If you’re looking to tighten the purse strings, then why don’t you pack in the cigarettes..
One study found that 60% of smokers find it hard to last a whole day without smoking.
Here at Money Magpie, we know how hard it is to quit. But with our handy article, we plan on giving you a nudge in the right direction because there are loads of incentives to quit smoking. So here are some reasons to inspire you to give up the cigarettes for good.
There are lots of great health reasons to give up the fags for good.
First off, you’ll be able to go for a brisk walk or a run without coughing and spluttering every where. Your skin will also start to look healthier, happier and younger after a few months. As a non-smoker, you’ll also get fewer wrinkles as time goes on.
Once your body has repaired itself, you’ll look a whole lot more attractive too! Gone will be the stained yellow teeth, the lifeless brittle hair and the stale smoke smell!
The NHS incentive
If those health reasons weren’t enough, then some stats from the NHS should give you a nudge too.
After the first 8 hours, your body’s oxygen levels will be returning to normal and the carbon dioxide levels will have reduced by half. Then, after a further 40 hours, your body will have flushed out all the carbon dioxide. At the same time, your lungs will have started to clear out the mucus, and your sense of taste and smell would’ve improved.
After 72 hours, your breathing will start to feel easier because your bronchial tubes have started to relax.
Then, in just two weeks, your circulation will have improved.
After three months your lung function will have increased by as much as 10%, meaning any coughs and breathing problems will improve dramatically.
In one year, the excess risk of coronary heart disease will have reduced to half that of a smoker.
After 10 years, your risk of lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker and your risk of heart attack falls to the same as someone who has never smoked.
Then after 15 years, your risk of heart attack should be the same as someone who’s never smoked.
If the many health benefits of a smoke-free life aren’t enough to entice you to quit, the increase in the weight of your wallet could well be.
A packet of 20 cigarettes costs around £9.00 (depending on the brand you buy). Working on that basis, have a look below to see just how much money you could be saving and what else you could spend it on.
Giving up five cigarettes a day saves:
- £18 a week – 2 for 1 cinema tickets with Compare the Market, as well change for popcorn!
- £70 a month – an delectable dinner for two including starter, main, dessert and wine at lots of high street chains
- £756 a year – choose an incredible holiday for two with the luxury travel website Voyage Prive
- £7,560 a decade – good condition used BMW 5 series
Cutting out 10 cigarettes a day saves:
- £36 a week – Luxury cosmetics from Benefit
- £140 a month – 22 bottles of good quality wine
- £1,512 a year – A 13-inch MacBook Pro
- £15,120 a decade – Completely redecorate your home
Giving up 20 cigarettes a day saves:
- £72 a week – Two West End theatre tickets
- £280 a month – Two return tickets to Paris on the Eurostar and some spending money
- £3,024 a year – Two round-the-world tickets
- £30,240a decade – Deposit for your first home, and some money to redecorate!
Apart from the obvious financial benefits of not having to buy cigarettes, giving up can also save you a small fortune on your insurance premiums.
Smoking makes you more of a risk as far as insurers are concerned since you’re more likely to claim. As well as reducing the number of life insurance options open to you, it can increase your premiums by as much as 78%.
The average premium for a healthy 35-year-old man who has £100,000 cover for 20 years is £8.85 per month. If this man was classed as a smoker though, the premiums would rise to £15.75 – that’s an extra £1,656 over the term of the policy!
Remember that smoking might also increase your home and car insurance premiums as well.
However, it’s good to know that most insurance companies will officially reinstate you with non-smoker status 12 months after you quit.
We’ve shown you it’s worth it, so make sure that you get a new life insurance deal once you can be classified as a non-smoker. Check out the best offer with our comparison service.
A study into the costs of smoking by the NHS has shown that smokers can spend as much as £676 a year before they’ve even bought their cigarettes.
This goes on costs like maintaining the same personal hygiene as a non-smoker. This includes buying things like smokers toothpaste, cough sweets and breath fresheners, which can set you back nearly £200 per year. While the cleaning, repairing and replacing your clothes comes to £213 a year.
Giving up can do wonders for your social life, not least because you’ll have loads more time.
According to the NHS, the average time spent smoking a cigarette is about 10 minutes. This means a ten-a-day smoker could save almost two hours a day, and a whole month over the course of a year, by giving up. Imagine what you could do with all that free time…
Being able to quit should give you a huge confidence boost – if you manage to give up you can be immensely proud of your achievement and hopefully you’ll have more self-esteem to go out and do all the things you’ve always wanted to.
Also, if you’re looking for that special someone, you’re more likely to get a date after you quit. According to NHS research, non-smokers are more attractive to the opposite sex than smokers.
You can also stop feeling guilty about putting your friends and family in danger because of passive smoking – and in turn they’ll be so grateful to you.
The first few weeks of quitting are the hardest, so you’ll need determination and will power. You’ll also need some help and the NHS can provide it.
Your first stop should be the NHS SmokeFree website, which will help you to create a plan.
You can choose to go to free sessions and discuss things with others, but if you’d prefer to go it alone, support is available at home with the ‘Together Programme’ – find out what’s best for you here.
Make sure you check out these other free resources, such as 10 self-help tips to quit smoking as well as National No Smoking Day.
MoneyMagpie spoke to 45 year-old Nigel Manton who gave up smoking two years ago. Nigel had been smoking from the age of 13. He smoked on average twenty a day and sometimes as many as forty.
Nigel said that a combination of factors convinced him to quit: he began to wake up feeling very wheezy, his partner was a non-smoker and wasn’t keen on his habit and he really wanted to do a trek in Nepal and realised that if he continued to smoke he just wasn’t going to be able to.
Nigel said that he really needed reasons to want to quit – he thinks if you plan to give up you’re much more likely to succeed than if you make an impulse decision.
He also points out that there are no prizes for giving up the hard way, and having help from the NHS makes it so much easier than trying to use will power alone.
Nigel used the NHS helpline (above) and was put in contact with a local council support group – details of these can be found on the NHS smokefree website.
Support through the NHS helpline
He told us that it was not unlike an AA meeting, and that the support was invaluable. Nigel received help planning his course of action. He explained that the members had help choosing the right kind of nicotine replacement aids – the NHS say that using these double your chances of being able to quit successfully.
If you attend all the meetings – Nigel had one a week for six weeks – then you receive a form entitling you to the nicotine replacement aids for free. So you really can give up for nothing!
Nigel told us that his main incentive to persevere was the carbon monoxide test that each member had to blow into, in front of everyone else at the start of each meeting. It was the thought of doing this that kept him going to begin with.
It took Nigel six weeks to quit – he said that at that point his cravings were completely gone and all his friends kept telling him how much healthier he looked.
He told us that quitting was easier than he thought it would be, and advises those who are trying to kick the habit to make the most of the services the NHS provide – you might as well make it as easy for yourself as you can.
Check out our other articles on how to change your habits and save money: