I quit smoking one year ago today…and I have the money in my bank account to prove it. I had originally planned to buy myself a plasma TV with the $1700 dollars that I saved, but I recently decided that this wasn’t really necessary. Why not, you ask?
Because quitting smoking is it’s own reward. Although you might not realize it when you are struggling to get through that first week of hell, eventually you will thank yourself for finally quitting. Simply not having to smoke is a gift. This is true freedom.
Back when I was still smoking, I was quite good at rationalizing and justifying my smoking. I had myself convinced that it wasn’t really limiting me in any way, and that the monetary cost was nominal. But now that I’ve been quit for a year, the blinders are definitely off. Smoking was costing me a fortune, in a number of different ways. It wasn’t just the purchase price of the smokes.
Smoking was limiting my life in a number of ways, some of them very subtle. Obviously, smoking costs money….but it was so much more than that.
It is hard to measure the amount of increased productivity that I gained over the last year by not having to take the time out to smoke eleven thousand cigarettes (pack and half a day). At 5 minutes per cigarette, that’s 916 hours of smoking! 38 entire days of smoking! So much time and effort dedicated to maintaining a comfortable level of nicotine in your body….existing from one nicotine feeding to the next, just trying to feel normal, constantly trying to escape withdrawal symptoms. Just imagine–a pack a day smoker spends over an entire month out of each year smoking. This has to be one of the biggest surprises that I experienced during this first year–realizing how much time it takes away from you to be a smoker.
And of course, there is the health issue. I jogged six miles today, and I couldn’t convince any of my smoking friends to even do a single lap with me. Jogging six miles feels great, by the way. But aside from feeling energetic and athletic, my motivation for quitting came straight from the statistics: the average smoker dies 15 to 20 years early. Quitting smoking, even at the age of sixty, will cut that in half. Quitting at thirty or earlier will negate that death sentence altogether. It’s never too late to quit. Living your life nicotine free is extremely easy and rewarding, but in the beginning, quitting is hard. If you’d like to know how I got through the first few weeks of torment, click here.