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Wondering why the air has been smelling particularly fresh lately?

If you’ve been living in a bubble (probably trying to protect yourself from second-hand smoke) this is the latest news – UQ is now a smoke-free campus.

To celebrate, we’re sharing our top reasons why ditching cigarettes is like giving yourself a big cancer-free hug.

You’ll live longer – literally

It only takes 20 minutes of going cold turkey for your blood pressure and heart rate return to normal, taking a positive effect on your body. After 24 hours, the carbon monoxide has been eliminated from your body (a gas that is fatal in large quantities, and stops oxygen from entering the blood stream) and your lungs start to clear out. After 48 hours, there is no nicotine left in your system, meaning your ability to taste and smell is greatly improved.

Once 72 hours have flown by, you’ll find it easier to breath, along with a noticeable increase in energy levels. And after two weeks, circulation has improved throughout the body making walking and running a whole lot easier – hello exercise time!

Once you hit the one year milestone, your risk of coronary heart disease is reduced by half to that of a smoker.

Basically, putting down the lighter means your heart will have less work to do and your blood will thin out, reducing your risk of life-threatening blood clots. A lower cholesterol will join the party, and after just a few days without cigarettes, your smile will be whiter and your skin clearer. Quitting smoking is better than any anti-aging product on the market (if you thought you could combat the wrinkling effects of continuing to smoke, that is) and not blowing smoke into your own face every day will stop your pores from clogging. Plus, over time your hearing will sharpen, and so will your night vision.

Nobody wants your sloppy seconds


Arguably one of the most beneficial effects of you quitting smoking is you’ll stop violating other people’s nose holes. Second-hand smoke is a serious health threat to everyone in the vicinity of your smoke-filled exhales, and studies have shown there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke. Think of it this way – your house mate, who endured you taking a drag, could very well have adverse health effects, like cancer, infections or asthma, without ever picking up a cigarette themselves. Do you really need that on your conscience?

You won’t smell like a nightclub. All. The. Time.

There’s a reason why Australians spend $13.4 billion each year on personal hygiene, and 92 cents each week on perfume alone – because we like to look good, and smell good. Tossing the butt means giving that smoke haze the boot too. Full disclosure – we don’t have any evidence to back this up, but we’re pretty confident in saying you’ll make more friends and schmooze more Bumble dates when you – and everything you own, wear and touch – don’t smell like an ash tray.

Your money will stop going up in flames

Thanks to the cigarette tax, Australia is the third-most expensive place in the world to buy a pack of smokes. On average, a pack-a-day smoker will invest $11,300 into their deadly habit – and that’s if they buy the cheap sticks. That’s an overseas holiday, or one 10th of a Porsche convertible. It’s business class tickets to Perth and back for you and your Fremantle Dockers-loving mate. It’s 11 pairs of Louboutin Pigalle pumps. Rent for a year. Weekly groceries for two. An iPhone X for you and your fellow septuplets. A UQ Sport Gold Student Membership for 16 years. 565 smashed avocadoes (or a sweet sum towards a down payment on a house). You get it. Kick the habit and you’ll save a bucket load of money, nursing your bank balance back in to shape.

But all the riches baby, won’t mean anything, and all the riches baby, won’t bring what good health can bring. Give yourself a gift money can’t buy by trashing the smokes and gaining life instead.

If you are struggling to quit smoking on campus, visit UQ Health Care or Smoke-free UQ.

For more information on UQ’s Smoke-free initiative, visit The University of Queensland Campaigns and Initiatives.