One of the best benefits of being a non-smoker is how much better it makes kissing.

Kissing as a smoker sucks. Your mouth never feels fresh, even immediately after brushing. The longer you smoke for the more unattainable a clean mouth feels, and there's no amount of mints, gum, toothpaste, mouthwash will change that.

I used to love kissing. Who doesn't, right? Somewhere in my 13 years as a smoker I convinced myself of otherwise. In fact, there's a few guys I dated who would tell you that I hate kissing and would often pull away from their attempts to turn pecks into make-out sessions.

Like cigarettes have a way of doing with many things, I convinced myself that this change was just me maturing and aging and had nothing to do with me becoming increasingly self-conscious about my mouth tasting like an ashtray.

Now that I've quit, however, I can't keep my tongue to myself, and my boyfriend doesn't seem to be complaining. I'm back to loving kissing just as much as I once did, and it's way better than any cigarette.

If you want to regain the power of your kiss, there's resources to help! I worked with the folks at A Smoke Free Paso del Norte initiative, which provides support to those going through the quitting process, and I encourage any smokers who have been thinking about giving quitting a try, to head over to their website and set their own quit dates or to call the Quit Line to connect with a quit coach at (915) 534-QUIT.