August 18th is a date which has a special significance for me: it marks the anniversary of 6 years since I quit smoking. Whenever my mind takes me back to that summer day in 2010 I remember quite clearly the feeling of sheer determination to finally achieve what I had been contemplating for a couple of years, which is giving up that nasty habit. It was the day in which I finally grabbed the bull by the horns, said to myself “No More Smoking!” and stuck to my resolution, which is no small achievement in my opinion if we consider the fact that there are still many people who want to quit smoking, but still haven’t got enough will to do it.
This small, but nevertheless important anniversary also represents a good opportunity for me to make a comparison between the smoking past and the non-smoking present and identify the ways in which the decision I took six years ago has influenced my life ever since. The more I think about it, the more I realize that it had nothing but positive consequences, so here are the key reasons for which my life has improved after kicking cigarettes out of it:
1. Health improvement
This is an aspect I noticed shortly after quitting and its signs were more than obvious: no more yellow fingers caused by nicotine consumption, no more coughing due to tobacco, breathing became easier and my stamina grew as well within a few weeks. I remember reading an article in a medical site which stated that if you manage to quit smoking while you’re still young your life expectancy will be significantly longer than the one you had while you were a smoker. I did before the age of 35, so my chances of adding a few good years to my life expectancy are significantly higher.
2. Financial aspect
My decision to give up smoking was greatly influenced by the fact that at that time the price of cigarette packs was growing at a fast pace as the government regularly added new taxes on tobacco producers in an obvious attempt to make cigarettes less accessible to the ordinary people. Before August 2010 I hated the government for constantly rising the price of cigarettes, but now that I’m on the other side I think they did the right thing. The high price of cigarette packs is a solid reason for many heavy smokers to gradually reduce the number of units they smoke daily until they realize it’s time to give up! It is needless to say that the money spent on that poison are simply lost, and when you realize how many other useful thing you could have done with your hard earned money them instead of waiting them on that garbage you can’t stop wondering why you started smoking in the first place.
3. Passive smoking is no longer an issue
Quitting smoking doesn’t necessarily mean that the nicotine will be completely out of your system. There are circumstances in which you are subject to passive smoking, but fortunately this possibility has been considerably diminished in my country after a law which bans smoking in closed spaces has been recently adopted in my country. Pub and restaurant owners certainly didn’t like that law at all as they lost some of their customers because of it, but smokers got used to it, and whenever they feel the urge to smoke they simply get out of that closed space and satisfy their vice without forcing the others to smoke passively.
4. Coffee Tastes Better Without Cigarettes
I used to think that a cigarette was an almost indispensable accessory to a cup of coffee, but as soon as I quit smoking I realized that the flavor and the taste of quality coffee is much easier to identify and appreciate without being accompanied by tobacco. Coffee not only that tastes and feels better than cigarettes, but if consumed in moderate quantities it has benefits for our health, but I’m convinced that if it is accompanied by a cigarette those benefits are simply neutralized by the negative effects of tobacco.
5. I Can Chill Out Without Smoking Nowadays
I used to think that smoking would help me relax for a few minutes during a stressful day, and maybe there was a little bit of truth in that, but after my smoking days were over I realized that there are other ways in which I can relax and diminish the stress, such as looking at playing a game, listening to a song I like or looking at some beautiful pictures of natural landscapes on my smartphone, and so on.
As a conclusion, when I think about the differences between my life before and after quitting smoking, I can only find positive aspects of my decision to quit. Smoking is a matter of individual choice and I respect smokers as long as they practice their habit without doing any harm to others; since I’ve been one of them for a few years I realize how difficult it is to give up smoking, why is why I appreciate so much those who go all the way and succeed in getting rid of this vice once and for all. If you think about quitting smoking, I wish you good luck and I know you can do it!
Image credit: Pixabay free domain.