud.” [Vargas, like other ex-smokers quoted here, quit smoking after one or more sessions at the Abrahamson Center, an international addiction treatment complex.]
Your skin can glow again: Smoking narrows your blood vessels, robbing the skin of oxygen and nutrients—and it often shows. Your skin may look paler than it should, or possibly appear uneven in tone and coloring. Plus, the process can break down your collagen, leading to sagging and those wrinkles around your lips (aggravated by all that puckering). After Jeannine Bergmann stopped smoking, “I could see my skin replenish,” she says, even though she only smoked a couple times a week. Vargas adds, “People said, ‘Oh, you look great. Your skin!’”
You’ll…oh, that smell: Unless you’ve lost your ability to smell (a sense cigarettes do destroy), you know smoking leaves you with a very un-fresh scent. And that stale odor can pretty much spread around you: Smoke deposits carcinogenic residue on everything it touches. To add insult to acridity, it can seep into your sweat glands, giving you quite the bitter aroma. Give it up, though, and all that changes. “It’s nice not to smell like cigarettes—not to smell like an ashtray,” says Luiza Renuart. Adds Zvika Stern, a reformed smoker from Galilee, Israel, “The breath of a smoker is not the nicest thing to have.”
You’ll get physical: Thinking of making a New Year’s resolution to join a gym? Quitting smoking is worth its free-weights in incentive: You’ll have a much easier time working out and your exercise will be more effective. Some 72 hours after your last cigarette, your lung capacity increases. And within 2 to 12 weeks, your blood circulation improves. Basically, you’ll have more energy. “I started doing more sports, because I could finally carry myself physically,” says Lisa Shaked, who works in a nautical nature preserve. “My physical fitness has increased, and I am one of the best on my team." [NEED TO KNOW WHAT TEAM]
You’ll save money: In Miami, the average price of one popular cigarette brand hovers around $7 per pack. For a heavy smoker who puffs through two packs a day, that means an immediate saving of $14 a day—or $5,110 a year. The price is no less steep in Israel. “Smoking is very heavy on the budget,” says Ron Lahav, 70, a Jeep tour guide there. “A few months ago, the price of tobacco jumped three times. I realized that if I did not quit smoking, I would have to spend [$5,700] a year just on that.”
Even more good things await when you quit smoking. With just one treatment, the Abrahamson Center’s natural, drug-free treatment can douse your urge to light up. Click here to learn more at NBC!.