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Reasons to quit smoking

When you quit smoking you will see immediate benefits to your health, your looks, your sense of taste and smell, your fitness and your finances. You will feel better about yourself and improve the health of family and friends around you.

Health benefits

When you quit, it immediately improves your health and wellbeing. Smoking damages your body, and is a proven risk factor for fatal or debilitating diseases and conditions, including cardiovascular disease, stroke and cancer.

Quitting smoking means no more stains on your fingers and teeth and you will no longer smell of cigarette smoke. You won’t only look better but you will feel better too because your body is healthier and your fitness level is improved.


Time Improvements
20 minutes Heart rate drops.
12 hours Blood levels of carbon monoxide drop dramatically.
72 hours Sense of taste and smell improve.
2 weeks–3 months Lung function and circulation improves.
1–9 months Coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
1 year Risk of coronary heart disease is halved compared to continuing smokers.
5 years Stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker five to 15 years after quitting. Risk of cancers of the mouth, throat and oesophagus decreases.
10 years Risk of lung cancer death is about half that of a continuing smoker and continues to decline. Risk of cancers of the bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases.
15 years Risk of coronary heart disease and risk of death is the same as someone who has never smoked.

Read more about the health impacts of smoking.

Psychological and social benefits

Quitting is a chance to be who you want to be and allows you to feel more comfortable in social situations. With most public and work places now smoke free, being a smoker can increase barriers to socialising.

Research has shown that 3 to 6 months after quitting, ex-smokers have less stress and anxiety than before they quit. Smokers have more stress because they are constantly dealing with the anxiety that cravings cause.

Financial benefits

Quit smoking and you will have extra money. With prices averaging around $20 for a packet of cigarettes, you could save around $7,300 every year – that’s an overseas holiday, money towards a car, house or a shopping spree. Based on spending $20 per day on cigarettes, you can see the savings add up quickly.

Try the cost of smoking calculator to estimate how much you could gain.

Help and support

Quitline and a range of other support services can help you to stay a non-smoker.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
23 September 2014
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