Here are some of the most common excuses smokers use to avoid quitting – and why they are false!
I don’t smoke that much
Even if you only light up when you’re out drinking with friends or with your colleagues after a stressful meeting, the campaign slogan that every cigarette is doing you damage rings true. Social smokers are affected by smoking-related conditions like respiratory disease and heart disease too.1 But it’s not all bad news, you can reap the health benefits of stopping smoking within a mere 12 hours of quitting.2
The damage is already done
If you’ve been smoking for years and years, it’s easy to feel that it’s too late for you to quit. But no matter how long you’ve been smoking, quitting has major short- and long-term benefits. Within 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood returns to normal; after five days, most of the nicotine is out of your system; after a month, you'll probably notice your skin is looking better; and when you've clocked up three months smoke-free, your lung function begins to improve.2 After 10 years, your risk of lung cancer is almost halved and after 15 years, your risk of heart attack and stroke is almost the same as someone who has never smoked.2 Amazing!
I won’t be able to relax
Contrary to what you may think, smoking doesn’t actually calm you down. What really happens is that your craving for nicotine makes you feel stressed – when you smoke, you alleviate these cravings and you feel calmer … but only for a short time.3 Quitting breaks this vicious cycle by eliminating the cravings, the stress and the subsequent need to stop it with a cigarette.
It’s too hard to stop
Quitting smoking is not easy, but it’s not impossible either. In fact, over the last two decades, the number of Aussie smokers has steadily declined.4One of the most effective ways to improve your chances of success is with the help of your doctor – indeed, smokers are up to 4x more likely to succeed in quitting with the help of a healthcare professional compared to quitting unaided.5
I’ll gain weight
I’ll gain weight
Many smokers are worried they’ll put on a few kilos if they quit smoking. Although most people do gain some weight when they quit, it's usually only a modest amount: about four to five kilos over five years. Most of the weight gain is usually in the first year after quitting. And over the long term, research shows that the average weight of people who have quit smoking is about the same as people who have never smoked.6 So by quitting, you may gain an extra few kilos, but you’ll be at a much lower risk of major health problems, which is surely worth it! Your doctor can provide advice on managing any potential weight gain.
Excuses can be a significant roadblock to quitting smoking, but most of the time they’re just not justified. Armed with a little information, you’ll be able to push them aside and take those vital steps toward being smoke-free.