Each year smoking costs about 100,000 people in the UK their lives. On a more everyday scale, smoking also costs a bomb—about £7 or £8 for a pack of 20.
But this year’s No Smoking Day, lovingly organised by the British Heart Foundation, doesn’t dwell on the cost of smoking. Instead it aims to celebrate the multitude of benefits to smokers if they quit. You can, as the BHF so succinctly puts it, swap fags for swag.
Quitting smoking has instant benefits. The longer you stay smoke-free, the healthier you’ll become and the more money you’ll have to treat yourself with.
What are the health benefits of stopping smoking?
After just 20 minutes without a fag your blood pressure and pulse will return to normal. After eight hours the levels of carbon monoxide and nicotine in your body are halved. After 24 hours your body will be completely free of carbon monoxide and your lungs will start to clean out the tar that has been clogging them up.
If you go a full 24 hours without a smoke then you’ll have done the hardest bit. The good news is that, as you keep up your smoke-free life, the benefits keep rolling in. After 48 hours without smoking there will be no nicotine left in your body at all and your sense of smell and taste will have already improved.
Circulation continues to improve as you stay smoke-free, exercise becomes much easier and, ultimately, quitting smoking can add about 16 years onto our life.
How much money could you save by stopping smoking?
But we’ve not even started talking about the financial benefits you’ll be enjoying yet. If you’re a 20-a-day smoker and a pack costs around £7, you only have to quit for a day before you can afford a new lipstick or a new album. Don’t smoke for a week and you’ll be able to afford a meal out for two or a family trip to the cinema. A year without cigarettes and you’re in dreamland. Your savings from remaining fag-free will afford you a new kitchen or a holiday of a lifetime. Not bad considering this is in addition to becoming much fitter and healthier.
But, hey, not all smokers have a 20-a-day habit. Well, whether you smoke three or 30 fags a day, you can work out exactly how much you’ll save with the No Smoking Day Calculator.
Quitting isn’t easy, but the health and financial benefits of a smoke-free life are clear to see. For more information on stopping smoking, click the link below.