The national attitude about smoking has changed significantly in the past two decades. And in that time, smokers have gotten a lot of flack and preachy speeches about why they should quit. These days, there's always someone ready to tell you why they think you should want to quit. But, we all think, who are they to tell you how you should feel about your habits? Just like the choice to smoke or not to smoke is yours, so is your right to your own reasons when you do finally choose to quit. Chances are, you're not going to do it because some sanctimonious stranger waved a picture of black lungs at you. You're not going to do it because a commercial read out some statistics or because your health class said smoking was wrong. If and when you choose to quit, it will be for your own reasons. You will do it when you want to quit smoking.
When You Do It For Your Health
If you've been smoking for some time, other people telling you about health may not have been particularly persuasive. However, most people trust the evidence of their own senses or concerning doctor reports. Maybe you've started to feel like the smoking is slowing you down and you'd rather go fast than keep smoking. Or perhaps you're experiencing very real health problems as a result and your doctor has advised you that quitting will make a huge difference to recovery. Heck, you might even choose to go back to smoking later but right now, you need to put them aside. This kind of quiet personal resolve is far more powerful than any PSA or
When You Do It For Someone Else's Health
It's not uncommon to not give a whit about your own health but the moment someone you love appears to be at risk, all of your motivation to smoke seems to evaporate. This can happen if you have a family member fall ill or find yourself caring for an elderly relative who would suffer from a having a smoker in the house. Many people, both mothers and fathers, will stop smoking when they finally start planning to have children because they don't want to expose their young children to even residual carcinogens. There have also been instances where parents quit when they discover their teens have begun to smoke and
When You Do It For a Relationship
Another very powerful motivation is the urge to win a date with someone or pleases someone you're in a relationship with. Often we discover who we really want to be in the eyes of a romantic partner. If someone you care for either doesn't like smoking or is genuinely concerned about your health, it often becomes much easier to see the downsides of your habit and put it aside. Some people are suddenly able to quit, simply out of motivation to win the affections of a special someone and thoughts of health never even enter the picture.
When It Doesn't Satisfy Anymore
As we age, our bodies go through many physical changes. Your shape and carriage will change, as will your metabolism and ability to maintain muscle mass. The change in flavour preferences through the years are well documented as well so it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise when some people simply stop wanting cigarettes. Even if the nicotine addiction is still there, if everything else about the cigarette becomes dissatisfying, this is a pretty good motivation to stop. You want them less and less and, in this case, your best choice is usually to go cold-turkey on a camping trip or a very busy week at work and simply let your body forget about smoking.
When It's Not Worth the Money
One of the major disincentivizing strategies of the anti-smoking movement is to steadily increase the price of cigarettes. Where once you could smoke for two days straight on a handful of loose change, now it's nearly 10$ or more for a single pack. These days, there are far less expensive habits that cause cancer just a little more slowly. Even if you buy nicotine gum, supplements, or other quit-smoking aides to wrap-up your decision to quit, it will still be far less pricey than continuing to smoke.
When You're Winning a Bet
Perhaps the funniest reason anyone quits, and a surprisingly successful tactic, is to quit on a dare or a bet with a friend. Many friends manage to quit together this way by levying friendly consequences for the first person to slip up. When this happens, every time you feel the usual temptation, you also think about not wanting to lose the bet. The simple drive of competition is often a far more powerful motivation than any concern for your own health or the opinions that others might have about your habits. If you feel you should quit but just can't work up the motivation to try, consider taking on a challenge with (or without) a friend to gain that boost in energy and dedication in order to prove yourself.
You are an adult, responsible for your own choices and the consequences of them. Just like we all decide whether or not to eat our dessert before dinner or subside entirely on take-out pizza, quitting smoking is a personal decision and you'll make it for personal reasons. Whatever your motivation, we encourage you to follow through with your quit and will be here to support you the whole way.