Anyone who smokes would have suffered their fair share of nagging from family and friends begging them to quit. Almost every smoker is aware of the long-term risks of smoking. He or she knows that smoking can cause heart diseases, lung diseases, stroke, bronchitis, and even cancer.
However, knowing these risks may not be enough of a push to encourage them to quit, especially if they are young. Quitting smoking is definitely not an easy task. Statistics show that 75%-80% of smokers have expressed interest in quitting, but only a fraction of them follow through. These same statistics show that it takes an average smoker between five to 10 attempts before successfully quitting.
Regardless if it’s for you or a friend, or even a family member, some extra motivation might be necessary. So here are 10 reasons to quit smoking.
1. Smelling Like Smoke
Anyone who smokes or lives/works in close proximity with a smoker can testify to this fact. Most smokers are self-conscious about smelling like smoke, however, it is not a topic that they do not like to talk about. Some may say they like the smell, but the majority do not.
One of the easiest ways to deter young people from smoking is to tell them, “No one likes to kiss an ashtray.”
2. Sense of Smell and Taste
Smoking is known to dull the senses of smell and taste. Many studies have been conducted that prove there is a direct correlation between smoking and the deterioration of your sense of smell. Many smokers have reported that they cannot taste foods as intensely as they did before smoking. In reality, it is not their ability to taste, but rather their sense of smell that diminishes the ability to taste.
Quitting smoking can return your senses very fast. It only takes a few days before your senses start returning, and it will make eating a much more pleasurable experience. All it takes is the first step towards stubbing out that last cigarette.
3. Premature Aging
Smoking damages more than just your internal organs. It also drastically affects your skin. Smokers tend to have more leathery skin and also more deep wrinkles, especially if they are regular smokers. Some studies have also shown that smoking can cause the body to speed up the ageing process.
4. Social Pressures
While it may have been “cool” and “hip” to smoke when you were younger, there are much more stigmas revolving around smoking as you grow older. In the working world, many companies frown upon smokers. They may see it as an individual diminishing their image. Even if you are self-employed, your clients or customers may not want to do business with a smoker.
Any smoker who has been smoking for a while will have noticed their teeth and fingernails slowly getting a yellowish tinge. This should be one of the most compelling reasons to quit. No one wants to see a person flash a yellow smile. Some might even get disgusted at the thought of shaking hands with a smoker simply because of their fingernails.
This should be a significant reason for quitting, especially for men. Smoking increases the chances of impotence dramatically for men. The chemicals in cigarette smoke affect blood vessels, including those that must dilate in order for an erection to occur.
7. Increased Infections
Most smokers are well informed about the long-term health risks associated with smoking. However, many do not realise that smoking even one cigarette makes you much more susceptible to common infections such as the cold or flu.
Smoking paralyses tiny hairs called cilia that help protect us from bacteria and infections. Within a month of quitting, the cilia in your body will start performing their role again.
8. Passive Smoking
Smoking not only harms you but others around you. It is estimated that 50,000 deaths are caused annually by secondhand smoke. There are also a number of studies that show that when an entire community goes smoke-free, the proportion of heart attacks seen at hospitals reduces by about 25%.
When you quit smoking, you are not only helping yourself but also every single person around you.
9. Impact on Physical Activity
This is a no-brainer. Smoking is directly related to lower lung capacity and that will definitely have an adverse reaction on your ability to perform physically. There are numerous reports on how smokers who were previously extremely active can no longer perform physical activities they once easily took part in.
The cost of tobacco is definitely one of the major reasons an individual decides to quit. Though cigarette prices vary around the world, the average price of a pack would be around $8. You do the math. If you smoke a pack a day, how much money are you wasting in a year?
The figure you come up with is just the cost of buying cigarettes. Add to that the cost of medical bills in the long term and you would have a very big figure that I’m sure your bank account will not appreciate.