What Happens to Your Body After You Quit Smoking?

Updated on January 7, 2017
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Mary is a photographer, writer, artist, animal lover, wife, and step-mother to four wonderful, beautiful, and very creative children.


What Happens to Your Body When You Quit Smoking?

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up one morning and decided it was time to quit smoking. I have been a smoker for nearly 15 years now, which at 32 represents almost half of my life. Besides, I figured it can't be that hard to quit smoking. After all, it's just cigarettes, right?

The first day of not smoking went pretty well—nothing but a minuscule headache, no big deal. The next day was a tad bit harder, but nothing unbearable, just a slight cough. However, it was the third day, as well as the next week or so, that made me realize why I should have never smoked to begin with.

That third day I coughed so hard I was gagging with every cough. Not to mention the fact that my hands felt numb and my head was spinning. My doctor said this happens to some people when they quit smoking; it is caused by the improvement in your circulation and oxygen levels. I also found myself wanting to eat approximately every ten minutes... which I nipped in the bud around the fourth day. I didn't want to replace one bad habit with another one!

While I felt depressed and crazy for the first week without cigarettes, I did notice how much better I was breathing. I even caught myself taking almost too deep of a breath because my body was not used to it. I can still hear my chest rumbling a little because my body is still releasing the years of toxins I have been putting into it. I even sweat it out in my sleep. The smell is horrible. I have changed my bed sheets nearly every other night since I gave up smoking. Smoke in general stinks to me now—all these years of smoking, and I never realized how truly hideous it smelled.

I have also noticed my food tastes so much better to me now. I even realized I don't like the taste of certain foods like soda and salty chips anymore. About a week after I quit, I grabbed a diet Dr. Pepper and almost gagged when I drank it.

Smoking kills millions of people a year, and I am so glad I have quit. I used to swear up and down that smoking was okay and that it wasn't harming me. I now realize how ignorant I was. I know that one day we all have to die—I just don't want to die from suffocation caused by years of smoking.

Health vs. Tobacco

Smoking can cause

1. Bad breath, staining sometimes even lead to the loss of your teeth.

2. Body odor giving your sweat a sulfur smell yuck.

3. Morning cough with an excessive amount phlegm sexy huh, not.

4. Lack of oxygen which leads to poor circulation.

5. Extreme lassitude

6. Smoking can even change the appearance of your house if your curtains or walls are white, smoke stains them, smoke for about a month and then look at them. If it can do that to your walls imagine what it is doing to the inside of your body.

7. Emphysema

8. Cancer

9. Eventually death

There are no good side effects of smoking only bad; while it may suck quitting smoking, once you have you will feel so much better, you are worth it. Good luck!!!!


Things to Help You Quit

Here are a couple of things I used to help me quit, I hope you find them helpful.

1. A lot of times quitting can be easier if it is done through a slow process, which includes using "stop-smoking aids" such as Nicorette or other types of nicotine alternatives.

2. Exercise instead of grabbing a cigarette. I would walk around the house or jump on my elliptical machine for a couple of minutes.

3. Drink lots of water. At first, I thought this tip was somewhat weird, but it actually worked for me.

4. Spend more time doing fun things with your family and friends.

5.Start a money jar and save the money you would have spent smoking. You will quickly see how much money you are saving by not smoking, which can be a good motivator to stay away from cigarettes.

There are hundreds of other different ways to help you quit. These are just a couple that worked for me.

Questions & Answers


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      • prettynutjob30 profile image

        Mary 4 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

        Thank you guys for commenting.

      • ketage profile image

        ketage 4 years ago from Croatia

        Gratz on quitting smoking. A very motivational hub :) with good tips, I go buy myself some chewing gum.

      • Insightful Tiger profile image

        Insightful Tiger 4 years ago

        Thank you for this hub. This was one of my bad habits, but I feel so much better by not smoking anymore. Congratulations!

      • prettynutjob30 profile image

        Mary 5 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

        Thank you guys, I am happy to say I beat my nasty habit still have a little bit of the nicotine smell in my sweat at night but I guess that's normal considering how long I smoked.

      • DDE profile image

        Devika Primić 5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

        A bad habit that many people fail to understand the consequences of glad you beat smoking

      • profile image

        v1p3r 5 years ago

        Excellent Hub

        Voted Up

      • midget38 profile image

        Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

        It was so hard for you, but you've managed to really beat the habit! Glad that it worked out! Thanks for sharing your own experience and raising awareness of how bad smoking is! Sharing this via FB and here as well.

      • Faith Reaper profile image

        Faith Reaper 5 years ago from southern USA

        Mary - this is really great that you have written on such from your personal perspective as well as research studies! Excellent. Tobacco is surely one of the hardest addictions to quit. Both my son and daughter smoke (not in the house!), and have both quit for long periods, but then seem to pick it back up again. I am really concerned for my grandchildren, although my son goes outside to smoke, it is still on his clothing, etc., for the third-hand smoke. My husband and I have never spoked, which just seems strange that our children do smoke. I am going to share this with my son and daughter. Who knows? If you have even helped just one person here, dear one, this hub has served its purpose! God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

      • prettynutjob30 profile image

        Mary 5 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

        Thank you guys for commenting.

      • profile image

        whowas 5 years ago

        Congratulations and well done. Stopping smoking needn't be such a big deal once you are ready to quit. Most of the addiction is simple brainwashing by large, money-grabbing corporate interests that don't mind killing you to get your cash.

        I quit over three years ago now and it has been easy all the way. I know I'll never smoke again.

        Welcome to the world of the happy, breathing people!

      • Esrom Art profile image

        Esrom Aritonang 5 years ago from Indonesia

        I like your hub! Many writer only tell how to stop smoking, but you gave me different perspective based on your experience. I did not know that stop smoking will caused head spinning, depress, etc. Keep on your healthy life. Thanks

      • prettynutjob30 profile image

        Mary 5 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

        Thank you so much teaches12345.

      • teaches12345 profile image

        Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

        I am so impressed with your being able to quit. I hope you bounce back to a normal lifestyle soon. It's not easy to do, but keep focused and it will pay off.

      • prettynutjob30 profile image

        Mary 5 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

        Thank you guys I feel so much better.

      • Angela Blair profile image

        Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

        Congrats to you, my friend. Your points are all true and well taken and I can't begin to argue with any of them. I have, however, smoked for some 60 years (one can only imagine how bad I smell and how rancid my house is) and probably won't quit because it's the only vice I have left -- and everyone needs at least one vice intact when they leave this planet. Hope you know I'm kidding you and how very proud I am that you've beaten a nasty habit -- and I'd encourage everyone to do the same. As for my part...well, I'll probably be looking for my last cigarette when the first shovel of dirt hits me in the face. Good going, girl friend, what you've accomplished takes a lot of courage and intestinal fortitude! Best/Sis

      • kj force profile image

        kjforce 5 years ago from Florida

        prettynutjob30...Congrats Girl ! You are making the right moves towards better health..if I might suggest to you..fill the tub with warm water ( add a bit of baking soda) light a candle scent of your choice and sip on a glass of ICE COLD water...keep adding HOT water to the tub ...soak for about 30 minutes

        notice the colour of the water when you get out !!!YUK..that draws the nicotine out through the pores of your body....keep up the great work and thanks for sharing...

      • prettynutjob30 profile image

        Mary 5 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

        Thank you for the comment and I hope it works out for you chewing gum seems to help me.

      • Georgie Lowery profile image

        GH Price 5 years ago from Texas

        Congratulations on quitting! I hope I'll soon be on that path with you. I'm 41 and have smoked non-stop since I was 14. Great Hub, thank you for sharing! :)