For an organization focused on breathing health, we rarely discuss the impact of smoking. This is because we want to present you with the ways in which you can improve your overall health through breathing. This is not a preventative site, and we never want to make our readers feel that they are not welcome if they partake in specific habits or lifestyles. However, we must acknowledge that smoking affects every aspect of breathing—from oxygen intake and lung capacity to how we exercise and move our bodies. Therefore, this post will be one of the only to focus on smoking—specifically, why you should quit right now.
Breathing is easier. Smoking inhibits our ability to breathe. Though you may not notice it at first, you will begin waking up every morning unable to draw a full breath. When you quit, the effect on breathing is almost immediately palpable—it takes just one month to begin breathing easily again.
The financial burden is crippling. In 2017, the average cost of a pack of cigarettes was $5.51. The actual numbers vary greatly—that same year, the average cost of a pack in New York was $12.85. Sustaining this addiction can be financially crippling. Even if it takes a few days to smoke a pack, your expenses will still add up over time. If you smoke ten cigarettes every day and spend $8 on a pack, you will save $1,460 within the first year. For most Americans, that is the equivalent of two months of rent.
The rewards are long-term and lifesaving. One year after quitting smoking, your risk of coronary heart disease will be cut in half. In two- to five years, the risk of mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder cancer will be cut in half. After ten years, you are half as likely to die from lung cancer, and the risk of kidney and pancreatic cancer decreases. After fifteen years, the risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non-smoker’s. These benefits can save your life.