Today marks the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout, which is observed on the third Thursday in November. It’s a day for smokers to give up the habit for good or to use the day to make a plan to quit.
By now, you know smoking is very, very bad for you. You’re reminded with a helpful warning label every time you reach for a pack of cigarettes.
The best reason to quit is definitely for your health – as soon as you quit, your body starts repairing itself – but if that hasn’t motivated you yet, here are some other great reasons to stop for good.
Your looks. Wrinkles, sallow skin, and yellow teeth are all associated with smoking. You’ll look old before your time, as this study comparing identical twins proves.
Your money. Smoking isn’t cheap. Do the math and figure out how much you spend on smoking every year. On average, Michigan residents pay $6.54 for a pack of cigarettes. If you’re a pack-a-day smoker, that’s $2,387 up in smoke. What else could you buy with that money? Cut out a picture of whatever it is – a tropical vacation, a car down payment, home improvements – and post it in a place you’ll see every day to remind yourself why you’re quitting.
Your friends and family. That smoke from your cigarette? It’s not just harming you. Secondhand smoke contains over 7,000 harmful chemicals and it lingers in the air for several hours after you’ve put out your cigarette. Over time, secondhand smoke can contribute to cancer, heart disease, breathing problems, and worse, including SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Maybe your own health isn’t enough to make you quit, but the health of the people you love might be the best reason of all.
Your social life. Isn’t it fun when you’re out with friends and you miss something hilarious because you’re outside smoking by yourself? We didn’t think so. Since 2010, Michigan bars and restaurants are smoke-free, which means if you want to know all the inside jokes, quitting cigarettes is a smart move.
Your time. Just as you can’t smoke in bars and restaurants, you also can’t smoke in any workplace in the state (with the exception of cigar bars, tobacco specialty retail stores, and the gaming floors of casinos). Many employers have made entire campuses smoke-free so that customers and non-smoking employees don’t have to walk through clouds of smoke. If that applies at your workplace, you may have to drive off the premises, which means you’re wasting entire breaks and lunchtimes to keep a bad habit. Think about what you’d rather be doing during that time. You could read a book, make a phone call, pay a bill, or maybe just relax. Check out the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout for more reasons why you should quit and tips on how to do it. If you’re an eligible BCBSM member, you can also utilize our Quit the Nic program.