Reasons to Give Up Smoking
There is no shortage of good reasons to give up smoking. They range from health, to finance, to social acceptability and personal safety. The good news is that it’s never been easier to give up smoking. Medical understanding of nicotine addiction has advanced considerably in the last 30 years and there is a range of treatments available to beat nicotine cravings. These include holistic therapies like acupuncture and hypnosis to nicotine chewing gum, lozenges and inhalers. There are also 100% nicotine free prescription medications like Champix and Zyban.
Cigarettes are dangerous, so dangerous that if they were a modern invention they’d be banned on the spot. Pretty much everybody knows that smoking cigarettes can cause lung cancer, but in fact the whole body is vulnerable to smoking related cancers and other illnesses; particularly the mouth and throat.
In addition to the horrific cancers that smoking causes, you will be vulnerable to a host of other debilitating and potentially fatal illnesses1.
Other Lung Disease
As a smoker you are at direct risk of chronic obstructive pulmoÍnary disease (COPD) with associated bronchitis and emphysema. If you suffer from asthma you will almost certainly exacerbate your condition and experience more frequent and worse asthma attacks.
Smoking is a major cause of coronary heart disease in the UK. It can also lead to strokes, and can disrupt the flow of blood around the body. In extreme cases this can result in the amputation of limbs.
Fertility and Reproduction
If you’re a man, smoking cigarettes may reduce the quality of your erections and may also reduce your sperm count and the health of your sperm. Women may find it harder to conceive and smoking will directly damage the health of a fetus and may also contribute to sudden infant death syndrome2.
Half of all Long Term Smokers in the UK will Die Prematurely
These are some of the smoking related deaths in Britain in 2015
Cancer - 37,400 fatalities
Respiratory Illness - 23,200 fatalities
Circulatory conditions - 16,400 fatalities
To put these figures into perspective, almost every death also represents a bereaved family. The human suffering caused by cigarette smoking cannot really be calculated, or represented as statistics.
Cigarette smoke doesn’t just harm the smoker. Passive smoking (inhaling someone else’s smoke) can damage the health of your entire family, particularly children. If you’re smoking in the house or in the car, the chances are that you’re doing direct damage to the people around you. You’re also setting a bad example to your children, who are more likely to start smoking at an early age.
Smoking is a major fire hazard that kills hundreds of people every year in the UK. A discarded cigarette can start a fatal house fire within minutes. This is a particular problem when cigarettes are combined with alcohol, or when people smoke in bed. If you live in a cigarette free home, you’re living in a safer home. This can be a special concern if you have a young family.
Smoking is a seriously expensive habit. If you’re buying a pack of 20 cigarettes a day at retail prices you aren’t just damaging your health, you’re doing major damage to your personal finances.
Typical Price for 20 Cigarettes
A 20 a day habit can cost you over £4,000 a year. Even if you’re buying imported or fake cigarettes, you will still be hemorrhaging cash from your household budget. Whether you’re single or part of a family unit, an extra £4,000 a year can make a major difference to your quality of life.
If you’re not swayed by the health benefits of giving up smoking, you should think seriously about how you can reward yourself with the money that you save.
In the last two decades smoking has become less and less socially acceptable. We can no longer smoke in pubs and most other public places, and if you want a cigarette at work you’ll often have to leave the building and stand outside - no fun in January!
There is also some anecdotal evidence that employers3 are beginning to quietly discriminate against smokers. They know that statistically smokers will take more sick days every year, and will take more breaks during their working day. Smoking is also coming to be perceived as a dirty habit and a sign of low intellect or a flawed character.
Looking for Romance? Stop Smoking!
Smokers may also find it harder to find a partner or gain social acceptance as people become less tolerant of smoke smelling clothes and hair, nicotine stained teeth and fingers, and bad breath. Smoking is increasingly being seen as a personal hygiene issue and social attitudes towards smokers are becoming increasingly negative.
We also know that smoking affects how others perceive us. Cigarette smoking has a negative effect on our personal appearance and our may make us less attractive to people whose opinions can matter in the real world.
Smoking is a Serious Passion Killer!
- Skin problems and wrinkles
- Smelly clothes
- Nicotine stains on fingers
- Yellow teeth
- Bad breath
- Hair loss
Smoking can also reduce the quality of your sex life. Men may experience fewer and poorer quality erections. Women may be less responsive and less orgasmic.
Self Esteem & Self Respect
Deep down most smokers know that they are doing something that isn’t just stupid, but actually very wrong. There’s no doubt that smoking cigarettes is a pleasurable activity, and it can also be a comfort tool and a coping mechanism for people with stressful and difficult lives (these days that’s most of us). But deep down, smokers aren’t happy to be smokers; nobody really likes the fact that they’re addicted to a drug.
As a smoker you’ll probably also feel a twinge of guilt and frustration every time you hand over your money for a packet of cigarettes. The manufacturers’ cost price for cigarettes is a tiny fraction of the retail price. When you buy a pack of twenty, as much as 90% of the price could be tax and VAT4.
What’s the real cost of a pack of 20?
It costs the major tobacco companies around 5p to manufacture each packet of cigarettes. When you buy an £8.00 pack of 20 you’re giving over £7.50 in taxes.
Personal Empowerment and Quality of Life
People who succeed to give up smoking get a great feeling of satisfaction and personal pride. They’ve taken control of their lives and beaten a difficult addiction, in doing so they’ve made a massive improvement to their quality of life. If you choose to give up smoking you’re also showing a big commitment to the people you love. You’re sacrificing a pleasurable activity to protect your health and be there for you family in years and (hopefully) decades to come.
As an ex smoker you may find that your sense of health and well being dramatically increases and that you develop a greater interest in other healthy activities like sport and exercise. You may find that having beaten your nicotine addiction, it becomes easier to eat a healthier diet and generally live a better life. You’ll certainly have a substantial amount of extra cash to try new activities and treat yourself to better quality food.
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