It’s the time of year for new year’s resolutions, promises that we will improve our lives, whether signing up to a gym membership, pledging to eat healthier food, or finding a new job.
One new year’s resolution we enjoy promoting here at You & Your Money is quitting smoking, which can transform both your health and your finances. There are now more former than current smokers in Ireland today – more than one million people have successfully kicked the habit.
The most important benefit is to your health. According to the HSE, 5,500 smokers die every year as a result of tobacco-related diseases. That’s not surprising when you consider that cigarettes contain a number of toxic chemicals and substances such as tar, nicotine, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and sulfuric acid. The result includes a range of cancers and diseases such as coronary heart disease and cancers of the mouth, lungs and throat. One in ten moderate smokers will die of lung cancer. For heavy smokers, that figure rises to almost one in five.
If you’re not convinced, consider the financial benefits. Smoking is an increasingly expensive habit, with prices for a pack of cigarettes rising every year. Budget 2017 recently added 50c to a pack of 20. Use the Quit.ie calculator to find out exactly how much you could save – if you smoke 20 Benson & Hedges per day at a cost of €11 per pack you’d find an extra €77 per week, €334 per month and €4,015 per year in your pocket. Think of the benefits to your mortgage repayments, car insurance, holidays, or social life!
Making the move
Talking about quitting smoking is one thing – actually taking the plunge is another. Thankfully, there are a number of free resources available.
Some people may find success in quitting cold turkey, but the HSE’s QUIT supports can help guide you through the process, offering one-to-one support (over the phone or face-to-face), group support sessions, and self-help literature.
You can also avail of Quit With Help’s smoking cessation plan, which covers the preparation process, your motivation, removing reminders, reviewing treatment options, willpower and much more.
January 1st may have come and gone, but you don’t have to wait until next year to take the first steps to removing cigarettes from your life. The benefits begin just 20 minutes after you quit. What are you waiting for?