Are you a smoker? Hey, no judgement. I have written about my involvement with cigarette advertising previously*, something I am not proud of. Simply put, smoking is now something almost everyone realises to be bad for their health. But back in the day, it was accepted, or even recommended by doctors**. Now we know the real truth. I worked with journalist Phyllis Baker to put this information together for you about why smoking might hinder you from realising your goals.
Essentially, smoking can be described as the act of inhaling burned tobacco. But here is the problem; burning tobacco causes the production of more than 7000 harmful chemicals, the most harmful being carbon monoxide and tar. Nicotine, which is the stimulant in tobacco, has been known to result in addiction. Statistics from the U.S Department of Health & Human Services show that more than 16 million people have at least one smoking related disease, and that more than 20 million Americans have died because of smoking since 1964, including approximately 2.5 million deaths due to exposure to secondhand smoke. The statistics are quite frightening when you think about it.
Smoking is something that can affect many areas of your life, and health
The report also indicates that on average, smokers die 13 to 14 years earlier than nonsmokers. Smoking has been known to hinder personal growth and development. Other harmful effects of smoking are:
- Health problems such as mouth, throat and lung cancer;
- Heart diseases which may be fatal;
- Breathing problems;
- Reducing the immune system of babies born from mothers who smoke;
- Blood pressure issues and pneumonia;
- Slowing down digestive system leading to potential stomach ulcers.
Apart from the harmful effects of smoking on health, smoking has also been known to negatively affect social life. The effects include:
- Social perception that smokers are not serious about their health and wellbeing;
- The fact that smoking is prohibited in many social places because of its effects on passive smokers;
- Cost: smoking is an expensive habit.
There have even been anecdotal cases of smokers will lose jobs only months after being hired***. Smoking might even jeopardise someone’s chances of getting a secure job. Employers are wary of to hiring smokers because of the liabilities involved, and often because of the time spent away from their desks, indulging in their habit. I recently went for a job role with a company that gave an extra day of annual leave to non-smokers, to reward them for the time they didn’t take having cigarette breaks.
Ditching this habit could potentially be one way of gaining consistency and lessening incidences of job hopping. If you are having difficulty quitting smoking, here is some advice on why giving up could be the best thing for you.
#1: Quitting smoking challenges your endurance
Quitting requires personal dedication and zeal to quit smoking effectively. Like any addiction, quitting a habit is never a walk in the park. While some people have been known to quit smoking instantly, there are more success stories of people who did this gradually. Read my article on 6 ways to build up good habits and 3 ways to let go of bad habits.
There are a few things you could try. Some people choose to reduce their nicotine dependence by vaping. A vaporizer simply uses vapors instead of burnt nicotine. You get to choose from a variety of vapes for dry herbs, dabs/waxes and E-liquids at vaping community vapingdaily.com.
Some find this method cheaper to purchase and easier to maintain. Some reports say that they are also relatively safer to use by minimising nicotine, tar, and carbon dioxide inhalation by the smoker, but make sure you do your own research, and ask your doctor’s opinion.
#2: Smoking eats into your savings
If you are one of the smokers who can puff two packets a day, then you are heading to a danger zone. In Australia, a packet of cigarettes now costs around $22 – $30. The costs of sustaining this smoking craze will not only affect you but also your nuclear and extended family. Consider this, if a packet costs just $5, two packets a day for the whole year will cost you $3,650. This compounded into 5 years will have cost you $18,250.
If you were to forego smoking and save this money, it would finance a worthwhile investment for you and help in personal development. This money could also go into your retirement plan and save your relatives tons of money towards your maintenance when you grow old.
#3: Nonsmokers have higher concentration spans
Smoking affects the brain’s ability to think and act fast. It is nearly impossible to hold a smoker’s attention while his immediate concern is how badly he needs a puff. This directly transfers to an individual’s performance whether at work or leisure. The tasks left halfway to attend to smoking will not be similar to the same task carried out conclusively by a nonsmoker.
In the workplace, the nonsmoker will ultimately be less dependable than an addicted smoker. A person’s dedication to conclusively carry out a task without interruption ensures that his goals are also met in a focused manner. Give up and get more done.
#4: Quitting might boost your self-confidence
When you quit, you know you can achieve anything. A smoke-free and odourless person is much more likely to lead a healthy and less stressful life. You are likely to see matters more clearly while level-headed than when you’re on a natural temporal high. As well as this, you’ll gain a sense of personal satisfaction and achievement.
#5: Quitting smoking restores your health
According to the UK Government’s Department of Health and social care, 80,000 people died of tobacco-related illnesses in the year 2011. Moreover, each year; UK hospitals get 9,500 admissions of children with diseases caused by secondhand smoke. More often than not, you can recognise a smoker from the unhealthy complexion on his face, or stained looking teeth and hands.
The effect of tar and nicotine on a smoker’s teeth is usually quite noticeable. Nicotine stains fingers and teeth over time and disguising this or fixing it is usually difficult or impossible.
#6: Smoking is not social anymore
Where I live, smoking is now banned pretty much everywhere; from pubs and clubs to beaches and parks. Smokers cannot smoke in their own cars if they are driving children, or they’ll get a hefty fine. These days, it’s just simpler to quit, or look for alternatives.
#7: Quitting smoking leads to happy families
Smoking has been known to cause stress and anxiety. On the flip side – smoke-free individuals are often less anxious. Families can make goal-oriented plans together without being concerned about the future health of the smoker. Stale cigarette odour might even keep children away from a parent who smokes. Doing away with the clinging smell will guarantee you more hugs and kisses from loved ones. This contentment for the nonsmoker should be the motivation to quit smoking.
It’s true: smoking might hinder you from realising your goals
If you are stuck in the smoking craze, it’s time to let it go. Start by critically weighing the supposed benefits of smoking against quitting smoking. According to the Public Health England journal published on 15 September 2015, ‘Electronic cigarettes are now the most popular quitting aid, according to a survey in the Smoking Toolkit Study, and emerging evidence indicates they can be effective for this purpose. Smokers who want to use electronic cigarettes to help them quit should seek the expert support of their local stop smoking service’.
If you can’t quit smoking at once, consider alternatives, such as nicotine gum, lozenges or some of the vapes available. As soon as you drop smoking, see how productive, self-driven, healthy and successful person you can be!
About the Author
Phyllis Baker manages public relations for the quitting smoking community. She is the professional journalist and blogger specialising in drug rehab, addiction treatment and health issues.
* Read: I was a late 90s Cigarette Girl