Some think of quitting smoking as a loss, rather than considering all they have to gain. There are nearly 45 million smokers in the U.S. And even though 70% say they’d like to quit, only 5% are able to stop on their own. Smokers have long been warned about the negative impact of tobacco on the body, including risk of cancer, lung disease, and emphysema. The negative statistics might inspire you to make a change, but have you also considered what you can gain? Maybe you’re driven to avoid negative outcomes, but you also might be motivated by positive incentives. So, what can you gain by quitting smoking?
- Improved well-being. Quitting smoking is associated with fewer bouts of depression and anxiety as well as improved mood and quality of life. While you might not see these benefits immediately—especially during efforts to quit smoking—“losing tobacco” means you have a lot to gain in the way of well-being.
- Less medication. If you’re currently on medications, you might be able to reduce your dosages since nicotine increases the metabolism of certain drugs. If you’re suffering from side effects or paying for costly medicines, quitting smoking also might reduce how much you need.
- More vitality. Perhaps you’re struggling to keep up on the playground with your kids or at the gym. Maybe you’re performing at suboptimal levels during your Physical Fitness (PFT) and Physical Readiness (PRT) tests, which in turn interferes with your ability to get promoted. Remember: You just don’t reduce the risk of disease or death when you quit smoking. Instead of focusing on adding more years to your life, think about how quitting can add life to your years.
Quitting isn’t easy, and most people need outside help to kick the habit. Visit the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center website to learn more. And check out the Great American Smokeout for more resources. Make sure to visit HPRC’s Substance Use section too. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.