Why should you stop smoking? That’s the question that kicks off every attempt at smoking cessation. Here are a few overwhelming reasons to quit smoking for good.
- You’ll Live Longer if You Quit Smoking
To quit smoking is to literally gain a new lease on life. “There’s no single thing you can do to your body on a regular basis that’s as negative as smoking,” says Thomas Glynn, PhD. “The Surgeon General said it causes damage to nearly every organ in your body. About half of all smokers who continue with their habit will die of a smoking-related disease. Cancer is the biggie, of course; smoking is linked to 15 forms of cancer. Then there’s lung disease, heart disease, and other smoking-related illnesses. Male smokers lose an average of 13.2 years of life due to smoking, while female smokers lose an average of 14.5 years of life.
- You’ll Be Protecting Family and Friends if You Quit Smoking
Smokers aren’t just taking themselves down. They’re also harming everyone exposed to their smoke. Second hand smoke kills about 50,000 people a year and sickens many more, particularly children. In fact, a recent study found that pregnant women who live or work with smokers had a higher risk of stillbirth than those who weren’t in close contact with smokers, suggesting that exposure to tobacco smoke can harm even unborn babies. Experts speculate that the chemicals in cigarettes may harm the fetus by restricting blood flow and possibly damaging the placenta. Second hand smoke contains all the same carcinogens found in the smoke that’s been inhaled into your lungs. Infants and children in smokers’ homes suffer more colds, bronchitis, ear infections, and other lung and breathing problems than kids in smoke-free homes.
- Your Body Can Start to Repair Itself When You Quit Smoking
Your body starts repairing itself within hours after that last cigarette. “You start getting your strength back within a week to 10 days after you quit,” Glyn says. “You also get back your sense of smell and taste.” Your heart rate and blood pressure drops almost immediately, and within weeks your circulation and ability to breathe improve dramatically. You’ll also look better. Smoking prematurely ages the skin, causing wrinkles. Smoking stains your teeth, fingers, and fingernails, and causes bad breath.
- People Will Like You More if You Quit Smoking
Smoking is much less socially acceptable these days. Nearly all workplaces ban smoking from buildings. Some landlords don’t rent to smokers, due to higher maintenance costs and more expensive insurance rates. Most public events are now smoke-free, and more states and communities are enacting laws to ban smoking from all indoor public places.
- You’ll Be Saving Money
Smoking is a very expensive habit. a year on tobacco use. Just add up all the money you’re spending on a day’s worth of smokes, then multiply that by 365. Don’t forget to figure in higher health and life insurance rates, as well as higher health care costs down the line when your habit catches up with you. Your health, your family, your finances —what reason could you possibly have not to quit?