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Never a better time to quit…

Quitting smoking can improve your health and your bottom line

Quitting smoking can improve your health and your bottom line

…than right now!

Today is the Great American Smokeout, a day created to encourage smokers to quit the habit, even for just one day.  It’s a great impetus to see if you can go without cigarettes or other tobacco products for 24 hours.

The dangers of smoking are well-known and don’t just exist for the smoker.  I haven’t smoked a day in my life, to provide full disclosure, but my mother was a smoker.  She died suddenly when she was 47, the result of an undiagnosed condition created in large part by her 30+ years of smoking.  I hate what smoking did to her, and that it took her away before she could see me get married, before she could play with her grandchildren.  So… I’ve never smoked, but smoking has still cost me dearly – which is a story that repeats itself over and over again for many Americans.

If you’re already working from home, there are additional considerations about smoking you may want to keep in mind.  While working at home provides you the freedom to smoke when and wherever you want, you’re also exposing your home and possessions to that much more smoke than if you were working away from home.  Smoke is bad for electronics – how much did you pay for your computer(s)?  Smoking in your home also creates what scientists term “third-hand smoke”.  The smoky, nicotine smell you encounter when you enter a smoker’s house or car is actually the slow release of a variety of nasty substances that are contained in cigarette smoke.  Even if you never smoke around your partner, or kids, or your pets, they are still getting that continual exposure to carcinogens that get trapped on nearly every surface of your home – and even on you.

There are also financial considerations.  How much do you spend each week on cigarettes?  Also, do you realize that your auto insurance, life insurance, and even health insurance rates (if you are currently purchasing your own policy, and even in some group policies) are higher because you smoke?  Talk about an arbitrary bite right out of your bottom line!

The Great American Smokeout provides the perfect opportunity to test those nonsmoking waters.  (It’s nice in here, I promise!)  What’s really fortunate is that there are so many resources for people trying to quit.  Most states, through monies received due to tobacco settlements, have instituted quit-smoking programs, including things like free or reduced price smoking cessation products, like nicotine gums and patches, and a smoker’s help line for quitting.  There are also great resources for free on the internet, such as:

Another great resource that seems to be making a lot of headway recently is Smoke Assist, the exciting alternative to cigarettes. You can now satisfy your oral fixation with this water vapor device. It has a tobacco flavor, look and feel, but no more smoke smell on your clothes, in your home or work.

Of course these are all in addition to the usually very in-depth programs that are available at a state and sometimes local level through state and county health departments.

So, give it a try.  Try to go without smoking for one day.  Maybe one day can turn into two… and if you find it’s difficult (and let’s face it, if it was easy, very few people would still be smoking), then utilize those resources!  You’re worth the effort and your loved ones will appreciate it, too.  Good luck!

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