In just over a month’s time, many people around the country will consider taking up a New Year’s resolution – perhaps spending more time in the gym or less time on their smartphones.
Giving up smoking is another popular choice, and it’s not hard to see why. According to the HSE, around 5,500 smokers die every year from tobacco-related causes. Cigarettes contain a number of toxic chemicals and substances including tar, nicotine, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and sulfuric acid, and can cause a range of cancers and diseases such as coronary heart disease and cancers of the mouth, lungs and throat.
If you’re not too worried about your health, then consider the impact on your pocket. Using the Quit.ie calculator, someone who smokes 10 Silk Cut Choice at €11.30 per pack could save €2,062 per year – that could cover your car, health and home insurance, a trip away and a decent stash for your rainy day fund.
Though some people will go cold turkey, this is incredibly difficult, and seeking help could keep you from falling back into old habits. The HSE’s QUIT supports are available to guide you through the process, including free over the phone or face to face intensive support sessions, which have high success rates. These sessions usually start between one and four weeks before your quit date and continue for up to 12 months after you take the plunge.
Quitwithhelp.ie also offers a free smoking cessation plan, allowing you to create a personalised, step-by-step programme to break the habit.
There’s no better time to stop – you don’t have to wait for January 1st. According to the Irish Cancer Society, you’ll begin to feel the benefits almost immediately, with blood pressure and pulse rate returning to normal after just 20 minutes, while your chance of a heart attack begins to fall after eight hours. Giving up smoking can have a huge benefit on your finance but, more importantly, it could help save your life.