Despite all the public education about the harmful effects of tobacco use – and all those graphic warning labels – more than five million Canadians continue to smoke.

If you count yourself among this number, I don’t have to tell you that quitting isn’t easy; cigarettes are highly addictive and nicotine is one of the toughest cravings to kick.

My mom was a smoker of 40-plus years. In December of 2014, her Christmas gift to me was reaching one-month free of smoking. It has now been just over two years since she had her last cigarette.

Although I certainly pestered my mom for decades, trying to get her to quit, she did it on her own in the end. That’s the thing about quitting smoking – it has to be of your own free will and determination.

Anything is possible if you put your mind to it though.

Considering it’s National Non-Smoking Week, why not make this the week you decide to “butt out” for good?

You already know cigarettes cause lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and a myriad of other serious health complications though, so let’s look at this from a different angle.

Here are five (often overlooked) ways your life will improve once you decide to quit smoking:

  1. You will be sick less. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 different poisons and chemicals. When you smoke, your immune system goes into overdrive trying to expel these toxins and depletes your body’s natural antibodies in the process. As soon as you quit, your body begins to repair the damage caused by smoking and you’ll feel much healthier (both now and for years to come).
  1. You will be more attractive. Cigarettes make your breath stink, your clothes reek of smoke, your skin wrinkle faster, and your teeth and fingernails stained. Gross, right? Smoking is less socially acceptable today than it’s ever been; quit today and I promise you will become instantly more attractive to potential partners, lovers, and friends.
  1. You will sleep better. Studies have shown that regular smokers are more likely to snore and to develop conditions like insomnia and sleep apnea. If you find it difficult to fall asleep or you’re regularly tossing and turning throughout the night, then quitting smoking can help. Remember: a quality night’s rest is important for your overall health and wellness.
  1. You will be help save the environment. Over five million hectares of land is used globally to farm and produce tobacco, and the industry is one of largest worldwide contributors to deforestation. It’s also estimated that Canadians litter over 8,000 tonnes of cigarette butts each year. Quitting smoking is not only good for your own health, but for Mother Nature too.
  1. You will save a lot of money. Cigarettes are expensive! In Canada the average price of a pack is $10 or more, meaning a pack-a-day habit can end up costing you over $3,650 each year. Think about what else you could be spending all that money on, or the fact that you are literally dishing out your hard-earned dollars to slowly poison yourself to death. Use his handy calculator to see how much you could be saving by going smoke-free.

Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do for your health. If you’re ready to kick the habit Align Health Centre is here to help. Book a consultation with our healthcare team today and let’s get you started on the path to becoming the best version of yourself in 2017: https://alignyourhealth.ca/book-appointment/

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