Rediscover Taste and Smell When You Quit


by Jeffrey Buckley

Updated: August 7, 2020

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, especially if you want to appreciate fully the flavorful clouds coming from your vaporizer tank.

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, even from the best vape. 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.

Published: August 20, 2017Updated: August 7, 2020

Jeffrey Buckley

I was a smoker for over 25 years. In this time I also earned my medical degree with a specialization in addiction treatment and counseling. That period has led me to vaping, my interest started around 2011. I’m fighting the tide of hysteria and dis-information around vaping that emanates from various fronts legislative, cultural and scientific. Having scientific councils support, I’m happy to contribute my thoughts, articles, and expertise.


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3 comments on “Rediscover Taste and Smell When You Quit

  • [email protected]

    September 4, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    I just quit smoking and going thru kidney disease what can i do nothing tastes good. And i need to eat fot my strenght. I am losing muscle mass from not eating and be able to work

  • Dawn

    August 20, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Not smoked for 6. Hours got a bit of head ache yet i do notice my coffee has to have.less.sugar in it

  • Christina

    July 8, 2018 at 8:08 am

    I really hope, that someone could explain me an opposite phenomenon. I lost my sense of smell with quitting smoking. It was fine before, but a year ago, when I was quitting, I lost most of my sense of smell and therefore also taste is not so good anymore. So, any idea what’s happening and why?