Why Stop Smoking?

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In 1954, it was considered unattainable and dangerous by physiologists and medical experts of the time, for a runner to attempt to run the distance of one mile in four minutes. Roger Bannister, robbed of a sure victory in the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, vowing vindication, used that bitter disappointment to launch him toward his history-making record.

Vindicate Yourself
Most smokers are aware that smoking is bad and want to quit, but neither recognize how smoking has affected adversely many different aspects of their lives, nor do they strongly envision the rewards quitting would bring. Those of life's precious assets which we experience as being squandered by smoking can serve us, like Roger Bannister's "bitter disappointment" and become an effective impetus in our effort to quit.

Hidden Costs
A pack-per-day smoker not only spends approximately $1800 per year on his favorite brand, but pays far more than that when we factor in the increased health insurance premium, homeowner's insurance, decreased wages and Social Security benefits. If he deposited all of the money he would save into a 401k account, in 30 years, he could retire with several hundred thousands of dollars which, as a smoker he would have just burned away.

Infants in the House
Many smokers are either unaware of or choose to disregard the effects of secondhand smoke on family members. The American Lung Association publishes an online fact-sheet about secondhand smoke which includes a few statistics contributed by the Surgeon General. 50,000 non-smokers die each year from the effects of secondhand cigarette smoke. Secondhand smoke is especially harmful to young children, causing up to 300,000 cases of pneumonia and 430 SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) deaths each year.

Whatever You Do, Don't Let Yourself Get Weak
Time flies, and before you know it twenty years goes by. As a pack-per-day smoker, twenty years could mean a gradual loss of lung capacity due to early emphysema (COPD), a struggle climbing two flights of stairs, the early manifestations of erectile dysfunction, borderline Stage II Hypertension, and a bag full of prescriptions you refill every month. Twenty years as a cross-country runner means top lung capacity, perfect cardio tone, and all of the other enjoyable attributes commensurate with good health.

Find Your Strongest Motivation
Whether you recoil at the thought of terminal lung cancer, reflect on the enjoyment you can experience as you regain your lung function and stamina, or experience shame at the thought of smoking in the presence of your young daughter, lock on to as many reasons as you can to help strengthen your commitment to stop. Each of us has a sense of what is important to us, whether it be family, monetary security, or maximizing our potential. There are a thousand answers to the question, "Why stop smoking?"