Today is the annual No Smoking Day, which is all about promoting the benefits of quitting smoking and providing support for those wanting to quit. It’s been going for years, and whilst the number of smokers in the UK is steadily falling, from over 40% of adults in the 1970s to 24% in 2005 (source), that still means that just under a quarter of over-18s in the UK smoke regularly.
I’ve never smoked, and am from a generation and background where the anti-smoking message was made very clear from an early age. My father, along with a few other family members, used to smoke, but all have since quit, and been tobacco free for some years now. But there are still echelons of society where smoking is seen as acceptable, and it’s still quite common to see people from lower-income backgrounds smoking regularly. This is despite the fact that smoking 20 cigarettes per day costs over £2000 per year.
There’s a guide to just how much money you can save by quitting smoking at MoneySavingExpert.com, along with some economical ways of quitting. The NHS also provides free advice on its Smokefree web site, and you can even order a free ‘quit kit’ to help.
Although there are strong financial reasons for quitting smoking, doing so will also increase your life expectancy and reduce the risk of developing serious diseases in later life. You also won’t have to stand outside in the cold during winter to satisfy your nicotine habit, and you won’t be propping up the profits of some rather less than ethical corporations who produce cigarettes and who, in the past, have tried to suppress links between smoking and health problems.
Today also happens to be Ash Wednesday, and therefore the start of lent – if you’re a smoker, then maybe smoking is the ideal thing to give up for lent.
So if you’re using today as the day you quit smoking, I wish you the very best of luck.