Time to Quit
80% of smokers wish they'd never started: are YOU one of them?
I love having the extra cash. I love not stinking of stale smoke. I love my pink tongue. I love my skin and hair feeling and looking so great. I love being able to go for long walks with the dog and not get out of breath. I love my totally nicotine stain free teeth!!! (Still catch myself looking at them - LOL.) I love having cuddles with my grandkids knowing they can only smell Nana's perfume. And I love being FREE from this evil addiction.
I'd watch people smoking from afar, watch their facial expressions, their body language, and I kid you not, never once did I ever see any smoker looking like they were actually enjoying their ciggie. They looked tense, and stressed.
How would you like...
- more money $$$
- fresher breath
- to smell nicer
- exercise to be easier
- to add 14 years to your life expectancy
- less colds and flus
- to be a better role model for the kids
- to have white teeth
- to improve the health of your lungs and heart
- no nicotine stains on your teeth, hands and fingers
so what's stopping you from quitting smoking?
Smoking kills: it's that's simple
When you smoke cigarettes or tobacco, you inhale more than 4000 chemicals. Smoking damages your lungs, coating them with tar. Toxic chemicals from smoking get into your bloodstream, muscles, brain. Smoking causes a long list of health problems such as cancer, strokes and heart attacks. Each cigarette takes 11 minutes from your life; on average, people who smoke die 14 years earlier than non-smokers.
If you continue smoking you have a 1 in 2 chance of dying from a smoking related disease such as cancer, a stroke or heart attack.
As soon as you stop smoking your body begins to repair itself
No matter how old you are or how long you've smoked, quitting will improve your health. You'll have fewer illnesses, like colds and flu. You're likely to live longer, to be around for your family and loved ones.
- Within 20 min: your blood pressure, body temperature, and pulse rate will drop to normal
- Within 24 hours: carbon monoxide (the same chemical cars produce as a waste product) is out of your system and your lungs work better
- Within 48 hours: your ability to taste and smell improve, making food taste much better!
- Within 2-3 months: your circulation improves. Exercise becomes easier and your lung capacity increases up to 30%
- Within 1 year: after a year your risk of having a heart attack is halved
- Within 5 years: your risk of developing lung, mouth, throat and esophageal cancer is half that of a smoker.
What could you afford if you were smokefree?
It’s no secret that smoking burns a hole in your pocket. Cigarettes and tobacco are only going to get more expensive.
To find out exactly how much you’ll save if you quit, use the calculation below (visit www.quit.org.nz for an online cost of smoking calculator)
Cost of ONE packet of cigarettes/tobacco x number of packets smoked per week = what you are spending per week
What you are spending per week x 52 = what you are spending per year
$27 x 4 packets per week = $108 per week
$108 x 52 weeks = $5,616 per year
If you smoke a pack a day you're spending almost $189 per week: you could buy a lot of groceries with that money
Over a year it adds up to $9,828. You could easily pay your power and phone bill with that moeny. Or buy a new car.
|Smoking is a friend - I can't cope without it||Smoking is a friend that kills you.|
|Smoking is a choice||Smoking is an addiction. Nicotine is just as addictive as heroin or cocaine. It acts on receptors in your brain, programming them to crave smoking.|
|I'm only harming myself||
Secondhand smoke contains all the same poisons you inhale if you smoke. Children whose parents/caregivers smoke are much more likely to smoke themselves. Secondhand smoke contains all the same poisons you inhale if you smoke. Secondhand smoke kills around 350 New Zealanders every year.
|Occasional smoking or social smoking is OK||
Each and every cigarette damages your lungs.
|I can't quit because my friends and family smoke||
When you quit, it may be hard to be around people who are smoking at first, but in time the cravings will pass and it won’t bother you.
|I'll put on weight if I quit||
Recent research has shown that people who give up smoking do not permanently put on weight. You may notice you crave sugary foods when you first quit. This is because cigarettes and tobacco are deliberately sweetened to make them taste better. You could reach for fruit, sugar-free gum or popcorn instead.
Smoking does increase the rate of your metabolism, but the effect on your weight is very small and actually puts a strain on your heart.
Light, mild or roll-your-own tobacco is better for you
Milder cigarettes and tobacco do the same amount of damage to your health. They carry the same risk of lung cancer, heart attacks and other tobacco-related diseases as ‘regular cigarettes’.
|Smoking relieves stress||
Smoking may feel like it makes you less stressed short-term, but the evidence shows that once you’ve stopped smoking you’ll be less anxious and less depressed. In the long term, nicotine reduces the ability of the brain to experience pleasure.
|Nicotine is dangerous for you||
Nicotine is the addictive part of smoking but it’s not what causes health problems. It’s the other chemicals in cigarettes and tobacco that damage your health. That’s why it’s safe to use nicotine patches, gum or lozenges to reduce your cravings while you quit.
|Smoking makes me look good||
Smoking makes you look older and unhealthy by starving your skin of oxygen, making it look dry and grey. You get wrinkles around our eyes and mouth much earlier than a non-smoker and the tar stains your teeth and fingers.
|I've tried quitting - it's too hard||
Most people try to quit more than once before they succeed. Think about what you learned the last time you tried to quit and what extra support could help you. Millions of people have quit smoking for good – believe in yourself, you too can be one of them.
Do your family and friends a favour
Children whose parents and/or caregivers smoke are much more likely to become smokers themselves.
It’s not only you being harmed by smoking. Secondhand smoke contains the same poisonous chemicals that smokers breathe into their bodies. Secondhand smoke kills around 350 New Zealanders every year. Children exposed to secondhand smoke are also more likely to develop asthma, coughs, colds and ear infections.
The day I became a non smoker my daughter came running into my bedroom and wrapped her arms around me and hugged me so hard. When she finally stopped she said, ‘I just saw some booklets from Quitline on the coffee table’. That hug, that look in her eyes. That’s all the reason I need to quit smoking.
Where to go for help
If you can picture how much better your life will be as a non-smoker, then you’ve taken the first step towards quitting. The next step is to get yourself some support – this will give you the best chance of success. Every year Quitline helps thousands of kiwis beat their smoking addiction. So how can we help you?
Call us on 0800 778 778 as many times as you like. Many advisors are ex-smokers themselves and know what quitting is like. You'll make a plan to help you beat cravings and we’ll send you a free Quit Pack.
Check out Quitline’s website at www.quit.org.nz to connect with 1000s of other people quitting on out blog and to see how much money you are saving with our ‘Quit Stats’ tool. When you sign up you’ll get your own personalized page.
Register by phone or online for our Txt2Quit service and we'll send you texts in English or Te Reo Māori to motivate you as you quit.
Nicotine patches, gum and lozenges
can double your chances of successfully quitting. You can get them for $5 each when you order them from Quitline by phone or online. You can also get advise on other stop smoking medication options.
If you’d like to talk to someone in person, Quitline can connect you with someone in your area.
Quitline offers phone support specially designed to help pregnant women quit smoking. We’ll be there for you throughout your pregnancy and until baby is at least 6 weeks old. We can also talk to your partner/family about helping you to quit and making your home smoke-free. Call us – 0800 778 778.
Gone are the days where I was an inactive, tired smoker who lacked energy, and hid behind a cigarette to deal and celebrate everything. I love being a non-smoker, I love having the money in the bank, I love life more, and my energy levels are high. I still deal with a lot of stress at work and have ample deadlines to meet, however I take it in my stride. I know and fully understand, lighting up a ciggy didn’t make the stress go away ... never did and never will ...
Thinking about stopping and the first couple of months are the hardest. It is such a scary thought to never have a puff again. Believe me when I say, it won’t seem so scary after a while.