Benefits of stopping smoking

Stopping smoking increases your chances of living a longer and healthier life. You’ll feel the benefits from the day you quit. Not only will you to start to save money but you’ll experience a reduced risk of:

Your life expectancy will be greater, and you’ll notice an improvement in the symptoms of smoking related diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Stopping smoking can help you live life to the full. You’ll feel fitter and more able to take part in physical activity. This in turn can benefit your mental health and wellbeing.

Saving money

Smoking is expensive and prices will continue to rise. If you’re smoking 20 cigarettes a day, you’re likely to be spending about £3,500 a year, based on the average cost of £9.60 for a pack of 20 cigarettes.

By stopping smoking, you could spend the money you save on a:

  • reward such as a trip to the cinema or a meal out
  • family holiday (equivalent to the cost of smoking 20 cigarettes a day for a year) 

Count the cost of your smoking

Try our cost calculator, to see how much you spend on smoking, and what you could save by stopping.

Benefits to your health

Although smoking seriously harms your health, once you stop, your body starts to repair itself.

Within days you’ll experience:

  • a drop in heart rate
  • carbon monoxide and oxygen levels in blood return to normal (similar to those who’ve never smoked)  
  • your sense of taste and smell improving

Within weeks you’ll benefit from:

  • a reduction in the risk of sudden death from a heart attack
  • improvement in lung function
  • less coughing and shortness of breath
  • fewer severe asthma attacks

Within a few months you’ll experience:

  • an improvement in symptoms of chronic bronchitis (phlegm, wheezing, shortness of breath)
  • less risk of ulcers

Benefits within a year of having quit include:

  • risks of coronary heart disease (CHD) cut by half
  • an improvement in lung function among people with mild to moderate COPD

As well as the immediate and long-term benefits to your health, there are many other good reasons to stop smoking.

Preventing harm to others

Stopping smoking can also help the health of your friends and family.

Second-hand smoke

Stopping smoking means that you’re no longer harming others through second-hand smoke (passive smoking). This benefits babies and children in particular, who are at risk of:

  • sudden and unexpected death in infancy (SUDI)
  • respiratory/chest illnesses and infections
  • reduced lung function, middle ear disease and asthma attacks

Read more about second-hand smoke

Smoking and young people

Stopping smoking means it’s less likely that your children will become smokers. Children living with parents or others who smoke are much more likely to start smoking themselves.

Smoking and pregnancy

Smoking harms your unborn baby. Stopping smoking will reduce the risk of harm during pregnancy.

Read more about smoking and pregnancy

Quit Your Way Scotland

These are just some of the benefits of stopping smoking. Contact Quit Your Way Scotland for more information on how giving up smoking could change your life.

Last updated:
20 December 2022

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