Do you ever think about why you started smoking? There may be many reasons why you did, but the reason you keep smoking is because you’ve become dependent on nicotine.
This addiction doesn’t make it impossible to quit, but it can make it difficult and this can really mess with your motivation.
In this guide we list some of the top reasons Londoners give for quitting. If any of these relate to you, here’s a reminder of why these reasons matter, and how you can use them to keep going.
Reason to quit number one: “for better health”
The pandemic may have you thinking more about your health and this might be playing on your mind.
The good news is that within minutes of smoking your last cigarette, your body begins to recover. Stopping smoking will lower your risk of developing illness over time including heart disease and cancer. It also lowers your risk of diabetes, and helps your blood vessels, heart, and lungs to work better.
Stopping at any age can give you back years of life that will be healthier and happier than if you continue to smoke. Test your knowledge of all the health benefits with our online quiz.
And it’s not just your physical health that will benefit, your mental health will too.
Some people believe that smoking helps to relive stress and anxiety. It doesn’t! Smoking only relieves nicotine withdrawal symptoms like irritability and low mood, tricking you into believing it helps with stress. The relief from having each cigarette is short-lived. As nicotine levels drop, withdrawal starts to creep back in, making you reach for another cigarette. When you break up with smoking you break this cycle.
As you quit, a good tip that has worked for some ex-smokers is to use meditation and deep breathing exercise to reduce any anxiety and stress you feel along the way. Try out this free guided meditation from Good Thinking.
After people have stopped smoking, they have less anxiety, depression and stress, plus better mood than those who continue to smoke. For more tips read this guide on how to quit smoking and stay calm in the process.
Reason to quit number two: “to save money”
Across London the pandemic has seen people losing their job, becoming furloughed or experiencing a change in hours or earnings.
Smoking is expensive and it isn’t going to get cheaper. A pack of cigarettes can cost £13 or more. If you smoke twenty cigarettes a day this adds up to over £4,745 each year. Even if you get your cigarettes cheaper than this, stopping smoking will be good for your finances!
To get motivated to quit for financial reasons, add up your savings over the coming months and years by using the stop smoking calculator.
Some Londoners told us that seeing their saving every day in a glass jar helped them to stay on track. Alternatively, you could track your savings using one of these digital apps.
Reason to quit number three: “for my loved ones.”
Both you and the people in your life will breathe easier when you quit. As we are all staying home more now, it is likely that the people (and pets) you live with are being exposed to more secondhand smoke. Every cigarette contains over 4,000 chemicals and harms everyone who inhales it, not just the smoker.
Many London ex-smokers tell us they quit for their children. This is powerful because it means you’re insuring yourself to be around for them for longer. Children of smokers are more likely to smoke themselves later in life and so quitting will reduce the risk of your children following in your footsteps.
Having a baby on the way can also be a great motivator. Babies born to mothers who smoke have an increased risk of premature delivery, sudden infant death, and low birth weight. If you or your partner are expecting, get help and support to quit smoking and watch Jess’ story to hear how she quit while pregnant.
If you would like to try vaping to help you to quit smoking, you may be able to get a free vape kit and specialist support over the phone by signing up to Stop Smoking London’s vape pilot. To find out more call 0300 123 1044 or arrange a call-back here.