The benefits of quitting smoking can be summarized in 3 categories: the health benefits, the financial benefits, and the social benefits. By understanding each of these, people are less likely to give in when they are trying to quit.
Smoking is associated with some of the most serious illnesses including the top killers such as cancer and heart disease. One year after quitting, a person's risk of having a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker. Fifteen years after quitting it is about the same level as a non-smoker. Within 10 -15 years of quitting, a person's risk of getting lung cancer is only slightly higher than a person that has been a non-smoker.
This has obvious benefits for the smoker in terms of survivorship. But there are also savings for the community. The cost of treating health complications that are caused by or exacerbated by smoking runs into the millions.
There are also cost savings to be made by the individual. Cigarettes are not cheap, costing around $ 5 in the USA and £ 5 in the UK for a pack of 20. Quitting a 20 a day habit would put the best part of two grand in your pocket. How would you fancy a two grand pay rise for the rest of your life?
Using this money for something special is a strong motivator for many people to give up. For instance you could work out exactly what you spend and then say that if you stay cigarette-free for the next year, you will take your family to the Caribbean for a holiday. Tell them that you are doing the challenge as well and they will be sure to help you avoid temptation.
There are also social benefits to not smoking. Who wants to kiss a person that tastes like an old ashtray? Your clothes will no longer smell and you will not get disappointing looks when you light up in a restaurant.
Society is changing. It is still within living memory that if you worked in an open office it was very common for there to be smog of cigarette smoke. Not anymore. Most companies have a smoking ban in public areas, and many countries have introduced legislation to ban smoking in public buildings like restaurants and cinemas. Break the rules and you are seen as an outcast.
The benefits of quitting smoking are numerous, but many people still need help to kick the habit. You should contact your doctor or smoking cessation specialist to find a solution for you.