If you’re a smoker, you may be considering making quitting smoking your resolution for the new year. If you do decide to quit, not only will you find that you save yourself a great deal of money and enjoy a life of clothes and hair that do not smell of smoke – but you’ll also find that there are a number of health benefits that will leave you feeling more alive and may even prolong your life.
Here are five top health benefits to giving up smoking, and a few tips to help you do so.
1. You’ll prolong your life. Half of all smokers have a reduced life expectancy, dying of illnesses such as chronic bronchitis, lung cancer and heart disease. Not only are you likely to prolong your life by quitting, you’re also likely to enjoy an old age that is free from smoking-related diseases. Those who give up at the age of 60 can extend their lives by three years, while men who quit by the age of 30 can add a further 10 years to their life expectancy.
2. You’ll improve fertility. For women, quitting smoking can reduce the risk of miscarriage and improve the chances of having a baby that is healthy, as well as improving the womb’s lining. Men who quit will find that their sperm become more potent.
3. Your skin will look younger. Smokers often have a complexion that is lined and sallow, quitting can reduce this trait. Stopping smoking can also slow how quickly the skin on your face ages, and can delay the appearance of wrinkles.
4. You’ll be able to breathe more easily. Within nine months of quitting smoking, your lung capacity will increase by up to 10%. Lung capacity decreases naturally with age, so stopping smoking early can mean enjoying old age without breathing issues.
5. You’ll boost your immune system. Smoking weakens the immune system, meaning that smokers are more susceptible to coughs, colds and other bugs. By stopping smoking, you’ll improve your immune system and find yourself able to fight off these minor ailments far more quickly and easily.
Stopping smoking, however, isn’t easy: most people will have both the nicotine cravings and the physical addiction to holding a cigarette to contend with. Some swear by going cold turkey, but for those who find this too hard, electronic cigarettes are the current most popular smoking cessation aid. As well as offering the nicotine hit of cigarettes (in doses that can be reduced over time), e-cigarettes also offer the physical sensation of smoking, making it far easier to quit than simply stopping smoking and using no cessation aids.