We all know the dangers of smoking. The headlines are filled with research from the leading medical and health groups that reiterate that smoking is one of the most destructive hobbies we can have, for ourselves, our families and for our future. In this article, we are going to explore why smoking is so bad for us, what it is doing to our health and wealth and some of the steps to help you start living smoke-free.
It should come as no surprise that cigarettes are not good for us. According to Cancer Research UK, traditional cigarettes contain over 4,000 chemicals and 50 known carcinogens and can lead to over 17 various cancers and other major health conditions like heart attack, strokes, respiratory diseases and diabetes.
The World Health Organization go one step further and suggest that “smoking is the single greatest preventable cause of death in the world today”. In the UK alone, over 100,000 people die annually as a result of a smoking-related disease. So continuing to light up will dramatically reduce our standard of living and health in the long term.
The unfortunate thing about smoking cigarettes is they not only affect your health but also the health of your family and even your pets. Second-hand and third-hand smoke are serious by-products that don’t get as much exposure in the press as they should. When you smoke, some of those harmful toxins are released into the air where they can linger for up to five hours. When inhaled by others, it is commonly referred to as passive smoking.
This second-hand smoke exposure can increase the risk of a non-smoker developing lung cancer by 30%, coronary heart disease by 25% and has been found to lead to respiratory problems like asthma in children. If your partner or wife is pregnant, exposure to second-hand smoke can cause complications during pregnancy and after birth.
Beyond the health issues that smoking can cause your family, the money that you are spending on cigarettes is money that you are not spending on bettering the standard of living for your entire family.
Maybe it’s moving to a new house in a nicer neighbourhood with better schools, being able to afford better quality groceries or taking an extra couple of holidays every year – your disposable income could undoubtedly be spent in more beneficial ways than on cigarettes.
Most western countries around the world have been taking the approach of continually increasing the price of cigarettes and taxes in the hopes of lowering the adult smoking rates. In Australia, which has one of the lowest smoking rates in the world, a pack of 20 cigarettes will set you back AUD$40 (that’s a whopping £22).
The UK government recently increased the minimum price of a pack of cigarettes to £12.73 in the latest budget announcement in March 2020. For a “pack-a-day” smoker, that means you will watch over £4,646 a year literally go up in smoke.
According to the ONS (Office for National Statistics), the average wage for someone working full time is £31,461. That means the average earner in England who is still smoking could be spending over 14.7% of their wages on their habit. And this trend is not going to be reversed any time soon.
Switching to an alternative (like an e-cigarette) could help to keep some of that money in your wallet. For a pack-a-day smoker, swapping out your traditional cigarettes for a vape could cost between £1.50 to £2.00 a day – which is a massive saving compared to spending £12.73 per pack of cigarettes! Over the year, that simple change could save you over £3,900 in the next 12 months. That’s a lot of wonga!
Now, if we start looking at our futures and put on our financial hats, quitting smoking could have a substantial impact on your pension and the quality of your retirement. Imagine if you contribute £3,900 extra a year into your pension for the next 15 years.
Based on a compounded growth of 8%, depositing £325 a month (£3900/12 months) would add an extra £113,537 to your retirement! That could mean the difference between baked beans on toast or fillet mignon for dinner!
We know how hard it is to kick the habit for good, but there are more ways than ever to give up! From nicotine replacement therapies like gum, sprays and patches; to hypnotherapy and pharmaceuticals like Chempax; or support from a local NHS Stop Smoking service and e-cigarettes, support to help you quit is widely available.
All of these quit methods have helped millions of people in the UK to successfully quit smoking over the last few decades – according to ASH (Action on Smoking and Health), the smoking rates have dropped from 45% in 1974 to 14.7% in 2018 across the UK.
Most recently, Public Health England and the NHS Stop Smoking Service released a study that found that one of the best ways to quit smoking was to use an e-cigarette. The study found that “using a vaping product as part of a quit attempt in local stop smoking services had some of the highest quit success rates – between 59.7% and 74% in 2019 and 2020”. PHE continue to support the use of e-cigarettes and vaping as one of the best ways to quit and state that “e-cigarettes are at least 95% less harmful than traditional cigarettes”.
With so many reasons to quit – from your and your family’s health to the increasing impact on your finances, there hasn’t been a better time to try and kick the habit for good.
We have partnered with one of the leading brands of e-cigarettes in the UK – SMOKO – to give you a hand. Since they started, SMOKO E-Cigarettes have prevented over 275,000,000 cigarettes from being smoked and their customers have saved over £100m. So if you are ready to make the change, check out some of their great valued e-cigarette and vape starter kits.
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