We are not going to be talking about cancer or dying because we all know: smoking kills. But for a smoker like me the cancer scare is not enough, as absurd as it sounds. Here is my list, which is hanging proudly on the door to the fire escape, or better – to my private smoker’s corner, that I will, as of tomorrow, only step onto to see how the weather is like.
If you stop smoking:
1. Your skin will get better.
Believe you me, it will take a while. In my first real attempt to stop I was smoke-free for five months (thank you, thank you). Only at the beginning of month 4 I saw significant improvement. We’re talking different texture of my forehead, no more red patches, even skintone. Man, that was a wonderful feeling when I finally saw some change. I used to not look at myself before, just put make up on – fast so I wouldn’t see how my skin would actually look like. But even the make-up wouldn’t help for long, because my skin would get so dry so fast, my face would be flaky after a couple of hours.
2. You will have a clear tongue.
Unless you want to look like Miley Cyrus, which is fine, stopping smoking does wonders to your digestive system, which shows on your tongue. As a smoker I am able to scratch off about a fingerful of white-ish residue off my tongue. Mmhmm tasty. Once you stop your tongue goes back to being pink as a baboons butt.
3. No more reflux.
Ever smoked so much you had the feeling your esophagus was an extension of your cig? That’s probably because you are slowly burning away your body. Once you stop, reflux no more.
4. Your hands stop looking like marble.
Although poryphyry is gorgeous when used in architecture, you don’t need your hands to look like a byzantine sculpture. Smoking affects your blood circulation, therefor you get cold hands and you start seeing those little purple vessels underneath your skin. After not even a week of stopping all that disappears.
5. Your breath doesn’t smell.
Obviously. In this category you can also find : your teeth get whiter, your wrinkles get smaller and your hair has more vibrance.
6. Your gums will grow back.
When you’re smoking, you are actually smoking your gums away. Terryifing, isn’t it? And I am talking out of experience. Paired with the unability to brush your teeth correctly you can be sure your gums won’t stick it out much longer. (You might think that’s a joke, but there’s a lot of people (again, including me) who don’t know how to brush their teeth, they go right to left instead of circular motions, which pushes the gums further up and exposes the tooth, which then leads to a lot of pain and a costly visit at the dentist’s office.) Once you stop, your gums start to get more blood flowing and can actually regenerate, sparing you that dreadful dentist’s chair.
7. Your snot will change color.
You wouldn’t believe how great it was to blow my nose during my non smoking period and discover what color my snot was! Cristal clear. White as a cloud on a summer’s day. If I could I’d take a picture and show it to you.
8. Your jaw muscles will loosen.
Less and less people smoke which makes more and more smokers hide the fact that they do. So they have chewing gums and bonbons in all flavours to mask the unpleasant odor of that ever so plesant cigarette. Not only are you spending extra on all that sweet breath gear that you have to carry around at all times but you’re also exercising your jaw muscles too excessively. You naturally carry a lot of tension in your jaw (I grind my teeth like a madman, it’s a wonder I still have any), and putting that extra pressure makes everything extra stiff. If you ditch the cig you ditch the gum, massage your jaw and ahhhhh release will come. That rhymed.
9. You will have more energy.
If I smoke my cigarette later during the day it is the sweet moment of my nicotine rush. You get a little dizzy, your muscles seem to loosen, you have the feeling your bones just exited and reentered your body, the world is beautiful. That is also the moment where I not only realize that I am a junkie, but that all that energy I had before was put into that one cigarette. Don’t you think that’s a waste? I know that when you stop smoking you feel like crawling up the walls and screaming, but look at how much energy you have! Do something with it!
10. You won’t get sick as often.
I used to have about four sinus infections a year. Once I stopped smoking I also stopped being sick. No flu, no congestion, no sore throat, no swollen lymphnodes, no nothing. Any autoimmune disease is strengthened by that goddamn tasty cigarette and it will attack your body more often, if you want to admit it or not. And I am the first who should listen to my own advice, I used to smoke with bronchitis. In the mornings. In winter. On the balcony. Don’t tell my mother.