Important Reasons Why You Should Quit Smoking

· June 1, 2015
Not only does smoking affect your lung health, it also has an impact on your oral health, chance of fertility, and can make you age much faster. Learn all about the reasons to quit smoking now!

Smoking is responsible for the loss of thousands of lives every year worldwide. In addition to that, it has negative effects on people who are exposed to second-hand smoke.

While there are many different ways to quit smoking, today we’re going to talk about the importance of kicking this harmful habit. Of course, you must start with the firm decision to quit smoking.


Proper nutrition translates into a healthy body, with the fuel needed to function at its maximum potential. One of the main fears a smoker has is the possibility of gaining weight after they quit.

However, it’s been shown that if you follow a balanced diet, you don’t have to gain weight. In fact, a healthy diet can actually help you quit the habit.

How smoking affects your health

If you have made the decision to quit smoking, keep reading to find out about some of the negative consequences of smoking on your health and what foods you need to include or avoid in your diet to help you on your journey.

Smoking affects your skin

woman smoking and its effects showing on her skin, with wrinkles

Try to always keep in mind that in addition to affecting your overall health, cigarettes harm the health of your skin. Even more, it’s not uncommon to see smokers who look much older than they actually are.

This is because of something called smoker’s lines which are created by smokers constantly pursing their lips. These lines or wrinkles form around the mouth and can give you an older appearance or give you more wrinkles.

Not only does it affect your face, but smoking makes your skin sag. Eventually, you may even notice that your skin is a more orange tone. This is due to all of the chemicals that are in these products.

So if you want to look younger, with good skin and without severe premature wrinkles, choose to leave this awful habit behind.

It affects your oral health

tongue's appearance closeup of woman sticking out her tongue

In addition to all the other negative effects that smoking causes, it can also:

  • Turn your teeth yellow
  • Cause bad breath
  • Cause gum disease
  • Increase your risk of oral cancer
  • Increase build-up of plaque on your teeth

Logically, because smoking is performed with your mouth, it is the body part that is extremely affected by smoking. One great reason to quit smoking now is to preserve your pearly whites and oral health.

Smoking can reduce fertility

fertility problems

Smoking reduces fertility in both men and women and increases the risk of sexual impotence. Although it can affect both sexes, women typically will experience more problems. Possible issues due to smoking may include:

  • Damage to the female eggs
  • An increased risk of miscarriage
  • A higher risk of having cervical cancer

“According to many studies on the subject, 10 or more cigarettes per day will significantly harm your ability to conceive.”

-Rachel Gurevich-

Foods to consume and avoid while trying to quit smoking

What to eat and drink

A wide selection of fruit and vegetables

So now that we’ve talked about some important reasons to quit smoking, let’s talk about some foods that you should eat.

While trying to quit smoking, foods that worsen the taste of cigarettes are fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. So, if you have the urge to have a cigarette, these foods will change the taste or flavor of your cigarette.

Besides changing the taste of the cigarettes, it’s important to include these foods in your diet because they are very beneficial to your health.

In order to not gain weight or to maintain your weight after quitting or in the process of quitting, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy diet. This includes an appropriate amount of vegetables, fruits, protein, dairy, etc..

Come up with a diet that is consistent, healthy, and fit to your body and lifestyle.

Along with this advice, it’s also wise to get physical exercise, preferably outside, to work your lungs and heart, the organs that are affected the most by smoking. Let your lungs take in fresh air to nourish every cell in your body.

Want to learn more: Creating A Balanced Diet for Losing Weight

Importance of good hydration

person drinking a glass of water

Water is an essential part of this process because it helps the body remove toxins and impurities that have been stored due to smoking.

Water will also help satiate your need to put something in your mouth. Many times smokers who are trying to quit will have the urge to do the motions of putting a cigarette in their mouth or will experience restlessness with their hands.

Drinking water will not only keep you hydrated, but it will keep your hands and mind busy. For example, you can fill up your water bottle, unscrew the top, and most of all, you will have the satisfaction of putting something in your mouth.

Most importantly, staying hydrated will help get rid of any headaches after stopping this habit. 

Foods and drinks to avoid

beer

Certain foods or drink will enhance the taste of cigarettes. Some examples of these are coffee, alcohol (especially beer), and meat.

So now we know why it’s fairly common to see people smoking while having a cup of coffee, a cocktail, or after eating a meal that included meat. Or why you may have a stronger craving for a cigarette after consuming these foods or drinks.

The ideal plan then would be to avoid foods and beverages that improve the flavor. To make sure this shift in your diet doesn’t create an imbalance, it’s wise to talk with a professional who can objectively help you develop a nutrition plan.

It is important to talk with a nutritionist to avoid any anxiety about quitting smoking that can, unfortunately, lead to weight gain.

Foods that enhance the taste of cigarettes can be added back into your diet gradually, after at least three weeks have passed since you quit.

You should always talk to your doctor first – they will know how to help you through this process or if medical treatment is needed.

To wrap it up

multiple cigarettes to represent the need to quit smoking

As we have already said, smoking is directly linked to heart and lung problems and can result in severe consequences to your health, risking a life of hardship or premature death.

Remember that whenever you feel the urge to light a cigarette, it’s stealing precious minutes from your life and from those who care about you.

Cahill, K., Hartmann-Boyce, J., & Perera, R. (2015). Incentives for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD004307.pub5

Health, C. O. on S. and. (2015). Smoking and Tobacco Use; Fact Sheet; Fast Facts. Center for Disease Control.