Stoppers - a little encouragement

Adapted from a Stoptober article (

Cough - If you’ve been smoking for years you may have developed ‘smoker’s cough’, which may not be a sign of any serious underlying disease but is, nevertheless, really annoying. Some long-term smokers report that the chronic cough disappears within a week of quitting.

Smell - Smokers are often self-conscious about the smell of their clothes, hair, houses (if they smoke inside) and breath. And with good reason. Eau de stale fag is nobody’s idea of a fine perfume. Smokers are also twice as likely to have a reduced sense of smell compared to their non-smoking counterparts. Their sense of taste can also be affected.

Looks - Smoking makes you look old. Research has found that smoking causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin, which impairs blood flow. Less blood means less of the important nutrients your body needs, and the result is premature sagging and wrinkling. It can also affect skin tone, making some long-term smokers look pale and leaving others with uneven, patchy skin. As if things couldn't get worse, smoking also causes lines around the mouth - the tell-tale ‘smoker’s pucker’. Stop smoking and you stop these changes in their tracks, so staying as young-looking as possible, for as long as possible, is another good reason to quit.

Relationships - Men, if you do manage to get a date as a smoker, you may not impress too much in the boudoir. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found a positive correlation between smoking and erectile dysfunction. Don’t believe what you see in the movies. That post-coital cigarette may be helping to ensure your coital moments are increasingly rare in years to come.

Sociability - The idea that smokers are more sociable was revealed as a myth. Heavy smokers are increasingly marginalised from social groups. Former smokers don't won’t to be near a smoker for fear of a relapse. People feel bad about inviting a smoker to a dinner party on a wet winter night and making them smoke in the garden, but nor do they want the smell of smoke in the house. Even smokers who are conscientious about lighting up away from non-smoking friends miss out on huge chunks of conversation.

Good teeth - According to dental researchers at Newcastle University, smokers who give up are much less likely to lose their teeth prematurely than those who stick with the fags. Statistics show that smokers are up to six times more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers, and tobacco also stains teeth. Smokers are also more likely to suffer from persistent bad breath.

Hair - If you want to keep it, you may need to stop smoking. A study of more than 700 Taiwanese men aged 40 and over found that smokers are more likely to lose their hair than non-smokers, and that the more a man smokes, the worse his baldness is likely to be.

Energy - Smoking is detrimental to blood circulation, which means its detrimental to every physical activity you attempt, whether that’s walking to the shops or running a half marathon. But the good news is very good indeed. According to the NHS, your circulation will improve within a few short weeks of quitting, meaning your near future could be filled with far more running and far less wheezing.

Money- You know you’d be richer if you stopped smoking. If you only smoke five cigarettes a day, you’d still be over £52 richer per month. After a year, you’d have saved at least £630. And if you smoke 20 a day, the equivalent savings are £210 and £2,520. That’s based on paying around £7 for a packet of 20 cigarettes, which is cheaper than the average.

In other words, if the scary diseases don’t get you to quit, let positive reasons give you the motivation you need. You’ll be richer, better looking and have an altogether better quality of life. It's time to put down the fags for good.

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17 Replies

  • Stopped several years ago still have chronic emphysema but your post gives useful information for those trying to stop!

  • Well done Rick. Me too.

  • I think this article would be very useful for those giving up. I would frame it and put it on view.

  • Good idea Annie. x

  • A good post Toci but as a smoker I know all that. I think most smokers do. We don't lack information but the understanding necessary from the medical profession and the general public of how difficult it can be to give up. It would be a lot easier if smoking addiction was taken as seriously as drug dependancy and alcoholism. More resources would be poured in to help us quit. A Horizon programme a few years ago reckoned that cigarettes are more addictive than heroin.

  • I do understand Bev, and agree. I smoked for years, with many failed attempts. During the course of my work, I undertook a joint enterprise with a woman who worked with the Police, as a drug advisor. She had successfully come off heroin but continued to fail in her attempts to stop smoking (though she did eventually). She talked of the help and compassion available to drug users and the lack of any such for tobacco users. What got her through in the end was a realisation that there was no other way than to just do it. She said that, once you know it is down to you, there are no more excuses you can make, that the only person letting her down was herself. She got there in the end and I hope as many as possible will also do so. It is a powerful drug, much more addictive than heroin but with determination and as much support as we can muster, we can but try to beat it. xx

  • all true toci,tobacco is more addictive than heroin,but still less help for the smokers,senseless ,attitudes need changing fast,more help is needed urgently for copd sufferers,its now an epidemic what cannot be ignored anymore,they have to meet and address it head on,all open and above board.there not even touchin bases,just skimin round it,bernicexxx

  • I totally agree. COPD and other chest diseases have for too long been left at the bottom of the pile. They are very short sighted really.

  • toci you have my respect,bernicexxxx

  • toci,it gets me in the stomach,good peeps are suffering day in day out,we are for god sake human beings,not waiting for the inhalers and rite see you nx time close the door,get upset sometime ,think we all do as we are bloudy human,we have feelings,hearts souls families ,so pissed of at attitudes at times,sorry,bernicexxx

  • I agree. There seems to be little knowledge of best treatment outside of hospitals, and even some of them struggle. I think it good to educate ourselves about our condition so that we can oversee our treatment - sad, but necessary in my opinion.

  • Yep good points made there Toci. My pet hate is ex-smokers saying - give it up, it's so easy! The last one who said that to me nearly ended up in traction!

  • Oh yes! I know the feeling! I remember struggling, using patches and failing, whilst my sister told me I was weak willed because she just stopped. (She did too). How I did not wallop her I will never know. :)

  • Keep in touch with my mate WILL POWER


  • I agree I don't smoke but have a friend who does she knows all the problems but is finding it almost impossible to give up. I think the doctors are trying to help now.

  • Good post Toci - I'm on day 2 (yeahhhhhhh) and I'm finding the Allen Carr book really effective, he doesn't tell us how hard it is to stop but how easy it is once you understand why we carry on smoking knowing all the dangers and downsides, once the reasons to smoke have been removed the desire to smoke is removed and I must say that he does make a lot of sense.

  • Well done Jools. You can do it. :)

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