This post is timely for me, because I’ve been 100% cigarette free for about a year! That’s truly a miracle. I am grateful every day I wake up and don’t feel the need or desire to smoke a cigarette.
I’m writing this post because when I was a smoker, I didn’t want to hear about how it might give me cancer someday or that it was “so bad for me.” These things I already knew, of course. Someone yelling to me “hey you know cigarettes cause cancer, right?” wouldn’t make me quit. Call me crazy, but that didn’t persuade me to quit, because cancer wasn’t something I had to deal with that day. Addictions are powerful, and each person has to be ready to quit for his or her own reasons. Quitting is a personal choice, and it’s one that I’m happy to have made.
What did make me want to quit were the promises of what it would do for my body immediately. I needed some instant gratification. I was out to dinner with some friends one night, and someone said to me, “I know a girl in her 30s who looks like she’s 50 because she smokes so much. How old are you? 26? If you quit now, you have a chance of saving your looks.” For some reason, that statement hit me like a ton of bricks. Vain? Maybe, but that’s what it took to make me think about quitting. Not only was smoking affecting my insides, but it was affecting my outsides as well – something that many young people don’t worry about if they haven’t felt any side effects of aging yet.
That being said, I eventually quit. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it (chewing on mint toothpicks helped a lot). I want to share a few benefits that I felt after quitting – just in case you’re like me, and you need some immediate gratification:
- My skin got clearer. When I smoked, I went to get a facial, and the woman said “you smoke, huh?” She could see it in my clogged up pores. Needless to say, she had to do a lot of work that day to clean out my skin and dig out the dirt. Sick!!!
- The fine lines on my face got fainter. Before I quit smoking I noticed some fine lines appearing around my eyes. Since I’ve quit, it’s like they’ve disappeared. Before, I was starving my skin of oxygen, causing it to dry out.
- My eyes got brighter. No joke, the whites in my eyes are clearer now.
- My tastebuds improved significantly. Smoking desensitizes your tastebuds – I started tasting vibrant, outrageous flavors in foods that were once bland to me.
- My sense of smell improved almost immediately. I swear, a couple weeks after I quit, I could literally smell someone’s split pea soup from across the office. I thought I was dreaming.
- I smelled better. I could hug my boyfriend without worrying about smelling like I just took a smoke bath.
- My lungs got stronger. I didn’t get short of breath as easily, and I could run longer distances comfortably.
Those are just a few. Read some beautiful testimonials here from others who have quit and are noticing benefits. Smoking is an addiction, and quitting is not an easy journey. The good news is, you don’t have to go through it alone. If you need a support system, consider joining BecomeAnEx.org.
Here’s a timeline I found, outlining what happens to your body after you quit: Quit Smoking Timeline
You’ll quit when you’re ready. Hopefully soon.