Smoking is bad for your health! We all know this, but some older people don’t see the point in quitting because they have been smoking for so long. The truth is that it is never too late to stop smoking and this article will give you some reasons why.
Before we head into the 10 reasons why you should stop smoking, let’s look at the current statistics for those who do smoke.
Fortunately, the number of adults smoking in the UK is beginning to drop. According to Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), fewer than one in five (15.1%) of adults in the UK smoke. That’s 17% of men and 13.3% of women. In total, this means that there are around 7.4 million adult smokers in the UK. Other statistics provided include:
- Brits aged between 25-34 make up the highest proportion of smokers (19.7%).
- Around one in four people (25.9%) in routine and manual occupations smoke, compare to one in 10 people (10.2%) in managerial and professional occupations.
- In England, 10.8% of mothers are smokers at the time of birth.
- It’s estimated a third of all tobacco smoked in England is smoked by people with some kind of mental health condition.
Every year, around 96,000 people die in the UK from medical conditions caused by smoking. Smoking accounts for over one-third of respiratory deaths, over a quarter of cancer deaths and around one-seventh of cardiovascular disease deaths. Shockingly, around half of all regular smokers will eventually be killed by their addition.
According to the NHS, there were around 484,700 hospital admissions attributable to smoking during 2016/17. This was an increase of 2% on the previous year. As an overall proportion of all admissions this figure has fallen to 4%, from 6% in 2005/06.
The Government are now working on ways to help people to stop smoking, including price hikes and media campaigns. In 2016, tobacco was 27% less affordable than it was in 2006. In fact, it’s estimated that smokers in England spend around £14.1 billion on tobacco products each year – that’s roughly £2050 per smoker.
Let’s look at 10 reasons why you need to stop smoking.
Stop Smoking and protect your loved ones
If you stop smoking, you’re not only protecting yourself. You’re also protecting those around you, including your loved ones. According to Cancer Research UK, second hand smoke causes an estimated 11,000+ deaths in the UK each year. Around four-fifths of these deaths are due to second-hand smoke at home, with the remainder due to second-hand smoke in the workplace.
More than 80% of second-hand smoke is invisible and odourless, so no matter how careful you think you’re being, your family still breathes in harmful poisons.” – NHS
By quitting you are removing this risk from your friends and family, as well as anybody around you. Fortunately smoking in enclosed public spaces has been banned since 2007, and smoking in the car whilst children are present has been banned since 2015.
Did you know that children are most at risk from second hand smoke? Second hand smoke accounts for the following in children:
- Over 20,000 cases of lower respiratory tract infections.
- 120,000 cases of middle ear disease.
- 22,000 new cases of wheeze and asthma.
Quitting increases your life expectancy
It really is never too late to stop smoking! Men who stop smoking aged 60 will add three years to their life. No matter when you quit, a series of events will unfold once you have had your last cigarette:
- After 20 minutes your pulse rate returns to normal.
- After eight hours the nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in your blood reduce by more than half, and your oxygen levels return to normal.
- After 48 hours carbon monoxide will be removed from your body. Your lungs will begin to clear out mucus and other debris. There will be no nicotine left in your body and your ability to taste and smell will improve.
- After 72 hours breathing will become easier as your bronchial tubes begin to relax, and energy levels increase.
Over the next few weeks and months your circulation will improve and any coughs, wheezing and breathing problems will improve. After a year the risk of heart disease is about half compared with a person who is still smoking.
10 years after you stopped smoking, the risk of lung cancer falls to around half that of a smoker. After 15 years, the risk of a heart attack falls to the same as someone who has never smoked.
Quitting will improve your fitness
Smoking hampers your fitness levels. You will become out of breath easier and quicker, making any physical activities much harder. Some smokers can become out of breath simply walking up the stairs or around your local neighbourhood.
Within 10 months of quitting, your lung capacity will improve by up to 10%. This means you can get around your home easier and that you can go out for that walk to the shops, or to the gym for a workout.
Quitting will improve your “private life”
By quitting smoking, you will also be helping your sex life. Stopping smoking improves the body’s blood flow so improves sensitivity. By quitting, men can lower their risk of and improve any symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
Studies have also shown that non-smokers are three times more appealing to a prospective partner than smokers. In older people this can help to combat loneliness.
Quitting improves your senses
When you stop smoking your senses of smell and taste will improve. This is due to your mouth and nose recovering from being covered in the hundreds of toxic chemicals found in cigarettes. Many people who quit say that this is one of the first changes that they notice and can often occur within a few days.
As your senses return to normal you will be able to enjoy your favourite foods once again. You will be able to head outside and breath in the fresh air, use scented candles and appreciate the many flowers in your garden.
Quitting improves your appearance
Stopping smoking has been found to slow facial ageing and delay the appearance of wrinkles. Smokers commonly have yellow nails and stained teeth; this process will also be prevented should you stop smoking.
It is believed that quitting can start to reverse the signs of an ageing face within two weeks.
Quitting will improve your smell
Without even realising it, due to your loss of senses, you may not realise that you begin to smell of tobacco when you smoke. When you have a cigarette the tobacco smoke will get into all of your clothes and stay on your breath for a while afterwards.
Eventually the smell may just stick with you, especially if you’re a chain smoker. Once you have quit, this will gradually begin to disappear. It may be helpful to throw out some of your older clothes, as the smell might be difficult to remove.
Quitting will save your money
It’s no secret that smoking is an expensive addiction. An average smoker will have 13 cigarettes a day, which adds up to 364 cigarettes a month. This equals £141 per month and £1696 a year that you could save by quitting.
Of course, some people will smoke more than 13 a day, and prices are constantly rising. If you smoke 20 cigarettes a day, 10 years after quitting you will have saved around £22,000. Just think about what you could do with that money.
It can be used for nice holidays with the family, a new car or trips to the football at the weekend. It could be used to help pay off your mortgage and bills. There are so many better ways of spending your income.
Of course, being a non-smoker will also reduce the cost of your life insurance, and you’ll also spend less time having to get to the doctors and paying for prescriptions because of smoking-related symptoms.
Quitting will improve your social life
All of the above reasons to stop smoking will lead to your social life improving. You will feel better about your appearance and smell; therefore you will feel confident when you’re around friends, colleagues and family.
When you’re with friends at their home, in a restaurant or any enclosed public space you will no longer keep having to “pop outside for a cigarette.” As you’ll have more spare cash, you’ll also be able to take part in more social events.
Quitting will provide you with a sense of achievement
We all understand that smoking is a difficult thing to stop. There are so many examples of people attempting to stop, but they end up going back to the cigarettes. Once you have made the decision to stop smoking it will be a difficult road.
By setting yourself multiple targets you can feel great every time that you make them. The sense of achievement that you will feel when you hit one month, six months and a year without smoking will make the struggle worth it.
Once you hit a certain target you will feel so proud of your accomplishment that you’ll never need to go back!
Staying safe at home
A personal alarm can help protect people if they suffer from medical conditions caused by smoking. If one of our alarm users feels unwell, or suffers a fall, he or she can press their pendant button and help will be arranged immediately.
For more information on purchasing one of our life-saving personal alarms please speak to one of our friendly advisers on 0800 999 0400. Alternatively, complete our contact us form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Remember to use the discount code BLOG2018 when you order one of our personal alarm systems on a Monthly or Annual Plan to receive £10 off.