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7 Reasons to quit smoking today

    For many people, smoking is more than just a bad habit. It’s an addiction that can be tough to overcome. You may have thought about quitting, but decided against it because it’s “too hard”. Maybe you tried to quit before, but started up again—why quit if you’re not able to do it for good? Or perhaps you’ve not found a good enough reason to try.

    If you’re on the fence about trying to lead a smoke-free lifestyle, a reminder of everything you could gain might be helpful. Having a strong reason or goal to remind you why you’re quitting could be a helpful reminder to keep you on track.

    Here are seven reasons to quit smoking today, for anyone needing some extra motivation.

    For your health

    Smoking is tied to many general health issues. You probably already know this, but it could be good to hear it again. From arthritis and diabetes to erectile dysfunction and ectopic pregnancy, smoking can negatively affect just about every part of the body. Quitting smoking could be a simple way to help improve your overall health and wellbeing.

    For better sleep

    Studies have shown that smoking and poor sleep are often very closely related. People who smoke often find it harder to fall asleep and wake up than those who don’t. Because nicotine is a stimulant, cigarette smokers may also have trouble staying asleep throughout the night. This poor, interrupted sleep may make it harder to concentrate throughout the day, or worse—it could lead to a serious accident. 

    For your longevity

    Smoking can lead to a long list of serious health conditions and illnesses. These include things like heart disease, stroke and certain cancers. Reducing your cigarette dependency could help you evade death for a little while longer. Just one year after quitting, your risk of heart attack drops sharply, and within 10 years your risk of developing lung cancer could be reduced by almost half. While we all face the prospect of dying, those who smoke face a much starker reality.

    For your friendships

    Smoking used to be a social exercise. People often went to bars and clubs specifically to enjoy a cigarette or cigar with others. However, smokers are now scene as social pariahs in many countries. What was once a common social practice that brought people together is now seen as an individual preference that often separates the smoker from others. Quitting smoking could give you back cherished time with friends and family. No longer will you have to be the person standing alone in a small cordoned off area, while life goes on around you.

    For your love life

    Being in a relationship with a smoker can be very difficult for the non-smoker. Dating websites that conduct polls generally find that most people surveyed wouldn’t enter a relationship with someone who smokes, which could greatly shrink your potential dating pool. They’re likely worried about their partner’s health, as well as their own by being exposed to second-hand smoke. There are also things like the smell of nicotine clinging to their partner, their clothes and bedding. If the two have children, there’s also the possible impacts to their children’s health and wellbeing to think about. 

    For your savings account

    Regular smoking can be very expensive. The average pack of cigarettes in New Zealand costs about $30, meaning if you smoke a pack a day, you’re spending almost $11,000 each year! That’s a lot of money that could go towards a mortgage, travel or into a savings account. But quitting could help you save in other ways. Life and funeral insurance premiums are partially based on if you smoke, with non-smokers generally paying less than smokers. You might also be able to access cheaper health insurance and spend less on doctor’s visits and healthcare.

    For your quality of life

    Smoking not only potentially reduces how long you may live, it can also reduce your overall quality of life. Let’s face it, smoking can be a real hassle. Imagine watching an entire movie at the cinemas or going on a long-haul flight without needing to think about when you are going to have your next cigarette break. Imagine finding food tastier, enjoying smells more and finding it easier to play with your kids, join a sport or just walk up a flight of stairs without losing your breath. Life could be full of so much more joy and fun!

    Don’t these all sound like great reasons to kick the habit? Whatever your reason for quitting—your health, relationships or wallet—it could be one of the best decisions you could make. If you’re serious about quitting smoking, talk to your doctor for tips on becoming and staying smoke-free.