So, do you want the good news or the bad first? Perhaps let’s start with some positivity; smoking is on the decline in the UK. Increased taxation together with the banning of advertisements and sponsorship of events featuring tobacco brands have all helped to dampen the notion that smoking is cool. Promotional campaigns highlighting the benefits of quitting have also resonated well with the UK public, encouraging many to kick their habit and also dissuading youngsters from getting involved in the first place. 

As always, there’s a flipside so here comes the bad; there are still far too many smokers among us, with the unhealthy habit costing the NHS an estimated £5 billion a year. That’s the GDP of a small country, and with our beloved health service increasingly squeezed by a government in thrall to big business, something’s got to give. Make a difference; here are 5 IDEAL reasons to quit smoking today.

PERSONAL & PUBLIC HEALTH

There are numerous health benefits associated with not smoking; even people who have smoked for decades can quickly experience positive changes in their general wellbeing after quitting. But let’s cut to the chase; cancer is the biggest health risk associated with this habit, we’re all aware of that. What you might be surprised to learn, though, is just how many different types of cancer have been linked to tobacco. It’s certainly not just the lungs and heart that can be affected from this habit. Indeed, smoking can cause a total of 16 different cancers. Reason enough to quit, we think.

Of course, it’s not only the risk of cancer that should be considered when exploring the dangers of smoking. There are several other serious health conditions that have been associated with tobacco, including stroke and heart disease. Recent research has also suggested that smoking may increase the risk of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), which is a fatal neurodegenerative disease. 

With so many serious diseases associated with smoking, it’s easy to see why people who want to take better care of their health are deciding to quit. In many cases, the risk of disease can be lowered significantly even after a relatively short time following the individual’s last cigarette.

A FINANCIAL BURDEN

Improving general health is often the main reason people decide to quit, but your bank balance will also be much healthier if you decide to give up smoking. In the UK, the average price of a packet of cigarettes is now over £10 and this means that a 20 per day smoker will spend close to £4,000 on their habit each year. That is money which could fund a new car or a string or holidays. Food for thought, indeed.

HYGIENE

There’s no getting away from it – smoking smells. Bad. But it’s not just a smoker’s clothes that are prone to poor aroma. Tobacco causes bad breath and is likely to make the individual’s home smell of smoke all over, if they choose to smoke inside. Furniture, particularly that of a soft disposition, tends to embrace the smell of cigarettes and not want to let go. 

It’s also been proven that smoker’s senses, such as of smell and taste, are dulled after prolonged tobacco use – so it’s likely that they won’t be as aware of any foul smelling odours compared to others around them. Must we continue?

REVERSE THAT ACCELERATED AGEING

It makes sense that a habit that can increase the risk of numerous serious diseases would also be likely to affect other areas of the body, such as its appearance. Smoking does no good for the skin and general appearance, and often smokers will look quite a bit older than they actually are as a result of their prolonged tobacco use. Discolouration of teeth and fingernails are also an unpleasant side effect of cigarette smoking. Take back control of that youthful glow by kicking the cigs. Simples.

FOR THE LOVE OF FAMILY & OTHERS

Although reasons for giving up usually focus on the individual, the bigger picture also requires framing. Indeed, second-hand smoke can cause numerous health risks and as such, it’s unfair to potentially harm the health of another person just to satisfy your own habit. Whether it’s your family or strangers affected, the possible damage to others should be enough encouragement to quit.