Three Reasons to Quit Smoking Now (and 3 Tips for How to Do It)
The holidays can be a stressful time. Completing so many tasks, like sending cards, cooking meals for lots of family, and making special plans for New Year's can take some of the joy out of the season. This year, with the global economy shuddering from what seems like worse news every day, even giving and receiving gifts may add a layer of stress. So for smokers, this might seem like the least likely time to quit smoking.
But this is also the time to make resolutions for the New Year - how we all plan to live healthier, simpler and better in 2009 - so it might even be the best time to quit smoking!
Make quitting smoking your Number 1 resolution for the New Year . . . here are some reasons why:
1. It's all about your health. Smoking is linked to lung disease, heart disease, and several types of cancer, not just lung cancer. Quitting smoking now is the first step on the path to lowering your risk of developing disease in the future. The longer you are off cigarettes, the lower your risk becomes.
2. It's about your appearance too. Smoking stains your teeth and your skin, and its odor gets into your clothes, your car, your home and your breath. These are not attractive, and may actively turn off people, whether they are current mates, prospective dates, or just people you want to impress.
3. It's about the money. If you smoke a pack a day, and spend $4 per pack, you will save $1500 per year! In this tough economy, every bit of savings counts. This doesn't even count money spent on medical care if you get sick from smoking. Of course, you may be paying more or less than $4 per pack. You can use an online calculator to see how much you would save.
To get an idea of how much you might save over time, check out this link.
Here are some simple tips that may help you quit:
1. Get support. Make sure your friends and family know you are trying to quit. Pick a buddy who can encourage you and help you avoid situations that will make you want to smoke. If your loved ones smoke, trying to quit together may make the quitting process easier. Remember, sharing your home with someone who smokes is one of the biggest reasons why people fail to quit. Get your spouse, children and parents to quit while you are quitting. You will all feel better, and you will all be more likely to get off and stay off.
2. Get help. See your health care professional about medicines and other treatments that may help you quit or reduce your cravings. Join a Quit Smoking support group or treatment plan. Smoking is a habit, and it's also a chemical dependence: your body craves nicotine and other substances in smoke. Medications may take the edge off some of those cravings.
3. Get perspective. View smoking as a long-term issue. You have probably been smoking for many years. It may take months or years for you to quit. You may not succeed on your first try. Don't get down on yourself! Any amount you cut down on your smoking is good for you. Of course, it would be best if you quit entirely, but if you smoke half as much in 2009 as you did in 2008, well, that's a huge improvement. Cut it down another half later in the year, and so on and so on. Soon, you'll be off altogether.
Quitting smoking will have a more dramatic effect on your health than just about anything else you can do, even starting exercise or losing weight. Don't delay. Quitting smoking should be your number one resolution for 2009!