Reasons to give up smoking including health, money, children, pregnancy and more.
There are more reasons for you to give up smoking than there are for you to continue with this life-threatening habit and harmful addiction.
Giving up smoking is undoubtedly one of the most difficult things that you will ever have to do in your life, physically, emotionally and psychologically, and even more so if you have been smoking for many years and have a high level of addiction.
It is never too late to give up. Even if you have been smoking heavily for forty years. Your health and quality of life will still improve dramatically after you quit.
As soon as you stub out your last ever cigarette and get rid of your beloved packet, your body will start to heal and repair the damage caused from smoking within the hour.
Very quickly you will begin to notice the benefits of quitting, which should give you motivation not to light up, ever again.
The following are some of the major reasons and advantages of giving up smoking:
- The cost of smoking
- Smoking and health
- Smoking and pregnancy
- Women and smoking
- Men and smoking
- Children and smoking
- Passive Smoking
- Smoking and our physical appearance
- Social acceptance
The cost of smoking
One of the main reasons for giving up smoking for some people is the fact that it is just too expensive and they just can't afford to keep smoking.
If you sat down and calculated exactly how much money you actually spent on cigarettes last year, you would probably be quite shocked and horrified.
For those of you who smoke a packet a day (in the UK), you are actually spending around £3000 a year on your habit.
If you have been smoking for 10 years, you could have bought yourself a really nice car or put the money towards a deposit on a house for example.
For those of you who have smoked for 40 years, you could have bought a house outright in cash, with all the money you have spent on cigarettes.
It is therefore fair to say that giving up smoking is very beneficial for your bank balance amongst other things.
With the extra money saved from not smoking, you could afford to treat yourself, your family and friends from time to time; you could relax with the knowledge that you have a little extra money in the bank for emergencies or you could invest the money into property or other commodities.
Use our calculator below to work out exactly how much money you spend per week, month, year and so on, on buying cigarettes.
Select how many packets a day you smoke, your local currency, the current cost of a packet of cigarettes, and then click the calculate button.
Smoking and health
This is most definitely the most important reason to give up smoking.
Numerous smokers find out the hard way, when it is too late to do something about it and the damage has already been done.
Smoking is the cause of many diseases, some fatal and others somewhat debilitating, yet all seriously affect your health and therefore affect your quality of life as well as the life of those who are nearest and dearest to you.
Most of us are aware that smoking can cause lung cancer and heart disease. However, these illnesses are not the only ones that a smoker should be worrying about.
Firstly, researchers have found that an adult male smoker loses 13.2 years of his life, whilst an adult female smoker will lose 14.5 years of hers.
In other words, most smokers do not live as long as non-smokers. Those who die from smoking will have lost between 10 - 30 years of their life.
Smoking is the cause of 9 out of 10 cases of lung cancer and is the biggest risk factor for other types of cancer as well.
As a smoker you are also putting yourself at a higher risk of developing cancer of the mouth, voice box, throat, bladder, kidney, stomach, colon, pancreas, liver, rectum, cervix or oesophagus.
Heavy smokers are also in danger of damaging their lungs and developing any of the severe respiratory conditions that make breathing extremely difficult, such as bronchitis or emphysema.
People who suffer from these illnesses may find that they get out of breath after walking a short distance, climbing a few steps or even from carrying out some light housework. This shortness of breath will also be accompanied by a constant chesty cough, which has no cure.
These people and many more are probably wondering right now whether it was worth it. They have probably all reached the same conclusion that smoking a load of cigarettes is no substitute for your health.
Moving on to heart disease. It has been proven that smokers are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack than non-smokers and that smoking can lead to other types of heart conditions such as angina or arterial sclerosis.
All of the above should be reason enough to give up smoking, preferably as soon as possible, if you haven't done so already.
By giving up smoking you will greatly reduce the risk of developing all forms of cancer, heart disease and lung disease. Your life expectancy will increase as will the quality of your life.
The good news is that 15 years after giving up smoking, the risk of developing lung cancer is only slightly higher than that of a non-smoker, whilst the risk of suffering a heart attack will be more or less the same as someone who has never smoked.
If you give up tomorrow or in the future, the information below shows you how your health will improve over a period of time.
- 20 mins after giving up: Your blood pressure and pulse rate will return to normal and healthy levels and your circulation, especially in your hands and body will improve.
- 8 hours after giving up: The risk of suffering a heart attack will begin to fall and the level of oxygen will increase to a normal level.
- 12 hrs after giving up: The level of carbon monoxide in your body will decrease.
- 24 hrs after giving up: Carbon monoxide will have gone from your body and your lungs will start to rid themselves of mucus and debris.
- 36 hrs after giving up: Nerve endings that were destroyed from smoking will start to grow again.
- 48 hrs after giving up: There will be no nicotine left in your body and your sense of smell and taste will begin to improve.
- 72 hrs after giving up: You will be able to breathe more easily and your energy levels will increase.
- 2 - 12 wks after giving up: There will be an improvement in your circulation throughout your whole body.
- 3 - 9 months after giving up: Breathing difficulties decrease and your lungs will be 5 - 10% more effective.
- 5 years after giving up: The risk of suffering a heart attack will fall to half that of a smoker.
- 10 years after giving up: You will be 50% less likely to develop lung cancer than you were as a smoker and will have the same risk of suffering a heart attack as a person who has never smoked.
Smoking and pregnancy
Fortunately many women do give up smoking during
pregnancy or beforehand when trying to conceive.
This is the best thing that a woman can do for her unborn child, as it will save the child from a number of possible health complications in the future.
Women who smoke when pregnant run the risk of giving birth to a low-weight baby. Low-weight babies are more likely to become physically deformed in some way than babies of a healthy weight. There is also a greater risk of the baby being born stillborn or even dying shortly after birth.
This can be due to a premature delivery, which is much more common in women that smoke. Women who smoke may also find it harder to conceive and they are also at a higher risk of losing the baby through miscarriage.
Women and smoking
Incidentally women are not only endangering the health of their child by smoking, but they are obviously harming their own health as well.
More recently, in certain areas of the UK, a greater number of women die from lung cancer than they do from breast cancer, which was formerly the leading cause of death amongst women.
As well as potentially developing the same smoking-related diseases as men, female smokers are at a higher risk of developing other debilitating illnesses.
For example, there are many more recent cases of osteoporosis or "reduction of bone mass and density" in women. This crippling disease has been linked to smoking and statistics show that women who smoke 20 cigarettes a day throughout their adult life, could reduce their bone density by 5 - 10% by the time that they reach menopause. Therefore one of the best ways of preventing the onset of osteoporosis is certainly by giving up smoking.
Female smokers over the age of 35, who use the contraceptive pill as birth control, suffer a greater risk of having a heart attack, stroke and blood clots in the legs.
And for those wishing to conceive, smokers are three times more likely to take over a year to do so than non-smokers.
If you are a female smoker reading this, then there are more than a few worrying factors to think about if you continue to smoke.
Remember, no matter how old you are, it is never to late to give up smoking. The rewards will be immediate.
Men and smoking
Although it has been proven that the health risks are slightly greater for women, men are putting themselves at risk as well.
How many of you realise that smoking can cause impotence in men due to the blood vessels in the penis being destroyed from smoking? The risk of impotence increases to 50% in male smokers aged between 30 and 40.
Not only that, it gets worse. The size of the erection decreases and the quality and density of a man's sperm also deteriorates. The sperm that is produced may contain a higher amount of abnormal cells.
This is without a doubt something to think about if you are planning on having a baby and an enjoyable sex life.
Children and smoking
Obviously it is an adult's choice whether he or she wishes to smoke. However, what about the children at home? They have no choice in the matter and their health is jeopardised if their parents smoke around them.
Children that grow up in a home where there is smoking are more likely to suffer from pneumonia or bronchitis earlier on in life. As they grow older, it is possible that they will miss more days from school due to poor health caused by their parent's smoking.
Children that are brought up in a smoky home suffer from more colds, ear and chest infections, asthma, headaches, sickness and respiratory conditions than children from a no smoking family.
If you are a smoker and have children, they have probably asked you to quit smoking at some time, as they will hate the smell and may be able to see the detrimental effect that is has on your health.
Some of these children will grow up and never smoke, especially if they have witnessed the adverse effects of smoking on someone that they love.
However, despite the fact that your children may not like the smoking now, as they get older they are three times more likely to take up the habit themselves if both parents smoke at home.
If you do have to smoke around your children, then it might be an idea to smoke outside so that the risk of them developing cancer or heart disease in the future is reduced.
As mentioned previously, it is our choice whether we smoke or not. We are all aware that smoking is unfavourable to our health. Unfortunately, we have become addicted and find it almost impossible to give up.
However, did you know that, as well as putting our own lives at risk from smoking, we are also harming the lives of those around us that do not smoke?
Recent studies have proven that thousands of people, who have never even touched a cigarette in their life, have died from lung cancer and heart disease.
In the short term, exposure
to second hand smoke or passive smoking can cause headaches, coughs, a sore throat, dizziness and nausea amongst other symptoms in non-smokers.
In the long term, being around smokers in the work place or at home can lead to a 20% - 30% increase in the risk of developing lung cancer or some form of heart disease.
If you do smoke, be aware that your habit is affecting the health of those around you.
Smoking and our physical appearance
Many people nowadays, especially women, are worried about their appearance and as they get older, spend more and more money on products that presumably slow down or hide the effects of ageing.
Tobacco, believe it or not, causes premature wrinkling of the skin, above all around the eyes and mouth. This is due to poor circulation and low oxygen levels in the blood.
Quitting smoking will stop more damage being done to your skin and as soon as you stop smoking the appearance of your skin will improve. It will lose its dullness and yellow/grey shade and become brighter and younger looking. This is due to the increase of oxygen in your body, which in turn leads to an improvement in your circulation and a healthier skin.
Smoking also affects your mouth and teeth. The nicotine, over time, stains your teeth a yellowish brown colour. Smoking can also cause gum disease and bad breath.
How many of you as smokers are fed up with your hair, clothes and home constantly reeking of cigarettes? Or even worse, how many non-smokers are fed up with stinking of tobacco smoke after a night out a pub or club?
The benefits of giving up in this case would be nice smelling hair, fresh smelling and clean clothes and a home that no longer smells of smoke.
Other benefits that you would soon begin to notice are a sharper sense and taste and smell. You won't believe how good your food suddenly tastes.
Smoking is less socially accepted nowadays than it was say twenty years ago. As more and more research proves how bad smoking actually is for us, governments are being pressurised into acting to protect non-smokers from the harmful effects of tobacco smoke.
More and more restaurants, bars and public places are banning smoking, which for non-smokers is good, but for smokers, quite annoying.
Some employees and landlords prefer to take on non-smokers, as they have to think about their business or their homes in the latter case.
It can be said that smokers are now being discriminated against socially.
Some non-smokers would not even consider dating, let alone marrying a person who smokes.
In many respects, the prospects of a smoker, do not appear to look so good.
In conclusion, the list below offers many reasons for you to give up your smoking habit.
- You will reduce the risk of developing cancer, heart disease and any other smoking-related conditions to that of a non-smoker within 15 years.
- You will increase your life expectancy.
- You will have a much healthier bank balance, allowing you to treat yourself and enjoy a better quality of life.
- You will feel fitter, be able to enjoy exercise and cope with running for a bus or train.
- You will slow down the premature ageing process and formation of wrinkles.
- Your skin and hair will be healthier and brighter.
- Your teeth will be whiter, your gums will be healthier and you will no longer suffer from bad breath.
- You will give birth to a healthier baby.
- You will conceive quicker.
- You will reduce the risk of impotence.
- You will not harm the health of those around you.
- You will breathe more easily and cough less.
- Giving up smoking and sticking to it will give you a new lease of confidence and a belief that you can conquer almost anything.