Monetary and health benefits of quitting smoking

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Smoking causes more preventable illnesses and deaths than any other drugi. Each cigarette contains 4000-plus chemicals, of which 60 are known carcinogens, that is, they cause cancerii; it's no surprise that smoking harms almost every organ in the bodyiii. A known cause of disease and deathi, smoking is an expensive and deadly addiction. Start saving your money and body by kicking the habit for goodiv.

Quit smoking and change your life

Nicotine contained in tobacco smoke is highly addictive and smokers can fast become dependentv, so much so that smoking can dictate a person's daily routine. The good news is that as soon as you stop smoking, your body starts experiencing immediate health benefitsii and so the earlier you quit, regardless of your age, the more likely you can reduce your risk of contracting diseases such as cancervi.

According to Quitline Australia, even in the first 20 minutes of you quitting smoking, your heart rate and blood pressure will start to dropvii. Within 12 hours, almost all nicotine is out of the bloodstream and after 24 hours, toxic carbon monoxide levels in the blood will be almost depletedvii. In just one day you'll already be finding it easier to breathevii.

You can experience immediate health benefits as soon as you put out your last cigarette.

Smoking damages cilia on cells which, when properly functioning, filter the lungs of mucus, tar and dustviii. After one week, the lung's "cleaning system" will start to recover and you'll notice that it's easier to breathe and that your breath is fresherix. You'll also feel healthier as antioxidant levels, such as Vitamin C, increase and the immune system begins to recoverviii. In the two months following your last cigarette, you'll notice that you cough and wheeze a lot lessix. After six months of quitting, exercising will be much easier because more air can get into the lungsix.

From here on, the health benefits from quitting smoking become more and more dramatic and you are well on the way to changing your life. One year in and your blood pressure will be at normal level and your added risk of coronary heart disease will be half that of a continuing smoker'six. Within two to five years of kicking your addiction, your risk of heart attack and stroke will be loweredviii For women, your risk of cervical cancer is now the same as someone who has never smokedviii. After ten years, your risk of lung cancer is considerably lower than a continuing smoker and after fifteen years the risk of a heart attack or stroke is close to that of a person who has never smokedx.

Smokers' savings go up in smoke

Not only your body, but also your finances will be in better shape once you quit smoking. With an average pack of cigarettes setting you back $14, a pack-a-day habit may be costing you up to $5,100 a yeariv. According to the State Government of Victoria's Better Health Channel, on the first day of giving up cigarettes, you have an extra $14 in your pocket which means that you can treat yourself to lunch out, or buy yourself a few magazinesiv. After six months you could afford a return ticket to Europeiv or two new home computers. After one year, you will have saved $5,100 - enough for an around-the-world plane ticket or paying off a lump sum off your mortgageiv. After 10 years, you have saved $51,000 which could easily buy a new car or be put down as a deposit on a houseiv.

The money you save by not buying cigarettes will make it easier for you to buy a car or put a deposit on a house (Source: State Government of Victoria: Better Health Channel, 2011, Smoking - the financial cost).

On top of these savings, if you quit you save on some of the secondary costs of smoking too. As smoking causes gum disease, bad breath and stains teeth, non-smokers need fewer trips to the dentist and to the doctorsiv. Quitting smoking improves your immune system so you'll get fewer colds and spend less money on medication; in addition to this you'll have to take fewer sick daysxi.

Taking all these health and monetary benefits into consideration, a non-smoker or a person that gives up smoking for a period of 12 months can save on premium payments of their life insurancexi. It is important however, to always be honest when completing an application, to avoid complications at the time of claim. Allianz offers comprehensive life insurance to protect you and your family financially in the event of illness or accidents. Contact Allianz online today to get a quote for Life Plan insurance that suits you and your lifestyle.

i State Government of Victoria: Better Health Channel, 2012, Smoking tobacco is deadly,

ii Cancer Council Australia, 2011, Quit smoking,

iii Quitline Victoria, 2012,The health benefits of stopping smoking,

iv State Government of Victoria: Better Health Channel, 2011, Smoking - the financial cost,

v State Government of Victoria: Better Health Channel, 2011, Smoking - effects on your body,

vi National Cancer Institute, 2011, Harms of smoking and health benefits of quitting,

vii Quitline, 2011, Never give up giving up,Immediate Benefits,

viii Quitline Victoria, 2012,The health benefits of stopping smoking,

ix Quitline, 2011, Never give up giving up, Longterm Benefits,

x Quitline, 2011, Never give up giving up,

xi Quitline Victoria, 2012, Cost of smoking, accessed at,