Smoking cessation is beneficial for a smoker’s physical health, reducing the risk of life-threatening diseases and health conditions such as lung cancer and heart disease. However, there is also evidence that quitting smoking can benefit your mental health. In a study published in the journal IJCHP, researchers analyzed years of studies and research and found that smoking is a likely risk factor in the development of depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. On the other hand, smoking cessation leads to a reduction in the prescription of psychoactive medications like antidepressants and anxiolytics. Aside from improving your physical and mental health, quitting smoking has other benefits. Below, we’ll look at four health-related motivations for giving up cigarettes:
One of the widely known effects of smoking is the smell associated with tobacco combustion and the smoke produced. Similarly, smokers are also known to develop dental issues that may occur with continued cigarette use. As such, quitting cigarettes can help smokers avoid visits to the dentist, saving significant dental care costs.
Smoking cessation aid products help smokers quit by easing withdrawal symptoms while protecting teeth from tobacco and smoke exposure. Oral nicotine products, such as nicotine pouches, come in different flavors and nicotine strengths, with many targeting those who want to combine their nicotine intake with a fresher breath. ZYN’s spearmint flavor provides users with a refreshing and subtle taste of menthol for up to an hour. The nicotine pouches are also smokeless and won’t stain or discolor teeth, thanks to the lack of tobacco. Other oral products such as mint-coated nicotine lozenges and Nicorette nicotine gum also provide the same effect and have been found to have a high success rate in helping smokers quit smoking and reduce withdrawal symptoms.
Quitting smoking can help you achieve healthier skin. Smoking is known to cause age spots and dark spots. Smokers tend to have dull skin, and this may be because smoking restricts much-needed blood flow to the skin. Fortunately, smoking cessation as early as possible can help reverse these effects.
In our post explaining “How to Prevent Premature Skin Aging”, we mentioned the importance of avoiding smoking and reducing alcohol intake as they are especially damaging to the skin. Quitting smoking can also help the skin heal through the recovery of collagen and elastin, which are necessary for keeping the skin soft and firm, instead of wrinkly and sagging. At the same time, smoking also promotes wound opening and slows down healing. For this reason, experts suggest that stopping smoking at least four weeks before surgery can reduce post-surgical complications.
A Scientific Reports study on smoking and sleep apnea suggest that the risk factor for respiratory diseases also worsens sleep quality and obstructive sleep apnea. On the other hand, smoking cessation is associated with a decreased tendency of sleep apnea.
It’s important to note that long-time smokers may experience withdrawal symptoms at nighttime, leading to disturbed sleep. As such, taking the cessation process slowly is recommended instead of quitting cold turkey. Using smoking cessation aid products can help with this as they can help keep withdrawal symptoms and smoking urges at bay. Some smoking cessation aids, such as nicotine patches, can help improve sleep quality as nicotine levels in the body are released and reduced over time.
Protecting loved ones
Finally, a crucial health-related motivation for quitting smoking is that you can protect your loved ones. While smoking is dangerous, secondhand smoke is just as harmful to non-smokers. In fact, according to the American Lung Association, secondhand smoke causes more than 41,000 deaths a year.
There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and even short-term exposure can increase the risk of heart attacks and stroke. Quitting smoking can help eliminate this threat and protect the health and quality of life of your friends, family, and loved ones. This is especially important if you live or work with people who have pre-existing health or lung conditions, as they are at higher risks of worse outcomes when exposed to secondhand smoke.