How to Quit Cigarettes Forever and Boost Your Overall Health

How to Quit Cigarettes Forever

Smoking has long been a global health concern; there are an estimated 1.30 billion tobacco users worldwide, around 22% of the world’s population. While the World Health Organization reports a decline in smoking, billions still struggle to let go of the habit.

If you’re one of the many who smoke cigarettes but want to quit, you’re likely aware of the difficulty of trying to stop. Withdrawals, cravings, and habitual behavior can cause relapses, making each quit attempt more challenging than the last. The outlook can seem bleak and hopeless, and many often don’t see why they should continue making an effort when quitting is often not successful.

However, continuing to smoke can impact your health in many ways, and the only way to recover is to kick the habit entirely. It’s not impossible to quit smoking for good; you only need the right motivation and support to get you there. Here’s how to quit cigarettes forever and boost your overall health:

The benefits of quitting cigarettes

Lowered risk of smoking-related diseases

Smoking causes many health issues, and damage to various organs can lead to worsening health and higher mortality risk. Fortunately, these health issues can still be reversed after quitting smoking.

The longer you go without cigarettes, the risk of developing diseases from smoking decreases significantly—it can even go as low as that of a nonsmoker’s risk for the same issues. You lower your chances of developing and dying from stroke, cancer, and heart disease.

Even risks for dementia, Alzheimer’s, and overall cognitive decline are minimized, restoring brain health. These health benefits can begin almost immediately after giving up cigarettes and only improve in the months and years following smoking cessation.

Better appearance

Cigarettes not only damage your internal organs, but they can affect the way you look as well. Smoking can age you prematurely, causing skin issues like sagginess, wrinkles, slower wound healing, and skin cancer. Our “Acne Mapping: Here’s Why You’re Breaking Out in Certain Areas” post notes that acne in your cheeks may be caused by smoking.

Damage to your teeth is also apparent; it can cause staining, tooth decay, and gum disease, leading them to fall out. Quitting smoking prevents further damage from occurring, allowing your skin to heal and lowering your risk of teeth, gum, and mouth problems.

The production of collagen—responsible for your skin’s firmness—restores after quitting, making you look younger and healthier. Your oral health also improves with proper care, restoring cleaner teeth, healthier gums, and fresher breath.

Improved physical fitness

Cigarettes hamper your physical fitness and endurance due to the presence of toxins from the smoke that cause a lack of oxygen-rich blood that your heart, lungs, and muscles need. Your organs work harder to make up for less oxygen, causing your heart rate to pick up, your breathing to be more labored, and your body to tire out more quickly.

Exercising and maintaining fitness is challenging when your body is constantly fatigued. Quitting helps decrease the amount of toxins in your system, restoring oxygen that can increase endurance and strength, making it easier to get and stay fit. You’ll reap the benefits of a healthy weight, improved circulation, more energy, and easier breathing.

How to quit smoking successfully

Create smart goals

Simply saying “I quit” may not be enough to keep you on the road to cut off smoking from your life entirely. It’s essential to think of the steps you need to take to achieve that goal of being smoke-free for life, and you can do this by making “SMART” goals.

Our “20 SMART Goal Examples for Almost Every Part of Your Life” post notes that these goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. These requirements ensure you can actually achieve what you set out to do at your own pace and time.

For instance, instead of saying, “I want to quit smoking cigarettes,” you can set your goal as: “I want to quit smoking by the end of the month.”

Then you can create steps like gradually reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke per day or week up to your quit date and think about a relevant reason why you want to quit to be even more motivated. SMART goals can help you go from wanting something to knowing how to get there.

Use NRT products

It’s not easy to quit cold turkey, especially since you can relapse when withdrawals hit, and the urge to smoke is too strong. Nicotine replacement products help you stop gradually by delivering nicotine to your body without the tobacco and smoke, making it easier to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay while lowering your dependence on smoking products.

Among the top NRT products in the US are the smokeless On! pouches available on Prilla. These discreet, tobacco-free pouches contain small amounts of nicotine and come in various strengths and flavors, so you can satisfy your cravings while reducing the usual side effects of traditional tobacco or nicotine products on your health.

Its ultra-compact mini-dry format makes it invisible when you tuck it under your lip and isn’t prone to excessive drip.

Nicotine gum is another viable option because it is socially accepted, portable, and discrete, making it easy to consume wherever you are. Fertin Pharma’s nicotine gum is one of the leading makers in the market, and they have various gum types that suit different preferences.

Their extruded gum, in particular, is one of the most popular nicotine gums in the world and an industry standard. Besides providing nicotine, chewing gum also has a range of benefits, from increasing focus to relieving stress.

Get support

Quitting smoking doesn’t have to be a solitary endeavor; getting the right support from other sources can help make it easier to kick the habit. Reaching out to family and friends and sharing your goal to quit smoking can help them be aware of these new changes, allowing for more encouragement and accountability.

They’ll be able to help you monitor your behavior and adjust your own habits to make sure you will be comfortable while getting used to the lack of cigarettes.

Suppose a family member or friend is also a smoker. In that case, you both commit to kicking the habit and being each other’s accountability partner, updating your progress, and motivating each other.

Other sources of support can include counseling, support groups, and quitlines. These resources and services can help you network with experts and fellow smokers on their journey to quit or those who have successfully done so; you can gain advice and support from individuals who have been in your shoes or from qualified people who know how to guide you on the right path.

Quitting apps that you can download onto your device are also another option. For example, the quitSTART app provides tailored tips, inspiration, and challenges suited to your needs to monitor progress efficiently and manage your cravings.

Healing your body after quitting smoking


Your ability to do physical activities improves after quitting smoking and continuing to exercise boosts your health even further. Your lungs and heart can heal and strengthen when oxygen-rich blood circulates during exercise, providing nutrients that help them function more efficiently.

While physical activity can be challenging after quitting, you can start with easy, less intense workouts to ease yourself into more intense routines. Walking and cycling outdoors can do wonders for your overall health, and fresh air can help clean your lungs and bring oxygen to wherever it needs to go.

Eat a nutritious diet

Food plays a critical role in improving the recovery process post-smoking. Smoking can cause lung inflammation throughout the body, but eating anti-inflammatory foods can help keep it at bay even after quitting to avoid potential issues.

Today’s insights on the anti-inflammatory diet highlight the importance of eating fruits like apples and berries, vegetables like broccoli and kale, and omega-3 fatty acids typically found in fish, nuts, and olive oil.

Reducing your intake of overly processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and sugar also prevents inflammation. A healthy and balanced diet does wonders for your well-being, especially when you’re healing from smoking’s effects on the body.

Get enough sleep

Sleep can be difficult after quitting smoking, but it’s necessary for health and healing. Proper sleep helps slow down your heart rate and lowers blood pressure, reducing the stress on the heart while awake. It also improves the skin as new collagen is made, allowing your skin’s elasticity to return.

Withdrawal makes it harder to sleep properly, but building the right habits can make bedtime come easier. A relaxing nighttime routine helps the body wind down and get ready for sleep; this can involve a warm bath, a hot cup of tea, soothing music—whatever helps you relax.

Turning off electronics a few hours before bed also enables you to unwind for better sleep, as blue light can impact melatonin production, which causes sleepiness. When you sleep for the recommended hours with fewer disturbances, your body will recover much more quickly than with an inconsistent sleep schedule and pattern.

Quitting smoking is hardly easy, but the health benefits you’ll gain are worth the struggles you encounter. You’ll start to feel and look better almost immediately, and your health will only improve the longer you go without a cigarette. The right mindset, efforts, and support can take you far and heal your overall health.

Author bio
Zora Jameson is a freelance writer who is passionate about health and wellness. She enjoys providing guidance and tips for those looking to change their lives. Aside from writing, she enjoys baking with her husband and children.

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