For most people, it takes at least two attempts to stop smoking. And that is bare minimum. There is an attitude that people have when they first try to stop in which they feel it is going to be very easy. The addiction to nicotine is not easy to break and it is not always something that can be stopped in Read more
There are so many advantages to quitting smoking, as I am sure no one will dispute, so much to be gained. However, maybe the one disadvantage to quitting, one gain that no one really wants is extra body weight. According to research that is the number one reason why a lot of people are reluctant to quit – they fear piling on the pounds. It's true that smoking does tend to make people slimmer, as the nicotine in it reduces appetite and speeds up the metabolism. Nicotine increases the metabolic rate to the extent that it can make someone burn up to 200 extra calories per day. However, a recent scientific study has shown that people who continue to smoke usually end up putting on weight over the years anyway, so it is counter-productive to continue!
Since smokers tend to have addictive personalities, there is a chance they may just exchange nicotine addiction for food addiction by quitting smoking. One of the double-edged swords associated with quitting is that the sense of taste and smell are greatly improved for most people, and that can make them crave food more, since they enjoy it more. Studies have shown that many ex-smokers crave sweet and/or fatty foods more once they quit.
One way to combat possible weight gain is to mentally prepare yourself for it, and take preventative action, like starting a new exercise regime, and watching what you eat once you are no longer smoking. Drink more water, be aware of what snacks you eat and try to avoid the fattening ones. Also, be very careful of how much alcohol you are drinking, since for many, this is a trigger to smoke. It is also high in “empty calories” and can really pile on pounds, as it can also give you food cravings. So either give up drinking, or limit the amount of alcohol you drink, to reduce the chance of a smoking relapse.
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.
Even if you do put on a little weight as a result of quitting, it is surely preferable to continuing to smoke. Being slightly overweight is far less injurious to the health, and definitely less unattractive than smelling of smoke, bad breath, yellowed fingers and teeth, etc.! Not to mention premature wrinkles from smoking.
I hope you enjoyed this blog and I appreciate your votes and comments.
Picture courtesy of www.news.smashpipe.com
There was a nice post a few days ago by Eve York which touched on the financial benefits of not smoking. It prompted me to sit down with a pen, paper and calculator and do a few sums. Being based in the UK, they’re in pounds and pence rather than dollars and cents but I’m sure you’ll get the drift.
I smoke about 20 cigarettes a day. Based on the usual £6.05 that I pay for a pack of 20, that works out at £42.35 a week. That’s money I could really do something with. The monthly amount is £181.53 and it works out annually at £2,202.20.
Next I sat down and thought about what I could buy if I gave up smoking tomorrow and never started again…
After one day I could go out and buy a new book or a CD. £6.05 would just about cover a trip to the cinema.
If I saved up for a week I could buy a ticket to watch Manchester United, my favourite Premiership soccer team in action. I could take my girlfriend out for a half-decent meal or treat us to a take away and a more than decent bottle of wine. Or two.
After a month, my savings from not smoking could pay for a short city break, or a very nice shopping spree picking up some new clothes. Three months and we’re talking a new laptop or top of the range tablet. Over £540 would just about cover a season ticket in the cheap seats at Manchester United or fund a trip to an away game in the European Champions League. Imagine that, midweek in Madrid or Munich watching my team, courtesy of not smoking for 90 days.
Save my cigarette money for a year and we’re talking a fortnight’s holiday paid for, or a luxurious long weekend in London, staying in the best hotels, dining in the best restaurants and spending my savings in the best shops. Or I could be sensible, stick the money in a savings account and watch my new found extra cash grow.
In reality of course, money saved by quitting might well end up being eaten up in the household budget but seeing what I could do with my cigarette expenditure, well…it’s made me think.
I am graciously accepting ProfessorTall007’s offer to continue the second part of her series concerning the root causes of smoking and its effects on unemployment and vice versa. Having had no practice in scholarly writing for the last ten years, I’m going to take the informal and speculative approach based merely on my personal observations. Unfortunately, I will have to premise these assumptions on my wanton addiction with Google News, Reddit and social media. The objective of this blog post: to supplement Professor Tall’s earlier conclusion that unemployment has an effect on the behavior of the young adult generation of today.
As of May 2013, these are the unemployment numbers in the following countries (Data: Worldbank):
- United States 7.6%
- Spain 26.9%
- Germany 5.3%
- France 10.9%
- Philippines 7.5%
The numbers are staggering yet in no way tell us of the stories simmering beneath them. One important disclosure before I begin: I do not live in the United States nor have I ever been to its shores. However, I do have my daily intake of popular American culture via our American-centric culture, media and of course the Internet. Moreover, I know it may hurt many of my Filipino brethren, but unfortunately it’s true. We Filipinos are heavily influenced by everything that is American. But that’s for another discussion.
Evidently, the scholarly literature concerning a correlation with unemployment and smoking is plentiful. An abstract of “Unemployment, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption and body weight in young British men“ by Scott Montgomery and others, in the European Journal of Public Health Vol. 8, Issue 1 confirms an already popularly held notion that “Unemployment may play a significant part in establishing life-long patterns of hazardous behavior in young men”. The study was conducted in Britain. (Source)
This was also echoed in “Smoking habits—a question of trend or unemployment? A comparison of young men and women between boom and recession” published in Family Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University in Sweden. In the abstract, M. Novo and his team poses that “smoking habits were found to be a question of both unemployment and tobacco trends in society.”
In ProfessorTall007’s own words, “As I continue to reflect on issues concerning today's youth, I dare to say: hopelessness, nicotine/ drug addiction, and suicide whether combined or taken separately constitute the real smoking gun of the consequences of youth unemployment in 2013.”
Now I would be a fool if I tried to answer this issue that predominantly traces its roots to American economics and politics. It would be easy to come up with clever sound bites like, “We need to create more jobs and opportunities and this – [insert your own agenda] is the way to do it”
However, I am not a politician.
What I would focus instead is the universality of this issue. The studies I have cited have been conducted in Britain and in Sweden, which are both a long way from the US. However, if you dig deeper and peruse Google Scholar’s archives and key in the words “unemployment” and “smoking” in the same search box, you’d have a preponderance of evidence suggesting the same conclusion for the United States. Unemployment and depression are indeed major factors when it comes to smoking and this holds true for most of the world.
Rather than formulating my own conclusion, in this case I’d like end this post by opting for something inspirational instead. If you are young and unemployed right now and reading this, I would like to offer this unsolicited tidbit: there is hope both in terms of your current state in employment and your smoking habit.
By going to this website and by reading this today, you have been given the power to choose your destiny regardless of what situation you are in today. You just to take the first step and believe.
Creative Commons Image via Flickr.
When you have an addiction you keep your friends down as well: true friends stick by your side, anything you can’t do because of smoking they won’t be doing neither, more than one life is affected when friends accept you for who you are. If they can do that, can’t you accept that you are dragging them around every time you take a drag?
Do you realize that your smoking habit loads you with more responsibilities than a non-smoking individual? Ask yourself this question. Do I want to be responsible for the outcome of my life as well as theirs? Responsibility, is multiplied when you are a smoker, people, generally speaking, tend to function in pairs. We call these pairs “best friends.” There is a forsaken code of conduct that we do whatever our friends are doing, scientifically speaking, we call this influence—and our friends have a lot of it, or shall I say YOU THE SMOKER have a cargo of influence that you’d never think of. Consider this:
My experience: Whenever my friend takes a breathing break at the gym, I don’t want to leave them lonely so I too take breaks even though I am fully charged…
My experience: Whenever I am upset at my computer I call it “stupid, and I slam it” ( bad internet connection). When my wife is writing in her notebook and she gets upset, as if she inherited my traits, she does the exact same thing “insult, then slam” –bad habits due to her being my friend and associating my habits with her own life.
Smokers are under the belief that they need cigarettes. Well, most people are vocal about it, sharing this with none other than their best friends. What we do as smokers is we demonstrate to anyone around us what it is to ‘need’ something. Some of our best friends are family members, or our own children. So what we do is we model the obsession as a stress reliever, we gossip about the fix it presents for the moment. There’s a saying, when you are doing something bad, do it away from children. Because children will perceive this, and feel accustomed to acting the same way towards it or associate it with other things they may encounter—just like our friends. Examples would be: our habits rubbing off on them, and them showing the same ‘need’ for alcohol, cigarettes, or something worse.
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.
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