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Five Good Reasons That Finally Motivated Me to Quit Smoking

I was a heavy smoker for more than 30 years. After many attempts, I finally managed to kick the habit.

Still chained to his need for nicotine

Still chained to his need for nicotine

If you are like most smokers, you want to quit—but you are not motivated by pictures of cancerous lungs or scary warnings on cigarette packs. You probably don't respond to statistics about heart disease, shortened lifespan, or what your second-hand smoke is doing to those you live with, either.

That's the way it was for me. I smoked in the car when driving my kids around and thought it was okay because I kept the window open. Talk about denial. I found all the health horror stories tiresome and just closed my eyes, hoping none of those things would happen to me.

It wasn't the idea of my health that finally motivated me to quit. It was sheer vanity and self-interest. So, in that spirit I offer you five good reasons to quit smoking that have nothing to do with lung cancer and heart disease, and everything to do with self-interest.

1. Smoking Decreases the Value of Your Car

I know you said you wouldn't smoke in the car, but I bet you do. And even though you can't smell it, I bet your car dashboard and upholstery are permeated with the stink of old cigarettes. There are probably a few burns and stains as well.

Those little pine tree shaped deodorizers do next to nothing, and even if you have your car totally detailed before trying to sell it, any used car dealer worth his salt is going to know that this car belonged to a smoker and guess what—that one fact decreases the car's value by hundreds if not thousands of dollars, depending on make and model, of course. You might want to consider quitting if you have a new car or are considering buying one—at least keep in mind that each time you light up in your car, you are decreasing its value.

2. Smoking Affects Your Job Prospects

These days there are employers who won't even consider hiring a smoker because it affects their bottom line. Smokers take more and longer breaks than non-smokers, and are less productive. Smokers also cost more to insure, get sick more often than non-smokers, and even though a workplace is smoke free, there is still the issue of second hand smoke in designated smoking sections. So, employers figure if it comes down to hiring a smoker or a non-smoker for a particular job, it makes sense to go with the non smoker.

In fact, hospitals and health-related businesses are increasingly switching from a "smoke-free environment" philosophy to a "smoker-free" one, warning applicants that they will be subject to urine testing for nicotine and that evidence of smoking will be grounds for dismissal.

By the way, if you are buying your own health insurance, your premiums will be higher as a smoker, if you can find a company that will insure you at all. In today's tough job market, you might want to consider revamping your smoking habits along with your resume if you are looking for a job or trying to keep the one you have.

3. Smoking Is Not Sexy

For both sexes, smoking causes wrinkles and bad breath. For men, there is increasing evidence that smoking can cause impotence, or what the Viagra ads delicately refer to as erectile disfunction. According to Web MD:

"Guys concerned about their performance in the bedroom should stop lighting up, suggests a study that linked smoking to a man's ability to get an erection. The study of nearly 5,000 Chinese men showed that men who smoked more than a pack a day were 60% more likely to suffer erectile dysfunction, compared with men who never smoked cigarettes."

There are sexual consequences for women as well. Women who smoke have higher rates of infertility than those who don't, and there are studies which show that pregnant women who smoke are more likely to give birth to babies with colic.

Then, there is the dating pool. Especially if you are using an online dating site to find Mr. or Ms. Right, you will find that as a smoker your potential dating pool is greatly diminished. The majority of adults are non-smokers and many will not even consider dating a smoker when filling out a profile for an online dating site. Of course, it is also true that you will have less competition if you want to date only smokers, but still—it does narrow your options.

Your profile picture won't be as good either with all those wrinkles and the premature aging that smoking brings. Oh, and did I mention the tooth loss and gum disease? Yes, smoking is a major cause of tooth loss and periodontal disease. Deep pockets in the gums not only loosen teeth, but fill with bacteria and, if left untreated, can cause all sorts of problems including heart disease. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 20 percent of people over age 65 who have never smoked are toothless, while almost half of daily smokers over age 65 have lost all their teeth. So, if you keep smoking you can look forward to expensive periodontal surgery and either a set of dentures or a mouthful of expensive implants. Either way, it's not a pretty picture.

4. Smoking Affects Housing Values

Apartment hunting? Check out how many of the ads online and in local papers don't want to rent to smokers, and there is a good reason why landlords want to avoid you if you smoke. Smokers are harder on the premises than non-smokers. When you move out, the landlord will definitely have to repaint and totally refurbish the place. Nothing is a bigger turn off to potential tenants than the smell of dead smoke or a yellow film of nicotine on the light fixtures. You'll find that out if you try to break your lease, need to sublet, or find a new tenant for your apartment. And let's not even talk about renting a furnished room or sharing a house or apartment with non-smoking room mates. Let's just say that as a smoker, your choices of where to live are greatly limited by your smoking habit.

You are not off the hook as a homeowner either. If you want to sell your house you are going to have to remove all vestiges of tobacco—the associated smell and nicotine film—by industrial strength cleaning, repainting, and refinishing before staging it for sale. Otherwise you can expect a significantly lower selling price or no sale at all. Oh, and did I mention that if you are buying a house your cost for homeowner's insurance (required if you have a mortgage) will be much higher if you smoke than if you don't. I bet you've never thought about how smoking affects how and where you get to live, but it really plays an important role.

5. Miscellaneous Little Reasons to Quit

Sometimes it is the little things that really get to you—Imagine not having to fight the cravings or chomp on nicotine gum every time you get on an airplane. Think about not having to leave your desk and go outside and freeze your duff off every hour to calm the nicotine beast. Imagine opening your closet and not finding that your sweaters smell of dead smoke. Think about tasting food: I mean really tasting it. How about being able to run up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath?

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You know that panicked feeling you get when it is late at night and you only have three cigarettes left, or what about the experience of rooting through old ashtrays at 4 a.m. to try and find a butt long enough to smoke? Imagine never having to do that again.

And, this one is perhaps the best of all. When I finally quit over a decade ago, after 30 years of smoking, one thing that really worked for me was putting the money I would have spent on cigarettes into a big glass jar on a daily basis. I did this every day for three months and there were days when just seeing that growing pile of cash kept me on the straight and narrow. Think of the money you'll save.

So there you have it—no scary pictures and predictions of a horrible future. Here are some good reasons to consider quitting that effect your life here, now, and in practical ways. I hope they help if you are among the many smokers who really would like to quit. It's hard, but it is definitely worth it.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2011 Roberta Kyle


Roberta Kyle (author) from Central New Jersey on December 18, 2012:

Glad you liked the hub, Holly, and good luck with the cold turkey-- just remember that cravings don't last forever. They only feel like they do:-) Wait at least 10 minutes and you will have it beat. Hope you will come back and share how you are doing. Thanks for the comment.

Holly on December 17, 2012:

Going to try and quit cold turkey usually I don't smoke at work or in the house any way driving is when I tend to crave but great tips thanks :)

Roberta Kyle (author) from Central New Jersey on November 06, 2012:

Great decision, David--- you won't regret it. Hang in and resist the temptation to have " just one" and if I were you I would toss that pack of cigs -- too big a temptation when you are quitting. Good luck and keep us posted

david bishop on November 04, 2012:

right now im trying to quit i just got asked to join a semi pro football team and there is no way i can play if i smoke i have a hard time breathing now and im only 18. so i smoked one last cig and just put the pack and my lighters in a glass jar and tide it up and a small bag with a lot of knots and soon getting patches

Roberta Kyle (author) from Central New Jersey on July 04, 2012:

Thanks for a great comment, Efficient Admin, I agree that the psychological addiction is where the rubber hits the road when it comes to smoking-- and what a great tip about how to get the smoke smell out of your car. Congrats on being smoke free and thanks for stopping by here.

Michelle Dee from Charlotte, NC on July 03, 2012:

Those items under Miscellaneous really hit home to me. I have been quit since 2/1/12 and remember those really gross moments when I would dig through the old butts to find any that had some more smoke left in them. And it really stank to dig through those butts. Uggggg. Great insight into more reasons to not relapse. I think tobacco addiction is really in the head, at least for me it was. Voted up, useful, interesting, beautiful.

P.S. If anyone needs to get the smoke smell out of their car, call a place like Carmax, or maybe even a detailer, and ask them if they have an Ozone machine you can rent to run in your car to remove the smell, or ask them what do they do to get rid of tobacco odor to sell a car?

Roberta Kyle (author) from Central New Jersey on June 23, 2012:

Hi Rosie, and thanks for reading this one. Yup, smokers( especially young ones) don't respond too well to pictures of cancerous lungs etc. and are much more apt to be impressed by the practical reasons like wrinkles and getting a job LOL, Glad you liked it.

Rosie Rose from Toronto, Canada on June 22, 2012:

Hiya Robie, this hub is awesome! I'm not a smoker and neither was my late husband. But, I have a few relatives and friends who have been struggling, quitting for a short time and then start again. They said it is really really difficult to quit. Your non-heart-related reasons for quitting smoking are very reasonable, specially the wrinkles. Wrinkles are scary! Great job in pointing that out. Voted up and shared. Cheers!

Have a nice day,


Roberta Kyle (author) from Central New Jersey on June 15, 2012:

Thanks wrenfrost56-- I'm glad you enjoyed thte hub. I think it's the small, practical things that get to people( especially young people who can't imagine their own mortality) so I thought I'd just point out a few reasons other than cancerous lungs years down the line that might make people want to quit.

wrenfrost56 from U.K. on June 15, 2012:

Awesome hub, well written, informative and thought provocing. There were a couple of points that I had never thought about before. :)

Roberta Kyle (author) from Central New Jersey on March 07, 2012:

Mizbejabbers--good to see you again. I am feeling very flattered by the attention:-) I tried self hypnosis too, but it didn't work for me--I was still searching for a magic bullet when I tried it and not willing to do the work.I tried many times and many ways and finally did quit over a decade ago, but it wasn't easy and I totally agree you have to really WANT it in order to quit and somehow when I was young and fit looking at pictures of diseased lungs just did not motivate me LOL Thanks for stopping by and for reading and commenting.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on March 07, 2012:

Your hub may be humerous, but it is real food for thought. Another up vote for you! I quit smoking many years ago -- for good. I was taking a self-hypnosis class and as an assignment, we were told to pick a project of self improvement. I picked quitting smoking as my class project. It not only worked, but now just the thought of a cigarette makes me nauseous, and I avoid places that allow smoking. So I recommend the self-hypnosis or the hypnosis route if you are having problems quitting. I know there are people who say that it didn't work for them, but you HAVE TO WANT TO QUIT for it to work.

Roberta Kyle (author) from Central New Jersey on March 02, 2012:

Thank you Vinaya. I'm glad you liked it and thanks for taking the time to comment as well.

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on March 02, 2012:

I don't smoke but there are lots of people in my circle who loves smoking. You have nicely highlighted the side effects. This hub is useful and informative.

Roberta Kyle (author) from Central New Jersey on January 04, 2012:

Good luck to you Toni-- I'd say make your man go outside to smoke, at least for now and keep on keeping on.... down to three a day from twenty is great and I bet you manage none at all within a week. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. Glad you liked the hub

Toni on January 04, 2012: some great info on here....I've quite once before for a month but started again. Decided this year it's gotta go for countless reasons! It's difficult though, my man still smokes so that's hard. I have had three smokes each day (day four now) which is down from a pack of 20.....I am trying very hard to cut it out all together but decided I am not going to be too harsh on myself....after reading all the posts I think I am right, because even deciding to quit is a step forward, now just make sure you follow through. Reading articles like this help to keep you on the right's to being completely smoke free within 1 week!!! Thanks.

Myna23 on December 18, 2011:

Guy.wish me luck.i want to help my boyfriend quit smoking.catch yah.

Roberta Kyle (author) from Central New Jersey on November 18, 2011:

... and thank you Mike for reading and commenting. Good luck to you if and when you do decide to quit

Mike on November 17, 2011:

I have not tried quitting yet but reading up on the best way and reading this has help me to make up my mind and things to think out thank all of you!!

Roberta Kyle (author) from Central New Jersey on November 09, 2011:

Good for you higgins07-- my best tip is -- most cravings don't last more than 15 minutes-- try riding them through-- set a timer if you have to and whatever you do don't have even one puff. Hope this helps

higgins07 on November 09, 2011:

Hi, Just quit yesterday & finding it so hard - any good tips?

Roberta Kyle (author) from Central New Jersey on October 26, 2011:

Congratulations Lee and isn't it amazing how good the living room smells without smoke? Nice going and thanks for sharing it here.

lee on October 26, 2011:

Its been very inspiring reading this. I am a week smoke free. Painted living room with money saved so i can see the results all the time and is fresh

Roberta Kyle (author) from Central New Jersey on September 11, 2011:

Hi Candace-- I'm thinking that a support group either online or in person might be great for you--and would answer some of your questions. It is really really hard to quit and almost nobody succeeds the first time around, so don't give up. It really is a powerful addiction and you really can beat it, but don't try to do it alone.

candace on September 09, 2011:

I tried to quit and i want to so bad, you are so right about the nicotene beast inside, it is very powerful. I started feeling angry and tired and depressed and i have 2 little kids and im a stay at home its easy for me to get stressed and need a cigarette...How long does rhis depression last, i hate feeling like that, especially when i have a lot to do as a mom...i need good adviice, i tried the patch and they kept swaeting off, i live in florida its always hot...

Gary Eby from Cave Junction, Oregon on August 17, 2011:

Amazing Hub.I wonderful combination of excellent tips and useful products. Do you actually experience financial benefits from your Hubs? Just curious. Of course you know that smoking is an addiction. I write about the miracle of how to overcome all that is negative. Peace and Light: Gary.

The Blagsmith from Britain on August 10, 2011:

Some will find these excellent reasons to give up smoking. Great hub and thanks for the encouragement you gave our family during the earthquake.

ajshuttles23 on July 11, 2011: I should have clarified I spend $200 per month on cigs....not a they were that much I couldn't afford for the luck :)

Roberta Kyle (author) from Central New Jersey on July 09, 2011:

Thanks, Wooded. Glad you liked it:-)

Wooded on July 09, 2011:

Very well written. I'm sure you will help someone quit with this. What an excellent hub!

Roberta Kyle (author) from Central New Jersey on July 09, 2011:

I just might do that DJ, although I never really got into weed-- just wasn't my thing, but I never totally believe the folks who keep telling me it isn't addictive-- yeah sure:-)

and daryl-- I didn't mean to forget you-- went and read your hub and I hope your Dad knows how cool it is that you care about helping him quit. Hope he has managed get off and stay off cigarettes.

DJ Funktual from One Nation Under a Groove on July 09, 2011:

I would love it if you made one about Marijuana. I quit smoking cigarettes years ago but can't seem to shake the sticky funk.

Roberta Kyle (author) from Central New Jersey on July 09, 2011:

Hi AJ and good luck with quitting--OMG $200 a week is over $10,000 a year. That's a trip to Europe or a week at the beach for the whole family-- awesome:-) Thanks for stopping by and welcome to Hubpages. I'm following you now.

daryl2007 on July 09, 2011:

You have a very interesting article regarding smoking...good...visit this one too

ajshuttles23 on July 08, 2011:

You did a great job with this one :) I have recently been considering quiting smoking,due to the fact that I am going to be going into the medical field and also to save money. I usually spend $52 every week on a carton, sometimes I can make it last a week and a half but still thats $200 I could be saving. And you are right about the smell, when I was pregnant with my girls, I quit altogether, and while I was a non-smoker, I could smell the smoke on others strongly. It was quite digusting.

Hattie from Europe on July 08, 2011:

o my, $9.25 is outrageous!

Roberta Kyle (author) from Central New Jersey on July 08, 2011:

Hi Hattie-- yup quitting is really hard :-)

Livelonger-- thanks for stopping by-- glad you like this one:-)

matt-- congrats on quitting -- you won't be sorry ouch $9.25????? that is awful!!!!

mattdigiulio from Los Angeles on July 08, 2011:

Hey, I quit a week ago because of that whole pesky lung cancer thing. I think this is a fantastic hub though, and your tips are keeping me all the more motivated to stay done with cigarettes! As well, price was a huge factor for me. $9.25 a pack in VT.

Voting up! Best, Matt

Jason Menayan from San Francisco on July 08, 2011:

Compelling reasons (and not the usual kind that don't necessarily work). A great read!

Hattie from Europe on July 08, 2011:

Have to agree with this hub. You really have to be mind set to quit, and motivated.

Roberta Kyle (author) from Central New Jersey on June 30, 2011:

Khmohsin and Sweetie1-- thanks so much for your kind words. I don't think warnings about the future help much with addictions-- but practical things in the here and now can make a difference. I hope these reasons will make a few young smokers think about quitting.

sweetie1 from India on June 30, 2011:

RObie excellent hub. This way no one has ever seen the effects of smoking like you did. Everyone talks about health so a smoker is bored to death with health lectures but yours in addition to health reasons is superb.

khmohsin on May 30, 2011:

Vote Up for Good advice and great information!

Roberta Kyle (author) from Central New Jersey on May 15, 2011:

Hi Paul and thanks for stopping by and taking time to comment-- Didn't know about Hemmingway but imagine that the smoking didn't help and heavy drinking also leads to male impotence, so I guess poor Ernest was out of luck in both departments.

Paul Goodman from Florida USA on May 15, 2011:

Some interesting points you make here.

You wonder whether people such as Ernest Hemingway's impotence in later life was caused by heavy smoking. It's a nasty habit.

(ps I am following your personal blog too now!)

Roberta Kyle (author) from Central New Jersey on April 29, 2011:

Thanks for commenting fucsia and for sharing your own journey. And congratulations on getting out of that "mental trap"

fucsia on April 29, 2011:

Great reasons to quit! I am an ex-smoker and now I hate the cigarette because now I can see its dangers with a rationality that before I did not have. I also know that the pictures of diseases do not scare the smoker, because he/she is in a mental trap. I think that expecially for young people the numnber 3 can be an excellent motivation.

Thanks for sharing!

Roberta Kyle (author) from Central New Jersey on April 11, 2011:

Thanks for adding that comment-- another good reason to quit that nobody knows about. Hope your sister in law is feeling totally well now and is up and about.

Pamela N Red from Oklahoma on April 11, 2011:

I found out last week that people who smoke are more likely to reject transplants. My sister in law had back surgery and they were able to put in bone graft from a donor. Had she been a smoker they would have had to take bone from her own hip.

Roberta Kyle (author) from Central New Jersey on March 10, 2011:

Kudos to your friend, Ripplemaker and thanks for taking the time to comment here. Nice to see you as always:-)

Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on March 10, 2011:

Hi robie, the friend I mentioned in your hub before finally got enough courage to quit. Still fearing though that she would be tempted to grab a smoke or two when stressed..which she did but she felt nauseous. These are wonderful reasons to quit smoking! :)

Roberta Kyle (author) from Central New Jersey on February 19, 2011:

Hello Kathyjewel-- I don't think there is much you can do except to tell your brother honestly what bothers you about his smoking behavior and ask him to stop in your presence...or if his smoking is smelling up your living space you might tell him what second hand smoke is doing to you. You should only talk to him about what his smoking does to you and not lecture him about what it does to him. You cannot stophim from smoking,but making your needs known might at least give him pause for thought :-)

Vicki-- congratulations on quitting. I totally identify with the surprise at finding how awful dead tobacco smoke smells--I had no idea when I smoked that it was so disgusting. Good luck with " de-smoking " your car

vickie on February 19, 2011:

I just quit 3 weeks ago. And you know what I am absolutely horrified about? My car! Everytime I go out to my car it reaks! Good lord what did I do? I never smelled it over the past 6 years because my nose was used to the scent. But now that I quit, omg! I am going to the janitorial supply and pick up an aerosol can of deodorant for after fire treatment. I heard it can help a lot. It's a "bomb". Let it off at night and in the morning, air out your car. Wish me luck!

Roberta Kyle (author) from Central New Jersey on February 18, 2011:

Ahhh fyxer-- People smoke for many reasons, but those who truly become addicted will walk through a blizzard to get to something that will kill them because the craving is that strong. Doesn't make sense, but it is real. Thanks for stopping by.

Hi Mark-- thank you too for stopping by--my reward for quitting is trying to write something real about the experience because I am so sick of all the spam out there from marketers of e-cigarettes etc. ( that's the serious part) the fun is that maybe I can find a way to link this to your cat hub-- what do you think?

BTW-- I am deep into reading your hubs now and really like your style..... I am your newest groupie;)

Mark Ewbie from UK on February 18, 2011:

Nice writing on stopping smoking and congrats to you on achieving it yourself. Would write more but I need to go outside and freeze my...

fyxer from mt vernon on February 18, 2011:

great hub, i have never smoked and i don't judge anyone, there is so much that we do not understand about smoking, at least i don't understand, people know that smoking is not the best thing for them health wise but they choose to do it anyway.

Roberta Kyle (author) from Central New Jersey on February 18, 2011:

Thanks wooded and romper20, for commenting and I'm glad you found this article helpful.

romper20 from California on February 17, 2011:

Well done. I have been interested in quitting smoking recently so information like this only helps!

Wooded on February 17, 2011:

These are great reasons to quit for those that have heard all of the health risks and aren't motivated by them. Thanks - I will share this!

Roberta Kyle (author) from Central New Jersey on February 16, 2011:

Thanks for sharing your strategy Amy and what a good one-- I think giving oneself little gifts is great and scented lotions are just perfect to take the place of that dead tobacco smell LOL and congratulations on being smoke free.

ftclick-- thanks for taking time to read all the reasons and glad you agree-- not sure that anti smoking campaigns on billboards and TV make that much difference in this internet day and age. At least now they call it an addiction. When I was first trying to quit many years ago they told me smoking was not an addiction, just a bad habit--hah!!! It took me years of trying to finally get unhooked.

and Twilight Lawns I totally agree about the smell. I think the same thing whenever somebody who has just had a cigarette walks by. Isn't it funny how when we smoked we didn't smell it on ourselves or others? And now I am a veritable needlenose for tobacco LOL

Twilight Lawns from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on February 16, 2011:

Well done. I haven't smoked for years and now, when I am near someone who does, I think to myself, "Did I smell like that?"

If that were the only reason not to smoke, it would be good enough for me.

ftclick on February 16, 2011:

I was only going to pick #2 & 3, but all of the other reasons are definitely spot on too. It may make a comeback though as there are not as many anti-smoking campaigns on billboards or TV.

amy jane from Connecticut on February 16, 2011:

Great reasons to quit...I hated having to go outside to freeze my ass off! When I quit, I gave myself a little present after the first week smoke free. I treated myself to scented body lotions and sprays (all natural, of course) because I was so happy about smelling good!

Roberta Kyle (author) from Central New Jersey on February 16, 2011:

wow thanks Steph-- yes that is a good one and I think I will come back and add it as number six, because while when I smoked I really couldn't smell smoke and had no idea how disgusting the smell was, once I stopped I became genuinely allergic to it and now really cannot be around cigarettes smoke for long without my lungs totally seizing up. Gkad you liked the hub and thanks for the support and for sharing your own experience here

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on February 16, 2011:

Excellent tips! I have a friend who has been on and off nicotine for years. I went on a business trip with her a year ago. Even though she went outside of her car to smoke, I completely reeked of the smell when I got home - frankly, it was nauseating! Had to wash everything I brought right away. So how about a 6th reason - you might drive friends away?

Rated up and useful - going to go share this now... :)

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