I never made the choice to be a smoker. It was a lot of stupid little decisions that got me hooked. It’s addictive stuff.
At university, I’d have a cigarette here and there while partying. Then I started to smoke when I was stressed with coursework, revision or exams. I was smoking every day, but didn’t consider myself a smoker.
Five years after leaving university, and staring at my bank balance in December, I wondered where all my money had gone.
The huge cost of smoking
It hit me that I was spending £50 a week on cigarettes. If I gave up, I’d save £2,600 a year. Honestly, at that point health was not a consideration, it was purely a financial decision.
I decided not to wait until the new year as it was just another excuse to keep smoking, and I was always looking for an excuse not to give up.
I have tried to give up before, but went cold turkey. If you want to give up, let me give you some advice. DO NOT GO COLD TURKEY!
It’s agony, it’s torture, it’s unbearable. The first couple of weeks were a glimpse into the seventh circle of hell, where I turned into a crazy person.
Go onto the NHS Stop Smoking site and get proper advice – don’t do it alone. Giving up this time was easy(-ish) with the proper support from my doctor.
Wednesday is the British Heart Foundation’s No Smoking Day. The theme is Swap Fags for Swag. I did it, and I love having more money and surprisingly, got more out of it than expected.
So what have I gained from not smoking? Last year I gave running a bit of a go and the first thing I’d do when I got back was have a cigarette (classy, eh?).
This seems obvious, but once I quit I couldn’t get over just how much easier running is when you are not smoking all the time.
Not smoking bought me a holiday
Another huge effect is on my wallet, which suddenly seems a lot bigger than it was. All those fivers and tenners that I previously handed over to the newsagent without a care in the world are instead firmly plonked in my handbag.
Also, I’ve booked an amazing holiday with the money I would have spent on smoking – which I’ve decided means it’s a free holiday as it’s money I would never have had. Swapping Fags for Swag is a choice I think I’ll be glad I’ve made when I’m sunning myself on the beach in a couple of months’ time.
It shows that while quitting the fags is clearly a massive boost to your health, it doesn’t half help your wallet, either.
What do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below or in the forum discussion.