If you’re thinking of quitting smoking, start by finding out the reasons you want to quit. Do you know why you want to stop smoking? Do you want to live longer and healthier? Feel better? Protect your family from secondhand smoke health risks? Save money?
It’s important to find a strong motivation. Quitting smoking is challenging and not having a meaningful reason for quitting can increase your chances of relapse. Once you find your reason, it will inspire you to quit for good.
We’re certain you’ve heard all the reasons why you should quit smoking a thousand times already. Your health, your finances, people around you, and the environment – all legitimate and valid reasons we will circle back to, of course. But let’s take a different view of it right now.
Smokers make up around 20% of the population. Simple extrapolation tells us that only that amount of singles smoke. This is what you call a very ‘thin’ market. Basically, if you smoke you’re seriously limiting the pool of people who are willing to go out with you. On the surface, this might look like a very shallow point to be making but smoking has serious repercussions for non-smokers and there aren’t many of them who would be willing to risk their health by dating a smoker.
So singles, next time you light up a cigarette think long and hard about how it might be the very thing which is running your chances of finding a soulmate!
But what if you found coupled bliss already? As we’ve said, we’re circling back to those really important reasons for quitting. There are plenty of them and we can’t tackle them in detail here so make sure to follow the links and read in-depth on how smoking is interfering with that particular aspect of your life.
Health and Appearance
The most important thing you need to consider is your health. Let’s take a look at the most obvious thing first – your lungs. Their capacity diminishes the longer you smoke. You can no longer run or exert yourself to the same degree you could when you were not smoking. You’ll probably drop exercise altogether – research has shown that smokers exercise far less frequently than non-smokers. Also, your chances of developing COPD and lung cancer are skyrocketing. 90% of all lung cancers can be traced directly to tobacco.
Your skin ages prematurely and smokers appear 1.4 years older than their non-smoker friends. In short, smoking wreaks havoc on every single organ in your body, increasing your chances for multiple types of cancer, various autoimmune diseases, and more. Smokers do not enjoy the same life expectancy as non-smokers and 1 out of 2 smokers will die prematurely from health issues brought on by smoking.
Further reading: Health effects of smoking
Yet another powerful smoking cessation reason are your finances. Cigarettes cost money and it won’t come as a shock to you to find out that you’re literally paying the tobacco industry to poison you.
But do you have any idea just how much you’re paying for that privilege?
An average smoker smoking 1 pack of cigarettes per day will spend anywhere between $100,000 and $300,000 every year on cigarettes and lighters alone. It’s going to depend on where you live – in Virginia, the price for a pack of cigarettes is the lowest. However, if you live in New York the average cost per pack is $12.85. That amount of money can buy a new car or you can use it as a deposit on your first home. If you have children, one year that you’re not smoking will raise you enough money to put one kid through college.
And this is without even going into the health related costs that you’ll be accumulating over the years. Research shows that every pack of cigarettes you smoke equals to an average of $30 in medical costs. Smokers have higher health care insurance premiums and are a bigger financial burden to both employers and the government.
Further reading: Cost of smoking
Friends and Family
As we’ve pointed out above, smoking damages your health and will considerably shorten your life. Unfortunately, smoking does not affect only smokers. Everyone around you will suffer the consequences of your smoking to some degree. Secondhand smoke kills 41,000 people in the US alone every year. People exposed to it are more likely to get lung, larynx, pharynx, bladder, and nasal cancer as a result of it – and those are just the ones that have been conclusively and thoroughly researched by scientists and healthcare professionals.
Also, people exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increased risk of suffering from COPD or developing cardiac problems and suffering a heart attack or stroke as a result.
Children are especially vulnerable to secondhand smoke. It has been linked to increased SIDS rates – sudden infant death syndrome and children exposed to it are more susceptible to common colds and other diseases. They are more likely to develop ear infections or suffer from poor development of the lungs. Babies born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy are more likely to have birth defects, low birth weight, or be born prematurely.
Further reading: Effects of secondhand smoke
When was the last time you saw a smoker participate in a charity marathon or even jogging just for the fun of it? Most smokers don’t have the stamina it takes to be active for longer periods of time and that is why they forgo regular exercise. In many ways, our daily routine is affected by our health. Both smoking and the lack of physical activity seriously limit the said daily routine and prevent smokers from participating in fun activities with their friends and their family.
Also, smokers are becoming social pariahs of late. Bars, restaurants and nightclubs in most states don’t allow smoking so smokers have to excuse themselves often to go outside and indulge in a cigarette. Your non-smoker friends probably ban smoking in their house, and this means that you can sometimes miss fun gatherings if you insist on smoking everywhere you go. Plus, as we already mentioned, your pool of compatible dating partners is severely limited so if you’re single you’re going to have a tough time finding a partner as non-smokers tend not to date smokers.
Further reading: Benefits of quitting smoking
The detrimental effect that the tobacco industry has on the environment is still something that the scientists are trying to wrap their mind around. Many factors contribute to it – from growing tobacco and manufacturing cigarettes to smoking and the effect that cigarette butts have on wildlife and the quality of water and soil.
5.3 million hectares of fertile land is currently used to produce tobacco and it is a plant that is very demanding when it comes to nutrients. That is why it has to be heavily fertilized and despite all of that, it can only be grown on the same patch of land for a limited amount of years. After that, the soil is completely depleted and hardly anything can grow on it. Tobacco manufacture then moves to fertile land often taking out entire forests in the process of making land fit for cultivation. For that reason, the tobacco industry is one of the largest deforestation industries in the world.
Since tobacco is a delicate plant it requires pesticide treatment. Current pesticides used in the tobacco industry have been linked to cancer and are extremely dangerous for both people and animals. They also leak into the soil, poisoning it and underground waters to boot. Cigarette manufacture industry is also a large producer of biological and toxic waste. Every year, thousands of tons of waste need to be properly stored and disposed of, necessitating excessive government spending as well.
When it comes to cigarette butts, it’s estimated that close to 4.5 trillion of them are produced and disposed of every year. They are not only unsightly – they are also poisonous. Butts retain chemicals and toxic that can be found in cigarettes and they leach them into the ground. Some studies show that they are extremely toxic to marine life, algae in particular and that they release heavy metals into the soil – effectively poisoning both plant life and wildlife in the process.
Further reading: Environmental risks of smoking