5 Benefits of quitting smoking

We’ve talked before about what happens to both your body and your wallet when you start out on your journey to quitting smoking.

But let’s get a little more in-depth and look at the real reasons for quitting.

1.      The morals of your spending money

The average smoker spends over €3,000 a year on cigarettes. This number increases significantly if you smoke a pack a day. (Here’s a calculator so you can work out how much you spend on cigarettes.)

We’ve also outlined the things you could buy with that money, ranging from luxury holidays to small cars to all the electronics you could want.

Let’s look at the cost of your smoking not to you, but to your friends and family. It’s been reported here and elsewhere that smoking costs the Irish state about €1billion a year in healthcare and untold man-hours for our overworked health system. That’s like bailing out a financial institution every single year.

And if you’re lucky enough to have a partner, spouse or child, it might be worth thinking about the 3k a year that’s coming out of the family kitty to sustain your smoking habit. How many mortgage payments, dental and medical bills, holidays, educational costs or Christmas and birthday presents could be paid for with that money? Smoking is your choice, but it doesn’t just affect you.

2.      The smell

While you may not appreciate your sense of smell when you get a whiff of old food or a city on a Sunday morning, it’s there for an important evolutionary reason – to help you avoid poisons and toxins (What’s the easiest way to tell if milk has gone off?)

The compromise on a smoker’s sense of taste and smell is well documented. (Here’s one of many studies on the subject.) It’s also, funnily enough, one of the greatest causes of social tensions between smokers and non-smokers: Those who burn chemicals and breathe them in through their nose are often oblivious to how toxic the smell is to non-smokers.

When you quit smoking, you’ll soon become more aware of how it smells, and when you walk into a confined smoking area and feel like gagging, try to remember that this is what you smelled like when you had the habit. Nobody – not even smokers – will say that it’s their favourite aroma.

3.      Smoking in public areas is being stamped out

Did you know that once upon a time it was socially acceptable to smoke on a plane? (Here’s a funny archive article about the 1988 smoking ban on American planes.)

You don’t have to be a Mad Men fan to know that smoking was once commonplace in the workplace. The Irish workplace smoking ban incidentally has saved approximately 4,000 lives.

Now – thankfully – you can’t smoke in cars when children are present. And you can expect more regulations to follow. As any former smoker will tell you, it’s much less stressful to quit on your own terms than when you’ve been peer pressured. Now is the time.

4.      Health

We all know that smoking increases the likelihood of cancer, heart disease and an early death. (Do we even need to bring up the famous stat that smoking can take 10-15 years off your life?)

So let’s take a glance at the overlooked health risks of smoking cigarettes. Did you, for instance, know that smoking also increases the risk of Alzheimer’s and Lupus?

The good news is that the earlier you ditch cigarettes, the sooner the health benefits kick in. This brings us to…

5.      Fitness

As we’ve said before, smoking has a corrosive effect on your lungs, but once you ditch the traditional cigarettes, your lungs will thank you. And – you may not believe this at first – but you’d be surprised how many former smokers leap into exercise when they ditch the cigarettes.

Suddenly their lungs can process the extra burden and they’re taking up walking and running, hitting the gym and feeling and looking better than ever before.

Don’t believe us? A cursory search online for former smokers turned runners reveals countless message boards and tips for ex-smokers turned runners. There’s even a movement for ex-smokers who want to exercise called Ex Smokers are Unstoppable.

Have a browse around our site and our blog to learn more about VIP. Whether you make the switch to e-cigarettes or not, we would encourage you to quit smoking. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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