Quitting smoking can be tough. It’s a real addiction that takes serious resolve and will power to overcome. But being reminded of all the positives that could come from it could help you kick those cravings. There are so many great reasons to quit the habit—for your health, your family and even your wallet!
Here are 14 great reasons to quit smoking today:
1. You might start to feel better in as little as 20 minutes!
The benefits of quitting smoking can happen fast. Twenty minutes after you put down your last cigarette, your blood pressure may start to lower, your heart rate should return to normal and your circulation may start to improve—and it only gets better from there!
2. It could help you avoid major illness down the road.
The longer you’re smoke free, the more health rewards you could reap. The risk of heart disease, stroke and certain cancers may all decrease within one to ten years of kicking the habit.
3. You might catch fewer colds.
Smokers are more likely to catch a cold than non-smokers, and their symptoms are usually worse and last longer,1 too. Same goes for the flu and other viral infections.
4. It might help you live a bit longer.
How much time can a single cigarette shave off your life? Eleven minutes. That doesn’t sound like much, but it can add up quickly. If you started smoking when you were a teenager and pass away at age 71, you could lose up to six and half years off your life.2
5. Your family could be healthier too!
We probably all know the dangers of secondhand smoke by now, but here’s a reminder: 350 New Zealanders die every year because they’ve breathed secondhand smoke.3 Even if you don’t smoke around your family, the chemicals from tobacco can cling to clothing and still cause harm.
6. It’s better for your pets.
It’s not just humans that are affected by secondhand smoke. Animals who live with smokers are more likely to develop lung and other cancers than those with owners who don’t smoke.4
7. It could help you find a love match.
A recent survey in the UK found that most respondents—up to 91%—wouldn’t date a smoker.5 That really limits your dating pool if you’re still looking for love!
8. You might smell a bit nicer.
The odour of cigarettes can get almost anywhere—your skin, hair, breath, clothing. You might not notice it after a while, but others probably do. The number one reason why people said they wouldn’t date a smoker? The smell.5
9. It could help you look better.
Yellow teeth, greyish skin, acne and even hair loss can all be caused by smoking.6 Quitting can help reverse some of the damage—or at the very least stop some of the premature ageing that happens to many smokers.
10. It might reduce your stress.
Studies have shown that people who quit smoking tend to be less stressed than those who don’t. Turns out, the relief felt after smoking is short lived and might have more to do with craving a cigarette than your overall stress levels.7
11. You could save a lot of money
Smoking is expensive, but you probably already know that. Still, it can be helpful to work out exactly what you’d save by quitting. A pack-a-day habit costs around $10,800 per year—imagine how else you could use that money! (Head to Quit.org.nz to calculate how much smoking is costing you.)
12. You might pay less for life insurance.
Paying less for life insurance is another way quitting could help you save money. Non-smokers generally pay less than smokers for cover. If you’ve been smoke-free for a year or more, check with your insurer—they might be able to lower your premiums.
13. It could make holidays a bit easier.
Smoking might be adding stress to your holiday. Finding smoke-friendly hotels, looking for designated smoking areas, worrying about breaking local laws or cultural taboos—quitting can help simplify your planning and leave you more relaxed whilst you’re there.
14. It could keep your house in tip top shape.
A smoker’s home can sometimes be tough to sell. Years of smoking inside can yellow walls or leave the entire place with a nasty smell that doesn’t easily go away. Quitting could make your home more welcoming to guests now and potential buyers if you decide to sell.
Hopefully this list has a reason or two to encourage you to quit smoking. In fact, save this article and open it up the next time a cigarette craving hits. Running through all the great reasons to stay smoke-free could help you say no to lighting up.
Being smoke-free is one of the best ways to help protect your heart health. Learn more amazing facts about the human heart.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is of general nature, and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs or seek professional advice, where necessary.
1. Yale News, Study shows why cigarette smoke makes flu, other viral infections worse
2. The BMJ, Time for a smoke? One cigarette reduces your life by 11 minutes
3. Quitline, Reasons to Quit: Your Family
4. Live Science, Secondhand Smoke Causes Cancer in Pets
5. Inspiro, 91% of people wouldn't date a smoker because of...
6. DermNet NZ, Smoking and its effects on the skin
7. International Journal of Addiction, Smoking cessation leads to reduced stress, but why?