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!
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.
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.
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.
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