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15 Reasons To Quit Smoking, and Discussion of Proposed New Cigarette Warning Labels

June 22, 2011 · 18 comments

in Health & Fitness, Personal Finance

According to CNN, the Food and Drug Administration will be forcing cigarette makers to place graphic labels on their products which will depict the negative effects of cigarette smoking.  Examples of such labels are organs that have been ravaged by the effects of cigarettes, a corpse of a smoker, a mother holding her child with cigarette smoke swirling around them, and others.

I saw some of the proposed labels, and I must say, the images were disturbing.   It is expected that these new labels will hopefully get twenty percent of smokers to at least seriously consider kicking the habit.  Although I don’t know how much a scary label will make people want to quit smoking, I do have a lot of other reasons that people should not smoke as well…

My Top 15 Reasons To Quit Smoking (Or Never Start)

  1. You will (most likely) lengthen your life span
  2. You (may) increase the life span of those around you
  3. You will have more energy, as your vital organs won’t be working overtime trying to stay oxygenated.
  4. Besides reducing your chances of getting life-threatening illnesses, you will also suffer from less nuisance illnesses, like upper respiratory infections.  (This according to a study published by the Annals of Internal Medicine.  Not to mention it is pretty much common sense.)
  5. You won’t have to stand outside in inclement weather or leave the dinner table to go smoke outside.
  6. There will be less chance you will burn your house down (or damage your furniture).
  7. You won’t have to freeze driving around in the winter with your hand out the window to deposit your ashes and cigarette butts.
  8. Your teeth and fingernails won’t get further stained from all the nicotine
  9. You will have improved fertiliity (smoking affects the lining of the uterus and also can affect the potency of sperm)
  10. You will improve your sense of taste and smell
  11. You, your clothes, and your home won’t smell like a bar.  (Side note:  mints do not fool people into thinking you don’t smoke.  All it does is create a mint-smoke-combination smell.)
  12. People will want to visit your home more often, as many people are turned off by the smell of cigarette smoke (I am one of those people).
  13. People won’t stare at you when you are smoking at the park or the beach because you are smelling up the environment
  14. You will spend less on health care for yourself and your family.  (Less illnesses, plus possibly cheaper insurance premiums)
  15. You can save a lot of money!  Lets say you smoke one pack of cigarettes a day at a cost of 5 dollars per pack, resulting in a cost of $150 per month.  Lets also assume you smoked for 40 years.  If you instead invested that money each month instead of smoking it, you would have amassed almost $384,000 at the end of those 40 years.  That doesn’t even count all the money wasted on smoking related costs, like increased medical and life insurance (and other) costs.  In addition to having a nice sum of money, you would have pinker lungs, nicer teeth, and a whole host of other great things in your life.

Once you evaluate all the sacrifices you make in order to smoke, next think about the great things you gain from smoking. Have you come up with any yet?  The ONLY thing I can think of is you might weigh a little less than a non-smoker.  It is surprising that anyone lights up at all when you really sit and think about what people go through and give up in order to smoke.

Free Smoking Cessation Programs Are Available

If you have been wanting to stop smoking and don’t know where to start, contact your doctor today.   Or, if you would rather start by getting more information on smoking cessation, you can visit smokefree.gov.  Smokefree.gov is a government funded program designed to assist those that wish to stop smoking.  It seems to be a very helpful site, which can help you find local resources to help you quit smoking, and they also provide a ‘Quitline’ that is staffed with trained smoking cessation counselors Monday thru Friday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.   I do not have any personal experience with this website, but it can’t hurt to check it out!

(There are also other free programs available to help you stop smoking.  Just Google “free smoking cessation programs” to get more information.)

So I am curious, if you smoke or did smoke, why did you start?  (I am directing this more toward people that knew it was unhealthy to smoke in the first place, not those that were hooked before the medical community realized it was a dangerous habit.)  Going back to my original point, would graphic images on a pack of cigarettes showing someone smoking through a hole in their neck get you to quit?  I know many people that smoke think that they won’t be one of those people that get sick from smoking, or that they will be able to quit whenever they want.  Those people better think again though.  I have watched someone die from emphysema, and it was nothing short of horrifying.   Please don’t let this happen to you, and don’t put your family through such an awful ordeal.  The dangers of smoking are very real, and addressing your addiction is not something you should ignore and say you will deal with tomorrow. Think about what you are doing to your body and your wallet by smoking, and try to make a plan to quit today.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Jason@LiveRealNow June 22, 2011 at 7:11 am

If not smoking is boosting my fertility, I’m going to start again. I paid good money to take care of that. 🙂

I quit 3 years ago, and watched prices go up another $2 per pack. Not smoking is saving me at least $300 per month.

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Nicole June 22, 2011 at 8:30 am

Empirical evidence suggests that the graphic images don’t help keep teenagers from starting. This is particularly true if the graphic images don’t mesh with what people see every day from adults who are smoking (there may actually be an increase to teen smoking when the graphic picture does not fit the average reality, though that evidence is mixed). So the lung picture might have more effect than the teeth falling out picture, since you can’t actually see the lungs of a smoker and you don’t necessarily think it’s an exaggeration. I remember a science program as a kid where they cut open cadavers and compared the lungs of a smoker with the lungs of a non-smoker. That was pretty shocking.

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Moneycone June 22, 2011 at 9:04 am

Cigarette prices are only going to go up and no matter what the tobacco industry wants you to believe, smoking is bad whether you choose light or ultra light brands.

Thankfully I never got into this habit.

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No Debt MBA June 22, 2011 at 9:41 am

I can understand older smokers who started and got hooked before the data on the health (and financial!) effects of smoking were well known or widely publicized. What flabbergasts me though are people my own age who have become smokers. These are people who grew up with the pervasive message that smoking is bad and cause cancer. When they talk about it they are willfully ignorant sometimes of the effects on their health and wealth saying “it doesn’t cost that much” or “that cancer stuff is b&)) $h!#”. I can’t understand it. It seems very self destructive.

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Car Negotiation Coach June 22, 2011 at 10:06 am

Many years ago my father was a smoker….he paid $200 for a quit smoking program that he said didn’t work….but he was so pissed about spending the money on the program that he later quit on principle! So maybe it did work…

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Crystal @ BFS June 22, 2011 at 11:11 am

I’m asthmatic and have a sense of smell, so I do not smoke. I also think it’s disgusting when people smoke around me and I want to slap those that throw their cigarettes out of their car window. BUT, I think the graphic images are too much. What if they decide to start putting pictures of liposuctions on icecream containers? I think that people should be informed of the risks and the images can be available to look at if they want, but I don’t think anybody has a right to visually attack consumers of a legal item.

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Linda June 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm

The photos won’t really do anything. People don’t start smoking in ignorance of the effects, and that’s been true for at least 40 years. I say this an an ex-smoker myself. I started at 15 and didn’t stop until I was 38. Even when I started I knew it was bad for my health, but teens rarely think anything bad will happen to them.

Smoking is like playing the lottery in reverse: you believe all that bad stuff won’t happen to you; you’ll be the exception. And you really don’t care, either.

Nicotine is soooo addictive you just want it no matter what. An acquaintence who used to smoke finally stopped and is now addicted to the nicotine gum she used to give up smoking!

The behavioral aspects of smoking shouldn’t be over-looked either. A smoker comes to associate lots of good things with smoking: breaks from work, socializing with friends, consuming alcohol, and sitting down to relax. One has to overcome all of these behavioral cues and replace them with something just as good. This is why so many ex-smokers gain weight, BTW, not because smoking keeps the weight off. It’s because they replace cigarettes with food.

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Squirrelers June 22, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Never smoked once, never had the interest to do so, and never will. What a terrible and dangerous habit. Really, it is.

Now, many of us probably have other habits we should change too….diet soda (my old problem), eating out/eating junk (still not over this). I think that smoking is horrific for people’s health, but there are other things we do that could probably get more attention but get crowded out by the most notorious/visible bad habits.

I like Linda’s quote above, and it could be applied to other bad habits as well: “like playing the lottery in reverse: you believe all that bad stuff won’t happen to you; you’ll be the exception”

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Money Reasons June 22, 2011 at 11:22 pm

I’m so tired of guilt or fear tactics that the government uses to try and make people conform to their viewpoints.

That said, I totally agree with your 15 reasons!!! My grandfather died of lung cancer, and it’s not a peaceful way to go…

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retirebyforty June 22, 2011 at 11:57 pm

Those new labels are really nasty. I am so glad I never took up smoking. I tried one or two when I had a few drinks, but they never stuck. Thanks goodness!

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Evan June 23, 2011 at 9:12 pm

I am with the commenters above the current package basically says you’ll die if you use these…what makes anyone think anything else will do a better job lol

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The Biz of Life June 27, 2011 at 7:57 am

I think they should put warning labels on government institutions also……. like a sign on the Federal Reserve that says since the institution was created the dollar has lost 96% of it value, or a banner on the capital with a picture of Frank and Dodd as leading contributors to the demise of Fannie Mae and Freddie and helping to cause the housing crisis, or a picture of the entire Congress saying they are responsible for 14+ Trillion dollars of on balance sheet debt and 60+ Trillion dollars of off balance sheet unfunded commitments. I think that would be just as fair.

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Christina October 17, 2011 at 2:08 pm

I really like the 2 reason, smokers don’t be selfish. Personal choice is fine, but think about others too!
Your reasons are great, but my boyfriend still can’t stop smoking:(
Funny that he started at 27, now he is 30:)
He said he started just for fun.

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Kris October 17, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Christina, how can your boyfriend think that smoking is fun? It is anything but fun. You can die from it, it is expensive, it is smelly, it ruins your clothes, and you have to stand out in awful weather to do it. What is fun about that???

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Steve July 25, 2012 at 6:01 pm

I gave up last week after many years, I really miss it. but I feel better already, the reality question has to be, not to ask why you want to give up, but to ask what are the advantages in life to sticking a fag in you gob as and when the opportunity presents! Bit of a no-brainer really!!!

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Ged Online November 13, 2012 at 2:49 am

My daughter, who started smoking by sneaking around and picking up her dad’s butts when she was just a teenager, quit smoking using Chantix after she saw her own daughter doing what she used to do! Now, at age 47, she is a healthy and happy non-smoker!

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