Top 5 Reasons to Quit Smoking: A Guide to Better Choices

Why should I stop smoking?

Quitting might be hard, but many reasons can make you consider it. First of all, smoking and secondhand smoke have some harmful effects on people’s health. As a result, tobacco smoking may harm your appearance. Let’s not forget that smoking affects one’s emotional and social life, and can also have an adverse impact on one’s career and financial situation.

Smoking hurts your health. In fact, tobacco smoking affects almost every part of your body. Also, due to the toxic ingredients cigarettes contain, smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. Smoking leads to cancer, stroke, and cardiovascular diseases. What’s more, nicotine is a highly addictive drug, and thus, smoking leads to dependency.

Top 5 Reasons to Quit Smoking - A Guide to Better Choices

Probably you are fed up with anti-smoking campaigns and people telling you to quit. Why would you stop smoking when the initial kick cigarettes give you is mind-blowing? Here is why:

Top 5 Reasons To Quit Smoking

Smoking & Health

Smoking is an old habit. In fact, the history of smoking dates back to 4,000 BC. Since then, many smoking techniques have been implemented, and most of all, the status of smoking has changed multiple times, triggering many political and social debates.

However, controversial or not, one thing is for sure: smoking has a negative effect on people’s health. Don’t believe it? Think twice! Data reveals that only in U.S., tobacco smoking kills more than 480,000 people every year, which is one in five deaths.

It’s not only the tobacco, though. From tar to carbon monoxide, the chemicals that cigarettes contain are dangerous. Smoking affects each part of the body. The list of health risks, as presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is way too long:

Let’s not forget that smoking affects pregnancy and fertility. It increases the risks of preterm birth, stillbirth and low weight at birth.

Last but not least, smoking is addictive. Nicotine is among the most addictive substances, which, however, is still legal. Withdrawal is common, and symptoms vary from anxiety to terrible headaches.

Maybe all that sounds like empty statistics, but if knew that smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in U.S., wouldn’t you try to prevent it by quitting?

Here are even more reasons in this category:

  • When you quit smoking, your chances of contracting many diseases drops drastically. These diseases include things like cancer, stroke, cataracts, and heart disease.
  • Your immune system will become stronger so you do not get sick as often.
  • Breathing will become easier, and that nasty cough you have had will be much less. Eventually, your lungs will completely heal and you will no longer cough at all.
  • Your blood pressure will drop into normal ranges.
  • Your skin will look healthier, which in turns makes for a more youthful appearance in general.
  • Your teeth and fingernails will be stained no longer.
  • You will greatly increase your life expectancy.

Smoking & Appearance

Let’s admit it, for many smokers, especially young users, smoking and health risks sound too surreal. So let’s focus on something everyone cares about: appearance. The effects smoking has on your appearance will definitely make you consider quitting.

Smoking can lead to some uncomfortable outcomes for your body, which affect not only your health but looks and self-esteem.

Smoking leads to:

  • Bag under your eyes
  • Premature aging (on average smokers look 1.4 years older than smokers)
  • Wrinkles and bad skin
  • Thinner hair and baldness
  • Yellow fingers

Some of its effects on one’s appearance can be reversed even by cosmetics or beauty salons. Some of the effects smoking has on people threaten smokers’ health.

  • Bad and icky teeth
  • Tooth loss and periodontal disease
  • Warts
  • Cataracts (smoking increases the risk with 22%)

It’s not only the general glow or the smoker’s face; smoking affects one’s weight. Although smoking suppresses the appetite, experts from the Netherlands revealed that smokers are more chubby and prone to get stretch marks.

Smoking & Social Life

Although experts have exposed all the health risks for the body, which also affect smokers’ appearance, you might think that smoking is cool. We can’t blame you – it’s a huge industry with companies fighting for the positive image of smoking. For women, cigarettes were even seen as the ‘torches of freedom’ as they empowered their role in society. On top of that, many movies have promoted smoking as something sexually appealing.

However, smoking can affect your social life in a negative way, which is a good reason to stop smoking. Let’s start with its health effects: bad breath, hoarse voice, and smoker’s cough can affect your everyday communication because people might unconsciously start to avoid you.

Social smoking might be a way to meet new people, but with all the new smoking regulations and smoke-free areas, smokers are becoming more and more isolated from people’s social life.

On top of that, when it comes to young people, many high school students say that they’d date a non-smoker. Surprisingly, 9 out of 10 students do not smoke. So don’t be the One.

Maybe one of the worst consequences is the risks of second-hand smoke, something that should make you quit smoking. Parents who smoke expose their families to risks. Data reveals that even brief exposure can be harmful to health. In fact, between 1964 and now, more than 2,500,000 non-smokers have died from health problems caused by exposure to secondhand smoke. Other risks include ear infections, asthma attacks, bronchitis, and cancer.

And even more:

  • Living a smoke-free lifestyle saves you a lot of money that can be better spent on something more worthwhile. (For more information on how much you can save, keep reading.)
  • You will have more free time.
  • You will no longer have to fret about when your next cigarette break will come, thus making your life less stressful and making you more productive.
  • Your food will taste better because everything will no longer taste like stale smoke.
  • Your clothes, skin, hair, car, home, and kids will no longer smell like smoke.
  • You will be able to smell everything again.

Female doctor smiling and breaking a cigarette

Smoking & Cost Savings

If a smoker doesn’t care about his or her own health or doesn’t believe in the harmful effects of secondhand smoke, there’s one thing that might make you quit: the almighty dollar. Smoking affects not only people’s health and social life but financial situation. Smoking is expensive. Okay, we are not saying that by putting some extra money into a savings account will make you a millionaire but could significantly improve your financial situation. With an average cost of a pack of $6.28 (in the U.S.), smokers who decide on quitting could save a fortune.

Figures reveal that the total cost of smoking is more than $300 billion each year. More than $1700 are spent on medical care for smokers.

It’s surprising that although states will collect more than $26.6 billion from taxes in 2017, they’ll spend less than 2% on prevention. Currently, only Alaska and North Dakota fund anti-tobacco campaigns. Which means that businesses don’t benefit from people quitting. However, it’s up to you to stop smoking and help yourself.

Every smoker has surely heard over and over again how much money they can save if they quit smoking. Most people attribute these savings to the cost they save from the cigarettes themselves. For example, if a person is paying $7 per a pack of cigarettes and they smoke only half a pack a week, they can see yearly savings of as much as $1,277 each year. If a person paying $7 a pack of cigarettes smokes two packs a day, they can see savings as much as $5,110 a  year. If those numbers aren’t impressive enough to spur you into quitting, take a look at the other ways becoming a non-smoker can help to pad your wallet.

Begin To Reverse Your Health Losses

Being a smoker direly effects your health, and a decrease in your health can lead to a decrease in your spending money. For example, smoking lowers your immune system. This means that you must buy more medicine and make more doctors visits. These things cost you money…money you end up saving when you quit.

Lower Health Insurance Costs

Health insurance premiums are lower for non-smokers than they are for smokers. This is because non-smokers tend to be less at risk for numerous diseases.  In addition to lower premiums, you can save as much as $20,000 in your lifetime on medical bills (such as hospital visits, doctor visits, surgeries, medications, etc.) just be becoming a non-smoker. This is over and beyond the basic health losses, we spoke of above.

Smoking & Career

If you’ve never thought that smoking could affect your career, you might be surprised that tobacco smoking can influence your work and professional goals negatively.

What’s more, although employers can’t discriminate you actively, they can prevent you from smoking. That should not come as a surprise. Experts reveal that people exposed to secondhand smoke at work are 17% more likely to suffer from lung cancer. And guess what? Breaks are not unnoticed!

Being banned or restricted affects your social life, as mentioned above, and affects your concentration. In fact, studies show that smokers are more successful in their career and more energetic. Another study showed that smokers manage to get promoted quicker and earn more.

Also, smoking leads to more time off due to health issues and early retirement. Another study revealed that smokers who quit became more productive at work. Isn’t that enough to make you quit?

Last but not least, smoking can lead to higher levels of stress, which can affect one’s work, emotional state, and professional relationships.

To sum up, there are many reasons you should consider before you light your next cigarette. It’s hard to stop smoking, but the benefits in the long-term are worth it.

So do not hesitate and find the right treatment and support near you. Light up your future!

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