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What Are Your Long-Term Motivations?

Remember your reasons for quitting tobacco. They can help you stay on track.

By Ginny Greene, Contributing Editor

There are many reasons to quit smoking. For some, it’s a life event, like learning you’re going to have a baby or meeting someone new who doesn’t like your smoking. Or you may get a new job where smoking is not allowed.

For other people, it’s the desire for a life free of tobacco once and for all. Isn’t it simply time to quit?

Keeping your motivations at the top of your mind can help you in every stage of the quitting process. Some people make a list and post it where they can always see it. You might even cut out pictures from a magazine that remind you of the reasons you want to quit.

Here are some common reasons people decide to quit tobacco for good. Perhaps you can add a few that are personal to you.

  1. Improve your health. As a smoker, quitting tobacco is the single most important step you can take to live a longer and healthier life, no matter what your age or how long you’ve smoked. Quitting will cut your risk of heart attack, lung disease, stroke, high blood pressure and other health conditions.
  2. Look better. When you quit, your skin, teeth and nails will look healthier. Your breath will be fresher and your clothes won’t reek of tobacco.
  3. Save money. Figure out how much you’re spending on tobacco every month. Don’t forget health costs due to missed work and doctor’s appointments. What could you do with that extra money?
  4. Have more time with family and friends. You won’t always be running out for cigarettes or looking for a chance to sneak away and have a smoke.
  5. Protect your loved ones. It’s not enough just to smoke away from others. Secondhand smoke is harmful to those around you. Smoke can linger in your car and your home, too. Even when you cannot smell it, others can.
  6. Enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Your senses of taste and smell will improve when you quit.
  7. Sleep better. Smokers are more likely to snore and disturb the household’s sleep. Those who breathe secondhand smoke are also more likely to snore. When you quit, your body starts repairing your lungs and you will breathe easier.
  8. Set a good example. Tell your family you’re quitting. Maybe you can get a friend or loved one to quit with you. Show them you care about your health — and theirs.

So try this: Write down your own reasons for quitting. Post them at your desk at work or on the refrigerator at home. They can inspire you along your journey to be smoke-free.

Sources:

Smokefree.gov. What’s your reason to quit? Accessed: October 8, 2015.
American Lung Association. Why quit smoking? Accessed: October 8, 2015.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Tips to quit smoking. Accessed: October 8, 2015.

Updated October 8, 2015