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10 Non-Health Related Reasons Why You Should Quit Smoking

10 Non-Health Related Reasons Why You Should Quit Smoking

If you are a smoker, you have heard about all the dangers before – bronchitis, asthma, heart diseases, and even cancer. Despite this, there’s still that crazy feeling that compels you to reach out for one more cigarette, one last time. Of course, there it goes again, your resolution to quit smoking down the drain, for the nth time. Different smokers, same story. You know it, we know it. However, do you know that health is not the only thing that you lose when you smoke? Studies show that smoking affects you in a number of ways, none of which is related to your health.

Here are 10 surprising things that get affected when you smoke.

1. Your Productivity at Work

Contrary to what many smokers love to believe, smoking does not help you become more creative or productive. Most smokers tend to overstay the designated 15-minute smoke break, thus costing the company more in terms of lost time. In fact, smoking may even hamper your focus as you crave for the next cigarette and end up taking more breaks. Studies show that smokers also call in sick more than the non-smokers. A study published by the Ohio State University in 2013 even claimed that each smoker costs an annual average of $5,816 to the company!

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2. Your Savings

Smoking is an expensive habit. How expensive? Just consider the number of cigarettes you smoke daily and then calculate how much you spend on it annually, and you will be shocked. Let’s do the math. In the US, the cost per pack of cigarettes varies from state to state. If you are in Virginia and Missouri you could be paying around $5.25 per pack. However, if you are in New York, each pack could cost you as much as $12.85. At even $10 a pack, if you smoke 10 cigarettes a day, that’s $1,825 per year and $24,054.95 in 10 years (when you factor in a 6 percent annual price hike). Think of all the money you could save by quitting. A nice vacation, anyone?

3. Your Career

Do you know that many companies don’t hire smokers? The trend started way back in the mid-1980s with Alaska Airlines. Union Pacific and Weyco followed suit in 2004 and 2005 respectively. Today, many companies even urine-test their applicants as part of the interview process to check for nicotine. The practice of opting for non-smoker employees is not restricted to healthcare alone. Even Scotts Miracle-Gro, a fertilizer company, doesn’t hire smokers. Can smokers resort to the law of the land in order to fight this discrimination? Probably not, because 21 US states, including Texas and Florida, do not protect smokers. Think of the world of opportunity that this one bad habit is costing you.

4. Your Holidaying Experience

Restaurants and bars don’t only designate a separate smoking zone. These days they go the extra mile and declare themselves 100 percent smoke-free. This is especially true if you are vacationing in England, France, and New Zealand. These are among a few countries that have a ban on smoking at restaurants and bars.

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5. Your Image

It’s true that smoking can make you less popular among people who don’t smoke. However, that’s not all. Do you know that researchers studying cancer caused by smoking have long used animals as the subject of their experiments? A 1970 document from the British tobacco company Gallaher Limited states the process in detail. Elaborating on it, a part of the paper says, “Both research groups are using beagles which are made to inhale fresh whole cigarette smoke.” If you are empathetic to the cause of animal welfare, it’s time you sever yourself from this history of animal cruelty.

6. Your House

It is estimated that hundreds and millions of dollars are lost every year in the US alone due to smoking-material fire. According to the NFPA’s report “The Smoking-Material Fire Problem”, issued in 2013, fire departments in the US responded to around 90,000 smoking-material fires in 2011. These fires took a toll of 540 civilian lives, 1,640 civilian injuries, and $621 million in direct property damage. You can imagine what’s at stake every time you light up a cigarette.

7. Your Morals

Online cigarette trading is a thriving, albeit a sleazy, business. While it may save you some bucks, it makes you a part of something illegal. Selling cigarettes to underage kids is rampant in the online world. An experiment conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that minors were successful in purchasing cigarettes over the Internet, with 93.6 percent using a credit card and 88.9 percent with money orders. In this study, the online vendors sent a total of 1,650 packs of cigarettes to the kids. So every time you buy cigarettes online, you are contributing to something that should be stopped right now.

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8. Your Walls

Smoking leaves ugly stains on your walls. Just imagine how your favourite artwork would look with that kind of a background. Not too nice, right? These patches are not only bad to look at, but are very persistent as well. You need to put in a lot of concentrated effort to get rid of the stains.

9. Your Planet

Tobacco farming is one of the causes for deforestation. Wood burning, an important aspect to cure the tobacco, is also harmful for the environment. In addition to this, tobacco leaves behind a clinging odour on your clothes, which means you need to wash them more often and more vigorously. This only means you will end up using more water.

10. Your Mood

How many times do you get lectured by non-smoker colleagues, friends, and family? You have probably lost count by now. Does it feel good? Nope. The best way to stop this once and for all is to quit tobacco.

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Conclusion

Smoking is bad, and you know why. It’s probably time that you explored the reasons beyond your health to get that extra push in calling it quits.

Featured photo credit: Quit Smoking via domivrt.vecernji.hr

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Olivia Taylor

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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