Did you know that smoking is bad for you? Of course you knew that, everyone knows that. Everyone knows, and yet it is estimated that we have ten million smokers in the UK alone.
A smoker is more likely to have heart attack than a non-smoker, their risk of a stroke is increased and it isn’t just lung cancer a smoker needs to worry about, you can add oral cancer, uterine cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, stomach cancer, cervical cancer and leukaemia to the list.*
The scary truth is that that smoking kills about 80,000 people in England every year – to put it into perspective, that’s almost enough to fill Wembley Stadium. But like I said, smokers know this.
Well, Stoptober is here, and with their support there’s never been a better time to quit smoking. Stoptober, supported by the NHS, is encouraging smokers to give up for the month of October, as people who quit for 28 days are 5 times more likely to stay smoke free. Now all you need is a good reason to do so.
And so, we present to you our alternative reasons to quit smoking. If you won’t quit for your own health, why not quit for one of the following reasons…
You, and everything you own, will stink!
There’s no tactful way to put this – if you smoke cigarettes, you will smell like cigarettes, and to most nonsmokers that’s a pretty unpleasant smell. Your hair and hands will stink, your clothes will stink, your house will stink – everything will stink! You’ll be wasting money on perfume/aftershave because you usual eau de cigarette will overpower it. Your non-smoker friends will tell you that you stink, and if they don’t say it to your face they will say it behind your back. ‘Let’s not go to his/her house,’ they will say, ‘because his/her house reeks of cigs – the last time I paid them a visit, I needed a nicotine patch after I left.’ This means that you’ll always have to go to other people’s houses and they probably won’t want you smoking inside, which brings me to my next point…
Now that smoking in public places is no longer allowed, you have to go outside to smoke – this sucks for several reasons. Let me set the scene for you – you’ve spent ages getting dressed up in your best to go to a super-awesome place to hang out with your friends and have fun. As soon as you fancy (read: need) a cigarette you’re going to have to go outside – on your own if your friends don’t smoke – and not only will you be missing out on whatever is going on inside, but you’ll have to brave whatever crappy British weather is currently being thrown at us, potentially ruining your outfit and your hair. It doesn’t matter whether you’re at a pub, at work or at Starbucks – outside you must go. It’s the social equivalent of putting the dog out in the garden so it doesn’t pee on the carpet. Not so bad in the summer, but here in the UK our summer lasts approximately two days, so you’re going to want to invest in some warm clothing if you don’t quit.
It’s really expensive!
Smoking is an expensive habit. Did you know that if you smoke 25 cigarettes a day, it’s going to set you back £3,235 a year?! Even smoking just five cigarettes a day will set you back £646 a year and with smoking being addictive, before you know it you may well be puffing your way through 40 a day, and after 20 years that amounts to an astounding £103,514. The bottom line is that no matter how many cigarettes you’re smoking, it’s money you could spend on other things like shoes, Apple products or your bills.* Oh, and in case you didn’t realise, a huge chunk of the money you’re spending on cigs goes straight to the government. A quick play around on the www.thisismoney.co.uk Vice-ometer calculator will tell you that if you’re smoking 20 a day, and spending £7.50 per packet, your annual bill will be £2737.50, and £2130.69 of that will be going straight to the government – so most your money isn’t even being spent on the actual product. Still, at least you’re funding the NHS, which comes in real handy should you ever have a heart attack, a stroke, or get one of the many smoking-related cancers.
Boys/girls won’t like you!
There are a lot of people out there who are turned off by people who smoke. Do you really want to put off the man/woman of your dreams, just because you smoke? Some people are put off by the smell or the cig-flavoured kisses, but others think long term and don’t want to get too attached to someone who is willingly lowering their life expectancy. It’s hard enough finding a man/woman who you actually want to be with/who wants to be with you these days, don’t make things harder for yourself. Even if you turn to dating websites to find luuurrrve, ticking/not ticking that little box next to the word smoker will make all the difference when people are searching for potential partners.
Think of your sex life!
Let’s say you do get a boyfriend/girlfriend, and he/she loves you just the way you are/smell, how are you going to keep them when you’re a disappointment in the sack? Pay particular attention to this one, boys: studies have show that smokers may have a harder (no pun intended) time getting and maintaining an erection. It isn’t just the boys who will face shortcomings though. Smoking can decrease sensitivity for both men and women, so if you’re both smokers, to avoid disappointment, probably expect sparklers instead of fireworks. Even if you do manage to do the deed without any hitches, you still need to worry about your fertility if you’re trying for a baby. Smoking has an impact on both men and women when it comes to reproduction, and if you do get pregnant you will increase your chances of giving birth to a healthy baby by quitting.*
Your skin will suffer!
You may not be worried about your health, but do you worry about your looks? Yes, it will smudge your lipstick in the short term, but what about the long term effects? You’re more likely to get bags under your eyes, it will stain your teeth and it will accelerate the ageing process, so be prepared to embrace the wrinkles a little sooner than you’d like. Your fingers will turn yellow if you smoke a lot, it could thin your hair and it may even make your skin less likely to heal – so when you get that prematurely wrinkled face, don’t think the easy solution will be to get a little cosmetic surgery to put things right. Oh, and ladies, recent studies have shown that smoking can make your breasts sag – need I say more?*
It could affect your senses!
Studies have suggested that smoking can have a negative affect on your taste buds, making food less palatable. In fact, studies have shown that smoking can dull all senses – taste and smell in particular. You may not appreciate just how nice things smell and taste, and while you may have noticed that your senses have started dwindling since you started smoking, the process can be gradual so you won’t always realise what an impact it’s having. Studies have shown that after quitting smoking, you will take more pleasure from the foods you eat.*
Those around you will suffer too!
So you don’t care about your health, your looks, your bank balance or your sex life – give me one last chance to convince you to quit. You don’t have to be a smoker to suffer the negative effects of cigarettes – secondhand smoke is harmful to those around you. Every time you light a cigarette, it isn’t just your own health you’re putting at risk, think of your family, your friends and even your pets. Over 80% of secondhand smoke is invisible and odourless, and it will increase the risk of lung cancer in an adult or child by 24%. Even if you’re not a people person, think of your pets. Animals can suffer from many of the same diseases as humans, including heart disease, cancer and asthma, and studies have show that your cute and cuddly pets can be at risk living in households with smokers. Cats could be susceptible to mouth cancer because of their grooming habits – constantly licking the cancer-causing carcinogens that accumulate on their fur. Not a cat person? Well think of your dog. Dogs, particularly those with long noses, are susceptible to cancers of the nose and sinus area – their noses have a greater surface area, carcinogens have more room to accumulate.* So even if you really don’t care about yourself, think of what you’re doing to the ones you love – and the cute little puppies you might be harming, do it for the puppies.
For more information on how to quit, and to get your Stoptober pack, click here.