Quitting cigarettes is proven to be one of the hardest habits and addictions to overcome. With Nicotine being the third most addictive drug in the world behind only heroin and cocaine, it does not come as a surprise that it’s so difficult to free yourself from the hold cigarettes have on your life. Like most people, you have probably seen the anti-smoking commercials and other media trying to highlight the dangers of smoking. Although many of us are aware of these dangers, it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves how serious they are, as well as emphasize how great the benefits of quitting can be. If you have any interest in quitting, please take the time to check out some of these facts.
There are so many reasons for quitting, but we’ve focused on three overarching ideas. The first is that you should quit for your personal health. Nothing matters more than your health. The second is for the well-being of your friends and family. Your smoking effects the people around you more than you may think. Finally, quitting cigarettes can have large financial benefits, opening new possibilities for the future.
One of the most important reasons to quit cigarettes is the effect that they have on your body and your health. Let’s start with the basics. Every cigarette you smoke contains approximately 7,000 chemicals, at least 70 of which are scientifically proven to be cancer causing. Think about that. Every time you smoke, you are allowing at least 70 cancer causing chemicals to enter your body. Some of these chemicals include; Formaldehyde (used for the preservation of dead animals), Arsenic (rat poison), Butane (which can be found in lighter fluid), Ammonia (used in cleaning products), Pesticides, lead, and tar. That’s only 7 chemicals. Unfortunately, if these chemicals have the effect they are known to have, there is a chance you will end up with some form of cancer. Per an MSN article titled “12 shocking facts that will help you stop smoking,” 90% of lung cancer is attributed to smoking. Additionally, you are put at a much higher risk of developing other lung ailments such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Furthermore, your chance of having a heart attack increases 2x by smoking only 5 cigarettes a day. Considering these facts, it does not come as a surprise that smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths at around 440 thousand deaths per year (American Lung Association).
Cigarettes have a large impact on you, your family, and your ability to have a family. Smoking dramatically lowers your odds of having children. For men, it can lead to erectile dysfunction as well as lowered sperm count. For women, smoking can have an even greater effect on their reproductive abilities. Smoking has been known to cause cervical cancer, increased difficulties in conceiving, miscarriages, and pre-mature births in women already pregnant. Smoking will also impact your existing family. Second hand smoke causes 41 thousand deaths per year (American Lung Association). It is certainly not fair to put them through that, especially when it’s no fault of their own. Also, take into consideration the financial and emotional stress you will cause your family if you or someone in your family develops cancer. One study done by The Lung Cancer Journal estimated that total costs for treatment for someone with lung cancer totals $46,000, or around $11,500 a month, and this is only including what is considered “first round” treatments. This is certainly a large burden to put on your family. Considering the tremendous emotional suffering that will be caused, as well as the financial burden, does it seem worth it?
The financial benefits can be a huge incentive to quit. If you are currently a pack-a-day smoker, you probably spend somewhere between 50 and 70 dollars a week on cigarettes. That is roughly $3,500 a year. Even if you smoke half a pack a day, that would still be approximately $1,600 a year. That is a fair amount of money which could be used for other things such as; Going on a vacation, paying off debt, or putting the down payment on a new car. By quitting smoking you will be able to reallocate money into different assets, making your life more comfortable. Quitting is hard to do, but the benefits can be very rewarding on a multitude of levels. Here is one last thought: If you smoke a pack a day, and a pack of cigarettes costs on average 8 dollars, you will save over 100 thousand dollars over the course of the next 20 years if you quit today. That is a lot of money which could be put towards more beneficial things to you then a pack of cigarettes.
Quitting is extremely difficult to do. It is not easy, nor is it quick. It will take time, and it will more than likely take multiple efforts. It is important to remember in these trying times the reason you are trying to quit. For your own health, for the health of your family, and/or to help yourself financially. You must remember that the reason you’re doing this is to make your life better. Do whatever it is you need to do to stay on the right path. There are many options out there and people willing to help you on this difficult journey. Give yourself a second chance at life and quit today.