Most people stop smoking to improve their health and wellbeing, others wish to save some money, and some people stop smoking to be around for their children.

Making the decision to stop smoking is an important step in the quitting process. Focusing on your reasons to quit in particular, can help motivate you to get started, as well as help you stay on track when you’re struggling.

What are your reasons to quit? Do you want to quit, but are not so sure of the reasons why?

There are many great reasons to quit smoking, including COVID-19. We’ve listed the many reasons below and hope that some of the reasons will resonate with you, and will encourage you to give quitting another go.

Reflect on the following ten great reasons to quit:

1. I want to reduce my risk of premature death

Non-smokers live on average 10 years longer than their smoking friends. One in two smokers will die prematurely, with half of these deaths occurring in middle age.

2. I want to reduce my risk of developing smoking related diseases and chronic ill-health

One out of three cancer deaths can be prevented by making positive lifestyle choices. Did you know for example, that smoking causes 16 types of cancers, as well as type 2 diabetes?

Did you also know that smoking causes heart disease and stroke? Even people who smoke fewer than five cigarettes a day show signs of early stages of heart disease. Could this be you?

With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, smokers are encouraged to quit as they are at an increased risk of developing this respiratory infection, and are also more likely to experience compications as a result of their smoking.

With 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, many of these chemicals cause direct damage to the lung tissue. Smoking damages the air sacs in the lungs and over time leads to a loss of lung function. Smoking also affects the immune system causing the lungs to become inflamed.

Smoking also causes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Some of the symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing and difficulty exercising. For some sufferers, even routine activities such as walking or dressing can be difficult. There is no cure for COPD and no vaccine for COVID-19.

These are just some of the health effects of smoking – there are many more, including the effects of secondhand smoking.

3. I want to improve my quality of life

For many smokers, their desire to become smokefree is about improving their overall wellbeing and quality of life.

Within one year to three years of quitting, smokers reported a reduction in their stress levels and overall felt happier and satisfied with their life. Their overall mood had improved compared to their smoking friends…

Simple daily activities such as playing with the kids or walking up the stairs also became manageable (not falling short of breath), as well as feeling less stress due to not experiencing constant cravings and withdrawal.

4. I want to save my money

At $35 a pack, you can save $70 in two days of not smoking. If you quit for a week, that’s $245 in your pocket. Quitting for a month = $980, and in one year of not smoking, you will have saved $12,740! What could you spend this money on? A holiday overseas? New clothes? Tickets to the tennis or the theatre? Put it towards a new car? A weekend away? It’s your choice!

5. I want to improve the health of my skin and teeth

Smoking accelerates the ageing process and smokers tend to look older. In fact, smokers can look 5 years older than their non-smoking friends of the same age.

Smoking also stains the teeth, and can cause gum disease and tooth loss.

6. I want to increase my energy

As a non-smoker, you will have more oxygen in your bloodstream, so you will feel much more energetic and fitter. You will no longer need to catch your breath every time you walk up stairs, run after the bus or play with your kids.

7. I want to improve my mental health

Quitting improves overall mental health, including depression and anxiety symptoms. Non-smokers are better able to cope with stress and life’s challenges.

8. I want to be a positive role model for my family

Children are three times more likely to smoke if both their parents smoke. Quitting sends a positive example to your family, that you value your health and wellbeing and that smoking is no longer part of your identity.

9. I want to feel proud for having achieved such a difficult task

Quitting is hard. However it is also achievable. As a new non-smoker, your self-esteem and confidence will grow. This sense of achievement will then flow onto other areas of your life; you will develop the strength and resilience to tackle other challenges much more confidently and assertively.

10. I want to be in control

As a non-smoker, you will no longer have to worry about running out of cigarettes and/or whether you can smoke at an event or not. You will feel ‘free’ and much more in control of your life, rather than the cigarettes controlling you…

Think about your reasons and what’s important to you

When you feel overwhelmed or you’re tempted to smoke, focus on your reasons to help you stay on track.

To help remind you of your reasons to quit, write them down in your diary, in your phone or on some post it notes! Place these reminders on your bathroom mirror, on your fridge, on your computer screen at work, to help encourage you to stay smokefree for good.

Take one day at a time and think about the benefits you are gaining. Think about how good you are feeling and looking! Think about how much money you’re saving – what could you spend that money on?

Remember that there are many people who have successfully quit smoking. Make the decision, focus on your reasons, and with the right information and support – you too can be successful.

Until next time, wishing you all great health and wellbeing, including quitting success!

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