30 Reasons to Quit Smoking for Good

  1. You'll live a longer, happier life. Quit and you'll reduce your risk of lung and oral cancer, heart disease, emphysema, osteoporosis, hearing loss, psoriasis, heartburn, and back pain.
  2. You won't be giving your hard-earned money to Big Tobacco -- BTW, they'll be using it to try and get your kids hooked.
  3. Your children will be healthier. They'll be less likely to get respiratory infections, asthma, ear infections, SIDS, and even cavities.
  4. You'll save money. If you smoke half a pack a day, a year after quitting you'll be able to afford a long weekend at Disney World or a huge flat-screen TV.
  5. Air travel is already stressful enough without having to feel like you're going insane because your plane is on the runway and you haven't had a cigarette for five hours.
  6. Your children will be less likely to grow up to be smokers.
  7. You'll sleep better.
  8. You'll look younger and you won't get those horrible wrinkles around your mouth.
  9. You'll be able to go on the pill if you want -- smokers don't get that option.
  10. You'll be less likely to accidentally start a fire in your home.
  11. Your clothes, hair, and breath won't reek.
  12. You won't spend time smoking outside in the rain or freezing cold.
  13. You'll have an easier time getting pregnant.
  14. You won't be the reason your child is putting a pretzel rod in his mouth and pretending to smoke.
  15. If that's already happened, you'll have a lot more credibility when you say, "That's not funny."
  16. You'll spend less time at the dentist. You'll have fewer stains on your teeth and a lower risk of gum disease.
  17. You won't have to sneak around.
  18. Your sex life may improve. Smokers of both sexes can have reduced circulation that affects arousal.
  19. Your life insurance rates will drop.
  20. Your relatives will stop nagging you.
  21. Perfect strangers will stop feeling entitled to nag you too.
  22. You'll be able to exercise without coughing.
  23. You'll get more done at work without taking all those breaks.
  24. You won't have to get into weird conversations with people just because you both are standing outside smoking.
  25. Your food will taste and smell better.
  26. You'll be less likely to go gray (or bald) prematurely.
  27. If you're pregnant, your baby will be more likely to be born healthy.
  28. You'll have more patience with your children because you won't wish they would nap, go to sleep, or play by themselves so you could sneak off for a smoke.
  29. You won't be a slave to your addiction. You won't have to worry that you're running low on cigarettes when your kid is home sick and you can't leave the house to get more.
  30. You'll enjoy everything more: You won't be anxiously awaiting the end of the movie, dinner with your friends, or your child's piano recital so you can go smoke.

Originally published in conjunction with the February 2009 issue of Parents magazine.

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