Rediscover Taste and Smell When You Quit

Smoking effects your body in a vast amount of ways, but one way which is usually forgotten is how it effects your senses. Primarily, your sense of taste and smell are diminished. People who have successfully quit will not be able to forget this effect as these sense come back full force, however. After even just a few hours both sense begin to increase. As time continues to move forward after your last cigarette you will notice both of these all-important senses improving until they are back at the level they were prior to you ever smoking. This may not seem like such a big deal, but the real truth behind the matter is that they are incredibly important.


Why Are Taste & Smell So Important?

Taste and smell combine together to warn us of impending danger. Thing such as poisonous fumes, fire, spoiled food,  and numerous other things. Although we may not realize how much this impacts our daily life and well being, the truth remains that it does. With a dulled sense of taste like smoking gives us, we are less likely to know if our food is spoiled. Spoiled food can lead to upset stomach, poisoning, and  general digestive distress. With a dulled down sense of smell, we are less likely to notice poisonous fumes or the smokey warning of fire. It’s obvious what a disaster this can bring upon you.


Why Does Smoking Decrease These Senses?

The smoke you inhale has certain harmful chemicals in it that acts to dull your taste buds. Over time this blunt dulling will gradually build upon itself, further limiting your ability to taste. In addition to this, you are exhaling the very same smoke through both your nose and mouth. This further works against your senses as those same chemicals work to confuse your ability to register proper scents or tastes.


What Happens Once These Senses Are Back To Normal?

Besides a simple reversal of this dulling down of your taste buds and olfactory recognition, you will notice that your preferences are greatly altered. While you smoke, the dulled senses cause you to crave things with a strong taste. Foods which are salty, nauseatingly sweet, or pungent may have been your preferred food while smoking. Within a few days of quitting your smell and taste are both drastically increased, and these flavors may now be much too strong for you. In fact, you may find you do not enjoy many foods you once loved anymore. More subtle tastes may be more appealing to you, so be sure to experiment with different things. Foods you once disliked may soon become your favorite foods!


Rediscovering your sense of taste and smell is just one of many benefits you can receive from becoming smoke-free. While many people overlook this change, it can be one of the very first steps on your bodies road to recovery. While many health benefits or changes do not occur until between one week and one year of quitting, you can start to rediscover your sense within hours or days. This change can also be a huge spur on your road to success.


  1. I am going on day 6 of being smoke free.
    Within the 2nd-3rd day I noticed a drastic change in my sense of taste and smell. The change has kept me wanting to stay the course and continue to reap the benefits of not smoking. The one thing I will say that I miss from changing my habits are the act of smoking itself not so much the smoke.
    It is an life altering adjustment of 8 years for me and I keep telling myself that with each passing day it WILL get easier and better.
    I have wanted to quit for some time now, actually tried cold turkey my 2nd year of being a smoker and lasted 2 days. The withdraw symptoms were too unbearable for me alone without any cessation aids. My 2nd time was my 6th year of being a smoker and I tried the vaping which only helped me cut back from smoking and I was doing alright for a few weeks, a pack lasted me a week after going through a pack a day. The downside to vaping is you are not breaking the habit. Your still smoking just in a different form, but the act is still there. What works best for me is the 3rd time (now) at quitting. I am using the nicotine patches and it has gotten me this far (almost 6 days smoke free). I still get the urges but its more because I miss smoking in general. The hand to mouth motion is the hardest to break. But the beauty of using the patch is you are still getting nicotine but you are not allowed to smoke on it. So the habit is being broken without the terrible withdraws from quitting cold turkey. However ,Some people can quit cold turkey and it works for them. I smoked 8 years and was pretty addicted so I personally needed another route. My suggestions in fighting the urges are to chew on a straw or gum (keep your mouth busy) to help battle the urges. The best suggestion that I think works is to stay busy!!! Walk, do things at home. When you want a smoke don’t just sit there in misery, get up and do something anything! It truly helps fight the urges and takes your mind off of wanting to smoke. The plus side to quitting is your energy level and ability to breath better goes up so doing more active things will be much easier for you. You will want to walk more and won’t feel so fatigued and tired.
    The biggest lie I told myself when I picked up smoking (socially) was that I wouldn’t let myself become addicted and it took me a couple years to admit to myself and friends and family that I was a smoker. Once you admit to yourself the addiction and seek help is when you can truly break free from the bondage that smoking has on so many people. If you are struggling to quit I hope my experience helps shed light for someone and that you can find the strength to quit. Set your quit date, if even in a month and prepare yourself to quit. Rely on family and friends for support. If you already quit stay the course and don’t give up. The days get easier as time goes on. Good luck to everyone!

  2. I’m unable to eat pretty much everything I quit smoking and had open heart surgery at the pretty much same time. Now food has three taste, dirt, soap and tin. Chocolate I can’t even describe that flavor but I can’t get it rinsed out of my mouth fast enough

  3. I’m currently using an ecig because nothing else has worked. Tomorrow will be 3 weeks without ANY cigarettes! That’s pretty major for me, since I’ve been a smoker for over 4 decades! Yeah. That’s a very Live time. 41 years, as a matter of fact. I’ve tried to quit many times before, using every method available to us. Cold turkey, patch, pill (made me wanna kill someone. Just made me very angry.) Anyway, but, I ended up in the hospital doing pretty bad. I had double pneumonia and if I hadn’t gone to the hospital, I wouldn’t be here now. I thought it was the emphysema I have that was causing my breathing problem. It wasn’t. I wasn’t able to smoke, so when I came home, I figured, ‘why bother now when I’ve been without it for a week now? Why put myself thru the coughing and all of restarting something I wanted and needed to quit? Made no sense, so I stayed quite 😉

  4. 56 days smoke and nicotine free with Chantix. I’ve been a pack to pack and a half a day smoker for 43 years. I’m 60 years old. I’ve attempted to quit 3 or 4 other times with the nicoderm patch and gum. But never lasted more than three weeks. And often times would smoke while on the patch. Two things happened this year that made it do or die for me to quit. 1. I got diagnosed with mild to moderate COPD and my generic discount cigareetts went from $4.25 to $7.50 a pack. It’s true for me that things that tasted good to me don’t anymore and food I hardly ever liked now I do. And I’ve lost 5 pounds in the last 56 days not smoking. WOO! HOO!

  5. i have been smoking for 22 years , and still i do, but i remember once i had quit it, and after a visit to my family’s house, I was so surprised to smell the odour of the home, it was the first time i smell it again since i was teen age.

  6. I smoked for 45 years, tried quitting numerous times, with no luck. Longest I lasted was 2 years. Hope this is it. Been smoke free 3 weeks now . I bought 2 packs of cigarettes a month ago, started to cut back every day till both packs were gone. Now it’s been 3 weeks. Awesome

  7. I quit after smoking for 40+ years and have been smoke free for 7 months. My sense of smell and taste returned after a few weeks, but it disappeared again 2 months ago. Hope it returns as this was my reason to stay smoke free.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *