It’s that time of the year. I never really know who this sort of post is for. Maybe it’s for you, maybe for it’s for me one dark day in the future, but…
🎉 I stopped smoking ten years ago!
If somebody as flimsy-willed as me can stop smoking, you can stop smoking too. I’m not going to labour the “it kills you” thing, but it is so here’s the financial breakdown for any fellow cheapskates.
10 years = 3,652 days
@13/day = 47,476 cigs
= 2,374 packs
2012 price = £7.10 /pack
2022 price = £12.50 /pack
Mean price = £9.80 /pack
I’ve not smoked £23,265.20.
If I’d regularly deposited that into an investment account, a 2% return that would be £25k and 5% would be almost £30k.
I’d say I feel fantastic but I am also ten years older. I gained two children a dog, and everything hurts. But I don’t smoke. I don’t feel the urge to smoke, and haven’t for years. I never have to stand outdoors on cold, wet nights to smoke. I don’t panic when I’m running out of cigarettes. And that means a lot.
It’s easier to just not smoke
You might not be convinced and that’s because we’re all told it’s really hard to stop smoking. All the time. Even by people who want smokers to quit, as if it’s something that takes a run-up, an intake of bravery and team-cajoling. It’s not hard; just stop smoking the bloody things.
The rest is understanding your body and addiction, that smoking never made you feel better, it only made not smoking feel worse. As soon as you cut that cycle, your body recalibrates. As soon as you realise that, the infinitesimal cost of quitting seems worth it.
If you’re trying to quit and you’re not finding it easy, stick with it. If you need help understanding addiction, Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking has an eerily convincing narrative that plods through the feelings every smoker goes through. I never finished it —I convinced myself I didn’t want to quit— but it was absolutely the basis for the voice in my head that let me quit later on.