Get great health benefits
Life changes “stick” when we have a positive reason for making them. Visit our timeline of benefits and list the motivators that are meaningful to you.
Calculate the financial rewards
Have you ever calculated what smoking does to your wallet? Take the money you spend on cigarettes, usually $5 to $10 a pack and (if you smoke a pack every day), multiply that by 365. That’s almost $2,000 a year on the low end! If you smoke a pack a day, you’ll spend around $20,000 over the next 10 years. Can you think of other ways you’d like to spend that money? Use our handy calculator on the right to know how much you'll save.
Here’s a tip: Put the cash you’d spend on cigarettes in a jar, set a goal and reward yourself with a treat after you have saved enough money. You deserve it! Here’s how some ex-smokers have spent their money:
“Instead of spending money on cigarettes, I dedicated those dollars to a savings account for three months and bought an iPad.”
“The first thing I did was to shift my cigarette money over to the nicotine patch. I felt much better knowing I was using the same cash toward improving my health instead of destroying it. It really helps me stay away from cigarettes.”
“I stopped smoking 3½ months ago. Since then, I’ve saved a whopping $1,350! ($9 per pack, 1½ packs per day). My husband and I are planning a Mediterranean cruise when I reach one year smoke-free.”
Improve your sense of accomplishment and self-mastery
Learning new habits for a smoke-free life is a great accomplishment. Just like running a marathon, earning a degree or losing weight, you can be proud of the steps you take to create the life you want.
As you change your habits you’ll also change your perception of yourself. You’ll begin to see yourself as the healthier person you are becoming, as someone who deserves to be treated with care, as someone whose long-term health is important.
Take charge of your social life
Living smoke-free gives you more freedom. Are you tired of excusing yourself from your non-smoking friends so you can take a smoke break? Wouldn’t it be nice not to get “the look” from family members or co-workers when you step outside to smoke? Tired of “the wince” you get from people who smell the smoke when you come back inside? As you break your addiction, you’ll open up more choices for yourself.
Enjoy your positive influence
Most smokers hope their children won’t choose to smoke. But what will they choose? Will they listen to what you say or to imitate what you do? Show them what it takes to build new habits for a smoke-free life.
You can also invest in your family’s health by cleaning up their breathing environment. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, about 40 percent of adult nonsmokers and 54 percent of children are exposed to secondhand smoke, a serious health risk for both adults and children. When you clean up the air by cutting out the cigarette smoke, you are showing that you care enough to take action.
Leading by example is a great way to show your children that you take your family’s health seriously. Maybe start with the small step of making a commitment to smoke only outside. It may help you cut back as you start valuing your health more than your addiction.
Reap the payoffs!
As you make changes, celebrate your successes! Post them on your Facebook status. Tweet them, even when they are small. Post on the American Heart Association’s wall on Facebook. Notice the changes in your body, your bank account, your atmosphere and your self-esteem.
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