Quit Smoking: Save Your Sanity...And Your Hard-Earned Dollars!

Elana Pruitt

by Elana Pruitt | November 17, 2011 @ 01:00PM

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Pack of cigs (check). Lighter (check). Gum or breath mints (check). Perfume (check). Car freshener (check).

If you are a regular smoker – which I’m assuming you are because you are taking the time to read this – you can’t fathom the thought of leaving the house without your checklist complete. It’s as if your entire universe will be thrown off if you forget your cigarettes (now you have to buy a new pack), lost your lighter or matches (now you have to buy that too), run out of gum or breath mints (now you have to cover your mouth with your hands when talking to someone), forget your pint-sized perfume or cologne (now you’re smelling like stale cigarettes), and the little air freshener tree hanging in your car has lost its scent (now you need to buy a stronger air freshener before letting anyone ride in your car and inhale remnants of your bad habit).

The stress that comes along with maintaining the routine of remaining stocked with all cigarette and cigarette smell-cover up paraphernalia can be stressful and draining, to say the least. And that is only preparing for the day! Once your day starts, you now have a whole lot more planning to do: smoke breaks (which you may plan meetings and projects around), uncover spots where you are permitted to smoke (many establishments do not allow smoking within a certain vicinity), and if the weather will allow you to engage in your favorite pastime (not fun huddling under an umbrella to smoke during the winter time). If just this headache alone doesn’t turn you off from smoking, please read below.

From personal experience, the average cost of Marlboro Lights in California is approximately $6. So take a look at this formula for a pack-a-day smoker. Please note: Be sure to put out your cigarette as your read this – you may very well choke on this data:

$6 x 7 (days in a week) = $42
$42 x 4 (weeks in a month) = $168
$168 x 12 (months in a year) = $2,016
*Double this amount if you smoke two packs a day

Imagine what you could do with the money that you normally would spend on cigarettes! Sit back and think about what it would feel like to always have enough gas money – especially if you live in California – or be able to pay down credit card debt. Imagine what it would be like to finally undergo the cosmetic treatment you’ve been interested in for so long! Rather than consciously damaging your health by smoking cigarettes and lowering your life expectancy, you can invest in the preservation of your health and enjoy a greater sense of financial well-being.

Should you decide to finally put out that cigarette once and for all, whether doing so “cold turkey,” with the help of medication, a nicotine patch or gum, hypnosis, or meditation, you will be giving yourself a second chance in a variety of ways. Not only will you be rescuing your physical health from failing (Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website to learn about the “Health Benefits of Cessation.”) the sun will soon shine again on your mental and emotional state of health as you can throw away feelings of guilt and shame; it’s not easy to hide your secret around family members and friends who are urging you to quit or have no idea you smoke in the first place.

As a pack-a-day, ex-smoker who quit cold turkey, I feel it is my responsibility to share these details with you.  With all of the cancers that can develop out of our control, lung cancer is one type that you can help to prevent. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCA), cigarette smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer. So take control of your physical, mental, emotional, and financial health sooner than later.

I am proud to say that I can walk up the stairs again without getting winded, exercise a full half hour without taking breaks to actually breathe, do not have to worry about whether I have air freshener in my car or not, only have gum just to have fresh breath versus concealing the horrible smell from cigarettes, and I no longer have to live with the shame I felt for years. And yes, I enjoy having more money in my piggy bank and wallet, as I can now afford an Iced Americano every morning in place of a morning cig.

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