According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, over 24 percent of the US population smokes. If the average smoker smoked a pack a day at $3 per pack that would equal to $1,095 a year spent on smoking. That equates to over $65 billion for the cigarette companies.
But the economic cost of smoking doesn’t stop there, in fact it doesn’t even come close to what smoking is costing our society. More than $96 billion of total US health care costs each year are directly related to the health effects of smoking.
Yet that is not the total economic cost to society because that doesn’t take into account collateral damage associated with smoking such as; fires caused by smoking, low-birth weight of babies who’s mothers smoke, and the smoking related illnesses associated with exposure to secondhand smoke.
The health costs associated with smoking are staggering and society as a whole has to pay for these costs. In addition to costs associated to health care the cost of lost productivity due to the effects of smoking are estimated at $97 billion per year. This brings the total $193 billion per year.
Determination and focus go a long way. Athletes become superstars, regular people invent the next best thing, and addicts kick their addictions.
Many things in life worth obtaining require dedication and persistence. The things that come easily are lost easily and usually aren’t that rewarding. Unfortunately, when it comes to quitting smoking you are giving up something that you have grown accustom to having. You have used it as a crutch to get through rough times as well as rewarding.
The more you focus on the things you want in your life the better your chances of getting them. That holds true for quitting smoking. You need to focus on quitting, gather information, and put together a plan on how you will quit. Take the time to learn about the health effects of smoking, stop smoking help available, and other resources that will help you succeed.
Quitting smoking is hard but so is everything that is worth obtaining. We have all had to work at something to make it to the next level. Whether it be going to college, learning a new job, or practicing on the field everyday.
You can quit smoking if you focus on it and the new life you will have after you quit. Don’t look at the things you will be giving up but the things you will gain.
Eighty percent of people who quit smoking will experience some weight gain. The majority will only gain 4 to 10 pounds, however some have gained up to 30 pounds after quitting.
The health effects of smoking are far worse than gaining a few pounds after quitting. When you quit smoking your body is getting back to normal, your senses are changing, and the amount of energy you use varies. It is estimated that heavy smokers burn nearly 200 calories per day more than a nonsmoker – why, because nicotine is an appetite suppressant as well as a stimulant that increases the heart rate, hence high rates of heart problems for those who smoke for long periods of time.
When you quit smoking you realize that many foods smell and taste better, you enjoy eating more. You might even find that you have a sweet tooth. Many people also replace smoking when managing stress with eating which will increase the number of calories you consume.
Remember when it comes to managing weight the total number of calories consumed should equal the number of calories burned. If you want to lose weight then consume less calories. The problem is that when you quit smoking your body needs to find its normal healthy metabolic rate and this can take some time and caloric consumption usually is more than what the body burns.
Over the years the smoker’s body has become accustom to getting a certain level of nicotine. There are several factors that dictate the level of dependency of nicotine. The number of cigarettes you smoke each day, how long you have been smoking, and the brand of cigarettes you smoke. All three play a major role in the amount of nicotine that your body is exposed too.
Knowing how much nicotine that is in a cigarette can be difficult. It isn’t printed on the package and there hasn’t been a report released from the FTC since 2000. In fact, most smokers don’t give much thought to the level of nicotine in their cigarettes.
In 1998 the FTC published “Tar,” Nicotine, and Carbon Monoxide Content Report that listed 1,294 varieties of domestic cigarettes. It reports the levels and differences between the brands. The reason this information is important is because it helps show you just how much tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide you are introducing into your body each time you smoke.
The range can be between .1mg up to 1.7mg for each cigarette. For example; according to the report published by the FTC, Marlboro cigarettes have a nicotine range from .5mg to 1.2mg. Marlboro 100’s, filter, hard pack, ultra light have .5mg and Marlboro 100’s, filter, soft pack, in the gold package have 1.2mg. So based on smoking a pack a day you could be getting anywhere from 10mg to 24mg a day of nicotine. A person that smokes a pack a day at the higher level may experience more severe withdrawals after quitting and this person may choose to start with a nicotine replacement product such as the patch.
It is knowing little details such as this that can really help you quit smoking and stay quit. You need to plan for nicotine withdrawal and you need to realize that the urges will come and go. After a few days they will lessen but they could linger on for a few weeks. The key is not to give in because if you do you are just resetting the clock.
What you need to know about setting the date you quit smoking may mean the difference between success or failure.
If you were to average out the number of people quitting smoking each year you would see that over 42,000 people try to quit each and every day. That is nearly a quarter of the population of Boise, Idaho.
If you are thinking about quitting smoking you need to take several things into consideration before setting the date. Smoking has been a part of your life for years and it has become a crutch for some and a best friend for others. Giving up smoking is not going to be easy but you can do it.
Before setting the date you may want to think about the things that make you want to smoke the most. Many smokers deal with stress, hunger, boredom and anger by smoking. The key to successfully quitting is to have a plan in place to deal with these things without smoking. Over 75 percent of the population does – you can too.
When setting you quit date you want to first be prepared, next you want to pick a date that works for you. Some like to have a couple days under their belt before returning to work. Quitting on a Saturday would be a good option. You may also consider setting your quit date on your birthday, anniversary, New Years, Independence Day, or the World No Tobacco Day. Whichever day you choose will be a day that you look back on with feelings of pride and accomplishment. This is the day you took your life back!
Depending on how long you have gone without smoking you may still have urges to smoke. If you do – there are some things that you can do to help you get through the urge.
There are two types of coping skills; 1) behavioral and 2) mental. Behavioral coping skills are things that you can do to reduce the urge to smoke after quitting. Mental coping skills are things that you tell yourself to reduce the urge to smoke.
Behavioral Coping Skills for Quitting Smoking
There are many things you can do to manage the urge to smoke after quitting. Here are just a few ideas to help you stay smoke free when the urge to smoke arises.
Suck on a piece of hard candy.
Stick a straw or toothpick in your mouth.
Go for a walk outdoors.
Climb some stairs in your office building.
Drink a glass of water.
Chew on sunflower seeds.
Mental Coping Skills for Quitting Smoking
The physical aspects of quitting smoking can be mild compared to the mental. When you quit smoking you are going to hear a “little” voice in your head that taunts you to smoke. Of course this voice is the addiction and the years of brainwashing talking. The key here is to listen to the right voice. Tell yourself things like:
Smoking is not an option.
I feel great living a healthy lifestyle.
I like the way I look.
My family is healthier too because I am not smoking.
Each day my body is healing itself by not smoking.
If I smoke I will die.
Think of all that money you are saving by not smoking.
Quitting smoking is a challenge but millions of people quit each year and you are one of them so learn how to manage those urges and you will be successful. Avoid places and people that tempt you to smoke until you have the time and tools under your belt to successfully deal with them.
So you have decided to take the plunge and quit smoking… good for you but you are finding it difficult to deal with the cravings and the nicotine withdrawals. Don’t fret because help is on the way and whether you know it or not you have it in you to quit smoking for good.
Quitting Smoking – Stay Motivated By
Remind yourself why you are quitting in the first place. Is it because of health issues, your family, or are you just tired of wasting money on cigarettes?
Imagine the consequences if you smoke. For starters you are going to feel guilt and all that time you spent getting to this point will be lost and you have to quit all over again.
Recognize your progress thus far. Even if you just quit smoking today you still have made it hours without smoking. For those that have a few days under their belt you still don’t want to give that up. Either way you are making progress so keep on course.
Short-term pain leads to long-term gain. Just think of the benefits of quitting smoking, especially the long-term health benefits.
Reward yourself. If you are like many ex smokers you probably spent over $100 a month on cigarettes. Depending on how you want to reward yourself either go out and do it or think of the reward you will give yourself in a month, 6 months, or a year.
Tell yourself you are in control of your life – not bad habits or addictive drugs. Habits can be broken and you choose how you live your life and you choose to live without smoking.
The cravings will come and go and in time they will nearly be gone. Tell yourself they will pass and you are going to do just fine.
Go out and have some fun. Fun is a great distraction and will help you stay motivated.
Get physically active. It gives the body a natural high and makes you feel more in control, healthy, and reminds you why you are quitting.
Take a couple minutes in the morning and imagine your new life without smoking. Don’t think about not smoking but the things you will do instead of smoking.
Set yourself up to win. Make sure that you aren’t putting yourself in situations that are going to overwhelm or tempt you until you have the tools to manage them.
Talk to your coach or support group. If you don’t have one get one. There is nothing that works better than having someone to hold you accountable and talk you through the tough times.
Believe in yourself!
Join the millions of people who have successfully quit smoking and begin to really enjoy life. You should not have to be under the bondage of addictive and bad habits. The grass truly is greener on the other side so keep pressing on.
If you find that you are struggling with the nicotine withdrawals and just can’t quit you should check out other options and help for quitting. Don’t give up!!
Recently I was reading an article on motivation and when a person is able to make a serious change in their lives; motivation is the key. I know when I quit smoking after my separation I was extremely motivated by being desirable to other woman at some point in time. I knew that studies had shown that smokers are viewed as less desirable and intelligent. Not how I wanted to be perceived at this point and time.
We are all motivated by something and there are different extremes of motivation as well. We can be a little or a lot motivated depending on what it is. Why is it that we know we need to quit smoking and yet fail time and time again but if someone were to offer us $50,000 we would quit in an instant?
If you want to quit smoking you need to find what really motivates you. It has to be something that you are passionate about. The more you are driven to achieve your goal of quitting the better your chances of success.
Motivation leads to action! Find that reason to quit and write it down. What will you gain? What will you lose? The answers are important to stay focused on what you want to achieve. Your desire to quit will be tested with cravings and withdrawals; you will feel like giving up but instead of feeding the addiction you should feed the motivation.
There are a lot of stop smoking tips on the internet and one of the best ways you can be successful at quitting smoking is to seek them out. The more ways you know how to manage what waits around the corner when you quit smoking the better off you will be. Being prepared is one of the best steps you can take to kick this habit for good.
It is an interesting fact that smoking kills more people than any other disease. The health effects of smoking are numerous and have an impact on everyone exposed. Over the years studies have shown that people die from simply being exposed to cigarette smoke.
In the US nearly 50,000 non-smokers die from a smoking related illness (read more on the health effects of smoking on nonsmokers). Babies have high rates of sudden infant death syndrome when their parents, mothers in particular, smoke. Children grow up with severe cases of asthma and other medical conditions from being exposed to the dangers. There are hundreds if not thousands of studies that have been done which reveal the dangers associated from smoking and other tobacco related products.
Here is another fact; tobacco companies are profiting billions of dollars from the sale of tobacco products knowing that just from smoking alone nearly half a million people will die in the US alone from a smoking related illness. I believe in population control but there has to be a better way, a way that doesn’t drag our children into such a destructive behavior.
Stop forking over your hard earned money to these tobacco companies that don’t give a crap about the harm their product cause. We are responsible for the choices we make and we should be able to change what we do, especially when it is killing us and those around us.