Smoking cessation is the best thing a smoker can do to keep a healthy body and mind; even though you would say it's not easy to kick the smoking habit, I make bold to say it can be done and the benefits to the health is enormous.

Just 20 minutes after quit smoking, experts say the body benefits and as your tobacco-free days accumulate, the benefits mount up. This article is about the various health benefits of smoking cessation.

1. Improved blood circulation: Research has shown that Nicotine has a way of slowing down blood circulation and metabolic processes in the body. Once you quit smoking, you can expect improved blood circulation. Damaged tissues would be repaired and you will start to look good. Saggy skin will give way to a fresh, revitalized and glowing skin.

2. Normalized blood pressure and pulse rate: Smoking elicits a high blood pressure and pulse rate. If you quit smoking, the blood pressure normalizes. If you don't, you are liable to die young.

3. A virile sex life: When you quit smoking, your sex life improves. A study on how smoking affects a man's ability to get an erection was recently presented at the American Heart Association's annual conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention in Miami. The research mentioned that men who smoked more than 20 cigarettes daily had a 60% higher risk of erectile dysfunction, than men who never smoked. And that 15% of the former and current smokers had experienced erectile dysfunction.

4. Improved sense of smell, breath and taste: Your sense of smell and taste will improve once you drop off cigarettes. Your taste buds dulled by toxic tobacco chemicals will come alive. You will be able to enjoy and appreciate tasty meals again. Over time, you will also regain your fresh breath.

5. You will sleep well: Once you quit smoking, your sleep patterns will improve. You will be able to sleep well. A research that appeared in the February 2008 issue of Chest, journal of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), revealed that smokers did not enjoy the kind of deep sleep that non-smokers enjoy. This was as a result of nicotine withdrawals every night. Once you quit, you’ll be able to enjoy a deep and sound sleep

6. Lowered risk of heart attacks and cancers: Giving up the smoking habit will lower the risk of heart attacks and cancers for many smokers. Smokers are at a greater risk of developing coronary heart disease (and even coronary death) than non-smokers. But quit smoking substantially lowers this risk.

7. Lowered risk of psoriasis: Psoriasis is a skin disease which causes people to develop thick, red, scaly patches on the skin, which are often itchy or sore. Studies have shown that daily smoking can lead to psoriasis. The higher the number of cigarettes smoked per day, the greater that risk. A study conducted in February 2012 revealed that smokers have an increased risk of developing the chronic skin condition: psoriasis. Give up the smoking habit and you will have a lowered risk of psoriasis.

8. Brighter vision and teeth: Quit smoking and you’ll enjoy a brighter vision and teeth. The tobacco stains on your teeth will disappear and you’ll be able to smile confidently. Ex-smokers are less likely than smokers to get gum disease and lose their teeth prematurely.

9.  Strong bones: This is another huge benefit of smoking cessation to the health. Over 10 years ago, Edward N. Hanley Jr., MD and specialist in orthopedic surgery reportedly looked at work-related injuries and smoking. He found that 50% of smokers suffered from low back pain, compared with only 20% of non-smokers. Nicotine also hampers healing of fractures and estrogen effectiveness, but this becomes a thing of the past once you successfully quit.

10. Increased energy levels: Within 2 to 12 weeks of stopping smoking, your circulation improves and the oxygen levels in your body get a boost. This makes all physical activity, including walking and running, much easier. You don’t feel easily tired or suffer headaches. Quitting also boosts your immune system, making it easier to fight off colds, flu and any infection that may affect your health.

11. Less stress: Ex-smokers enjoy lower stress levels. Scientific studies confirm this. Even though smokers say they smoke to relieve stress, research indicates the reverse is the case -  tobacco addiction causes smokers a lot of stress from the ‘withdrawal’ between cigarettes. The pleasant feeling of satisfying that craving is only temporary and is not a real cure for stress.

12. Improved breathing: People breathe more easily and cough less when they give up smoking because their lung capacity improves by up to 10% within nine months. While the body has an astonishing ability to heal itself after smoking cessation, you can improve your lung capacity through exercise, eating the right diet and deep breathing.

There’s no doubt about the fact that stop smoking is beneficial to the health of smokers and their loved ones. But, if you’re a smoker still tinkering with the idea of quitting, let these benefits motivate you to quit smoking today! Stop stuffing your body with poisons in the name of smoking! Today, not tomorrow, is the time to quit!