The health benefits of giving up smoking are reward enough, but it’s still nice to know that you’re being good to yourself in other ways too. Kicking the habit also means:
- A healthier complexion. More oxygen-laden blood reaches the skin surface, banishing that worn, drawn, grey look.
- A younger appearance. Stopping smoking slows the skin-ageing process, leading to fewer wrinkles.
- Feeling and smelling fresher now that the odour of smoke isn’t constantly clinging to your hair and clothes. You’ll also have better-smelling breath.
- Whiter teeth. Ask your dentist about removing the surface discolouration from smoking. Your teeth will now have a much better chance of staying white, which makes you look younger and healthier.
- Less stress. Many ex-smokers rate themselves as generally less stressed. Your heart and anxiety levels are no longer artificially raised by nicotine, and you’re no longer an addict. You’re also a lot less worried about your health.
- More free time. You no longer have to waste time (and energy) smoking cigarettes, buying cigarettes, mislaying, looking for and generally fretting about cigarettes.
- More energy and an enhanced sense of well-being. Your higher energy levels allow you to work more efficiently and enjoy your leisure time more.
- More money. If you previously smoked 20 cigarettes a day, you are now about R6 500 a year richer.
- Less guilt. Not only will you feel less guilty about ruining your own health, you'll no longer feel you are harming those around you with second-hand smoke.
- More approval. You'll stop feeling like a social pariah, and won't have to stand outside in freezing or boiling weather. Non- and ex-smokers will be impressed; continuing smokers will be envious (even if they won’t admit it).
- Being a good role model to those younger than you. Kids learn by example: if we want the next generation to be smoke-free, we have to lead the way.
- A deep sense of satisfaction and accomplishment in knowing that you’ve vanquished the demon tobacco and taken back control of your life!
- Olivia Rose-Innes, Health24, updated March 2012
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