Addictions take a lot of work. Whether you’re a caffeine freak, or have one of those strange addictions like eating glass or drinking paint, or God forbid, something much worse, addictions rewire your brain to serve only its needs.
All addictions are perilous, but no dependency is more taxing on every aspect of your life than cigarettes. Not only does smoking jeopardize your health, but it also affects your personality, your earning power, and your financial situation.
Here are some of the ways that quitting smoking helps change your life for the better:
Improves your Personality
All smokers are familiar with the withdrawal symptoms of nicotine. They know first-hand the anxiety and nervousness, as well as the lack of concentration and focus that accompanies even a few minutes of not smoking.
The negative effects cascade from there. Nervousness leads to irritability, which then makes you less than pleasant to be around. Getting that nicotine fix, whether it be from a cigarette, nicotine gum or a vape pen from Vapingdaily, becomes the center of your universe.
Quitting tobacco not only frees you from those effects, it can also help bring down your levels of impulsivity and neuroticism. One study found that teenagers who demonstrated higher levels of both these negative personality traits were more likely to start smoking.
Teenagers who quit smoking, however, showed fewer tendencies to be more impulsive and engage in other detrimental behaviors later in life.
Makes you Happier
Smokers put off quitting for fear of withdrawal symptoms, but also because they mistakenly believe that cigarettes make them happy. Of course, the object of your addition would convince you that it alone can bring happiness into your life.
But research has shown that quitting makes you happier. British researchers followed a group of smokers who attempted to quit over six months. Those who had successfully stayed off of cigarettes reported feeling less depressed, less anxious and had a more optimistic outlook on life.
You’ll Make More Money
Smoking is an insidious habit. The overall view is the cigarettes are bad for your health. But years of research and study has demonstrated cigarettes can also affect other parts of your life, including your pocketbook.
It’s not only that smoking is an expensive habit, but it can also affect your earning power. Many studies have shown that there is a wage gap between smokers and non-smokers. No one is entirely sure why the difference exists.
Economists and researchers have speculated that smokers exhibit traits that employers frown upon, like a lack of discipline and self-control. Others have posited that because smokers take more days off and are sick more often, employers are reluctant to give them more money.
Finding a Job Will be Easier
Smokers suffer in a lot of ways. They are typically less-educated and earn less money. They are also poorer and have a harder time finding long-term, gainful employment. Smokers also experience more instances of persistent unemployment. All these changes when smokers quit.
An American study found that non-smokers or former smokers experience different levels of success when trying to land a job. After a six month analysis, researchers found that only
27% of those with a nicotine habit had found work.
An astounding 56% of non-smokers had successfully found employment in the same period. On top of that, even those smokers who did manage to find work still earned about $5 less an hour than non-smokers.
Your Productivity Will Improve
Smokers are notorious for taking smoke breaks at the office. It’s not only the ten-minute breaks that smokers take so they can puff away on their cancer sticks that hurt their productivity.
A landmark landmark study that followed the workplace habits of non-smokers, smokers and former smokers in the workplace in the US, the EU and China concluded unequivocally that smokers are less productive.
The study followed workers in all three regions and showed smokers worked less, missed more days of work, and produced less even when they were at work, even if they were using a vaporizer pen, known as presenteeism. Conversely, smokers who quit steadily improved in all three of those areas over four years, when they reached the same levels of productivity as their non-smoking counterparts.
The Sex is better
When you quit smoking, the health effects are almost most immediate. One of the ways your health improves is that your blood circulation gets better since smoking constricts your arteries and blood flow.
When those physical aspects improve, that means your sex life improves. Men get better, and more extended erections when they quit. Women feel more intense orgasms, as well as becoming aroused more easily, again, thanks to the increased circulation to certain parts of the body.
You’ll Become More Attractive
No doubt that smoking carries a particular kind of allure. While a few people may find tobacco attractive, a majority of people surveyed find non-smokers more attractive than smokers.
A British study examined people’s attitudes toward smokers and non-smokers. They asked people to look at a set of pictures of two identical twins, one of whom was a smoker and one who was not.
After being asked which one of the twins was a smoker, the participants were also asked which of the two was most attractive. Every one of the participants picked the non-smokers as the more attractive of the two.
Your Appearance Will Improve
One interesting point about the above study was that people were able to correctly identify which of the two twins was a smoker 70%. Do you want to guess why that was? Smoking takes a significant toll on your appearance.
Wrinkles appear faster and more frequently. Your skin takes on an unappealing, yellowish tone. And your teeth become significantly stained from the constant intake of smoke and nicotine, so even vape pens are no good. Quitting smoking can improve your appearance by allowing your skin to take in more nutrients thereby reversing the harmful effects of all those years of smoking.
Planning on starting a family? If you are, and you’re a smoker, your habit is getting in the way of that. Smoking negatively affects men and women’s fertility.
Men who smoke have less potent sperm and women who smoke also suffer from fertility problems. They find it harder to conceive since smoking affects the lining of the womb. Women who smoke also have higher chances of suffering miscarriages and giving birth to a less-than-healthy baby.
We’ve looked at specific ways that quitting smoking improves aspects of your health. So, it comes as no surprise how quitting smoking improves all aspects of your health. Your blood circulation and heart rate start to return to normal levels only ten minutes after your stop smoking.
Quitting smoking before a certain age also increases your lifespan. When you quit smoking, your chances of contracting smoking-related illnesses also decreases. And after years of not smoking, all essential physical markers return to levels of non-smokers.
Smoking doesn’t only affect you. Most of this list has been about how quitting smoking improves your chances of finding a job, making more money and improving your life overall. But the most important ways that quitting smoking improves your life is how it also enhances the lives of those around you.
Secondhand smoke kills as much as smoking. The CDC estimates that since 1964, secondhand smoke has caused almost 2,500,000 deaths due to smoking-related illness like lung cancer and heart disease. Quitting not only ensures a longer life for you but also your loved ones.
Phyllis Baker is the blogger specializing in addiction treatment and health issues. She contributes as the writer to the biggest US quitting smoking community.