Whether you’ve been smoking for forty years or forty days, there’s a good chance you wish you’d never started. In fact, if you run into a smoker, their best advice is usually “Don’t start smoking”. Why is it that so many smokers regret their decision to ever start in the first place, and why can’t they just stop for good?
While quitting is certainly possible, it’s often not that simple. Smoking causes an addiction to nicotine; that is to say, your brain depends on the chemical to function properly. This dependency can be difficult to break, especially on your own. It’s a dangerous game to play, and some people don’t make it out alive.
We all know smoking is dangerous and destructive, but do you really understand why so many people wish they’d never started? Let’s look closer at some of the reasons why starting smoking is the top regret of most smokers.
Let’s be brutally honest here; cigarettes stink. They give off an unpleasant chemical aroma that seems to stick to everything within its vicinity; clothes, hair, skin, upholstery, walls, etc. If you smoke long enough in an enclosed place like your house or car, eventually a film develops on the walls/surfaces. This is the chemicals in your cigarette smoking settling down on those surfaces, forever altering the air quality in that space.
Smoking also causes damage to skin, nails, teeth, gums, and throat. This can cause bad breath, among other things. The cigarette smoking can also yellow your teeth and cause discoloration of the gums and fingertips. Dental problems can occur, causing thousands in repairs and examinations.
Smoking is simply unhygienic. That’s not to say if you smoke you’re a “dirty” person, but you’re essentially coating yourself and everything you own in a sticky tar-like substance that’s slowly killing you.
Smoking takes an enormous toll on both your personal finances and society at large. Let’s say you smoke just one pack of cigarettes for 50 years. That single pack of cigarettes costs you $6.50. At the end of those five decades, you’ve sent about $118,000 dollars on just buying cigarettes. Read that again. One hundred and eighteen thousand dollars. That’s a new house. A new car. A paid off debt (or three). College tuition. A dozen vacations. An investment. A retirement fund.
All of these possibilities were destroyed by something that not only costs far too much but is also slowly tearing your body apart. It’s no secret the cost of cigarettes continues to rise, so why are you still spending money on them? Imagine how much your life could change almost overnight if you quit smoking. You’d be able to afford a better apartment, meet your bills, or actually take a day off.
There are dozens of alternative products that are both cheaper and won’t put you into an early grave. Tobacco free chew is a popular alternative to smoking and chewing tobacco use, and products like vape pens are slowly disrupting the tobacco industry. Let’s not forget CBD oils and gummies, which might even help treat addiction!
When you take a drag on a cigarette, you’re inhaling thousands of chemicals, including one very potent and very addictive chemical called nicotine. But you knew that, right? What you may not know is that nicotine is one of the most addictive substances on Earth. It’s so potent that it falls into the same category of addiction as heroin, alcohol, barbiturates, and cocaine.
Nicotine addiction is incredibly hard to break once you start, and the effects begin quickly after your first cigarette. Nicotine works its way into your system, setting up shop and getting comfy because once you’ve gotten a taste of it, you want more; and your brain will go to great lengths to convince you that you need it to function.
Most smokers wish they hadn’t started simply because the addiction seems to take away the power of choice. How can you choose to quit smoking when you’re literally dependent on the chemicals in your cigarettes? Don’t let this stop you, however. You can break the addiction and move forward with life; as thousands of other people do every single year.
Physical Health Complications
Last, though certainly not least, we come to the most impactful part of smoking. In order to properly address the myriad of health problems that smoking can cause, we’d need an entire book; so for the sake of time, let’s cover some basics.
Smoking can cause lung disease, heart disease, increase your risk of heart attack and stroke, throat cancer, mouth cancer, cause premature aging, affect your dental health, and even decrease libido and fertility. All of those effects come from simply smoking cigarettes. The carcinogens and toxic chemicals in a single cigarette are killing you slowly…and that’s a fact.