One Year After I Quit Smoking: Benefits and Lessons from Being Nicotine-Free | The Realistic Optimist

One Year After I Quit Smoking: Benefits and Lessons from Being Nicotine-Free

11:35 PM

one year after quitting smoking

If you recall, my previous posts were about my journey to quitting smoking—from the moments I failed at stopping, the instances I struggled with withdrawal symptoms to my success at completely letting go of the habit.

Today, I’m celebrating my first year of being smoke-free. I must say that I became a happier person. It feels good to be able to breathe freely and not experiencing constant episodes of cough and colds. More so, there’s no longer a lingering taste of tobacco and smoke odor on my breath and clothes. Letting go of nicotine use also helped boost my self-esteem.

Here are other benefits that I experienced from not smoking:

  • My skin allergy from eating seafood subsided. It’s possible that my body became more sensitive to certain food due to smoking.

  • I no longer feel confused or lost. Back then, I was often teased for always being “out of it”.

  • From being moody, I became more in control of my emotions.

  • My quality of sleep improved.

  • I became more efficient with work because I can concentrate more.

  • I became more productive. Now, I can accomplish in a day the tasks that used to take me two to three days to finish.

Today, let me debunk the myths that most people believe about quitting smoking. These are the notions that I typically hear from friends who smoke. I believe that these don’t have any basis and are just used as mere excuses in order for them to continue the habit with “less guilt”.

  1. I will experience severe sickness when I stop smoking.

    I was a smoker for 12 years and I used to smoke one pack of cigarettes in a day, but when I stopped, I didn’t get sick. In fact, my health became better. Yes, I experienced coughing for a month after quitting, but it’s not due to a severe disease. It’s just my body’s way of detoxifying and getting rid of the unwanted substance that cigarette smoke left on my body.

    Quitting the habit of smoking didn’t feel like death at all. I didn’t suffer. Perhaps, it’s due to the fact that I made a conscious effort of taking care of my body through proper diet and increased water intake.


  2. I might gain weight if I stop smoking.

    Smoking has nothing to do with your weight. However, you will definitely get fat if you resort to snacking when you quit smoking.

    When I was in the process of quitting tobacco use, I resorted to eating peanuts in order to curb my urges to smoke. However, I made sure that I’m only eating the right amount of peanuts and not exceed the recommended serving so that I will not put on extra pounds. More so, drinking plenty of water also helped in making me feel full.


  3. I can’t stop because I’m addicted.

    Cigarettes are addictive, that’s true. But quitting it is possible, especially if you put your heart and mind into it. You just need to see the bad effects of nicotine to your body so that you can be motivated enough to quit. Once you think about letting tobacco use go, you already took the first step to a healthier you.


  4. I already inflicted damage on my body, so I might as well just carry on with smoking.

    It’s not yet too late for your body to recover from nicotine use. Did you know that it only takes two weeks to three months to improve your lung function?

    Also, think about the people around you. Many people die of secondhand smoke. It’s time to look beyond yourself and consider the impact of your actions to others too.


  5. I don’t have money for nicotine replacement therapies.

    There’s a lot of ways to quit smoking, which include nicotine replacement therapies like vaping and e-cigarettes. I tried the latter and it didn’t help at all. If anything, it did more harm than good. I had pneumonitis within my two weeks of using e-cigarettes. If I didn’t stop, it could’ve turned into a life-threatening condition.

    If you want to quit smoking without spending a lot and harming your health even more, why not go cold turkey? Yes, it’s tough. That’s why you need to be really motivated. For instance, a strong motivating factor would be the fear of dying due to a severe disease caused by smoking. Perhaps, the hardest part of going cold turkey is the first step. But once you’re past that mark, you will realize that you made a very rewarding decision.

    My son Liam Drake is one of the reasons why I quit smoking.
    My son Liam Drake is one of the reasons why I quit smoking. :-)


If I became successful at quitting smoking, I’m sure that you can do it too! If you need help and encouragement, you can read my journey to quitting nicotine use.

Previous Post: One Month Smoke-Free, I No Longer Hate Myself

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