Everyone knows that “smoking kills,” but has that been enough of a reason for you to quit? The nicotine in cigarettes make them addictive, but there are other underlying reasons why you may find it hard to quit smoking. It can be a habitual, stress-relieving habit that you rely on to get through the day, even if it’s costing you your health.
Quitting smoking is easier for some than others, but there are plenty of reasons why you should get serious about kicking cigarettes to the curb. Learning about the benefits of quitting smoking can be a good motivator when you’re tempted to go fall back on old habits.
Although people have their own personal reasons for quitting smoking, here are seven common ones that may help you find the incentive you need to quit for good.
1. You May Live Longer
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve smoked; quitting any age can increase your life expectancy. Research has found that even quitting after age 60 can add years to your life.
Cigarette smoke is responsible for over 480,000 deaths each year in the United States alone. For every person who dies from a smoking-related disease, at least 30 live with a serious illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
It takes time for your body to counteract the long-term effects of smoking, but the day you quit will instantly begin to improve your health and extend your life.
2. You Can Protect Your Friends and Family
Second-hand smoke can be just as deadly as smoking yourself. Every year, 41,000 people die from a disease caused by secondhand smoke. This means that when you smoke around family and friends, you’re putting their health at risk, too.
Secondhand smoke can also trigger asthma attacks, and no one wants to be responsible for causing anyone pain and suffering. Exposure to secondhand smoke can also increase people’s risk of developing heart disease.
If knowing the health risks of smoking aren’t enough to stop you, consider the well-being of your loved ones. Is their health worth it?
3. Your Sense of Smell and Taste Will Improve
Smoking dulls your senses, so even the best meal of your life won’t be as good if you’re a smoker. There are so many wonderful things to indulge in, and smoking can make it hard to enjoy them to the fullest. When you quit smoking today, you’ll begin to start focusing on your senses more and truly enjoy the little things in life.
You may notice a difference in just a few days, but the most noticeable changes will occur after around six months of going smoke-free.
4. You Can Look Younger
Premature aging occurs more rapidly in smokers. People in their 30’s who have smoked for years are subject to developing leathery skin, wrinkles and wind up looking much older than their actual age. When you smoke, your blood vessels constrict, denying your tissues the oxygen they need to function normally.
Without adequate blood flow, your organs suffer, including your skin. Smoking also stains your teeth and can lead to tooth decay. You’ll immediately be able to start recovering your smile and slow down the signs of aging when you quit smoking and adopt a healthier diet and fitness routine.
5. You May Have Better Luck Dating
Smoking is out of fashion, and a lot of people don’t want to be in a relationship with someone who smokes regularly. You may smoke to cope with the stress of a breakup or divorce, but this may only prolong your singleness.
People are drawn toward energetic, healthy people. If you lead a healthy life for yourself, you’re more likely to attract a partner who is equally healthy and a good influence in your life.
6. You Could Get Sick Less Often
Smoking weakens your immune system, so you’re more likely to contract the cold, flu and other viral and bacterial infections.
When you quit smoking, your immune system will become stronger, making you less prone to ear infections, colds and the like. You’ll also gradually begin to decrease your risk of contracting more serious conditions like heart disease, cancer and a stroke.
7. You Can Save Money
Smoking is a costly habit. In New York, the average price for a pack of cigarettes is $12.50. With state tax added, that’s a whopping $14 per pack. This means the average New York smoker can spend over $4,000 a year on cigarettes.
Even if a pack of cigarettes is cheaper in your state, the average smoker will spend at least $1,000 a year on cigarettes. Think about how much more useful that money could be in a savings account, retirement fund or put toward a vacation.
More Health Benefits (infographic)
If you find it too hard to quit smoking on your own, there are plenty of resources available online that can help. You may want to try nicotine patches, which you can purchase at the store and gradually help you wean your body off the addictive substance.
You can also talk to your doctor about quitting smoking. They can give you a thorough health examination and offer some great advice on how you can start to adopt healthier habits and take better care of yourself.