Quitting smoking is still one of the most significant actions a person can take to improve their health.
How much money does it cost to smoke cigarettes?
The average cost of a pack of cigarettes in Illinois is $10.60. This means a pack-a-day habit sets you back roughly $309 per month or $3,869 per year. At today’s prices, ten years of smoking comes with a $38,690 price tag.
What's more, the cost of a pack of cigarettes is not the only expense. Other big-ticket items can include a higher cost of health insurance coverage, career limitations, and the financial impact of more health problems than non-smokers.
Health problems related to smoking include cardiovascular disease, lung disease, and various forms of cancer. Each carries the potential for long-term, debilitating health conditions, daily medications, financial instability, and a shorter life expectancy.
How can smoking cigarettes permanently change a person’s life?
Becky was a high school exchange student living in Germany when she started smoking cigarettes. She thought smoking helped her fit in with her host family members and new friends. Over time, she discovered she had trouble quitting.
At age 45, Becky was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a chronic lung disease that makes breathing increasingly difficult. She continued smoking cigarettes after her diagnosis.
As Becky was leaving work one evening in 2012, she could not catch her breath. She tried not to panic but knew she needed immediate medical help. Becky remembers waking up in the hospital’s intensive care unit and facing the fight of her life.
Today, Becky needs continuous oxygen to help her breathe. However, she’s grateful that she quit smoking. Now she helps educate others about the dangers of smoking and encourages people who smoke to quit. Becky says, “Whenever I had a craving, I said to myself, ‘I choose not to smoke today.’”
How do you benefit from your efforts to quit smoking?
Quitting smoking is one of the most significant actions a person can take to improve their health. This statement is true regardless of age or how long someone has been smoking.
Quitting smoking offers the following health benefits:
- Improves health status and enhances the quality of life.
- Reduces the risk of premature death and can add as much as ten years to a former smoker’s life expectancy.
- Supports the health of people already diagnosed with coronary heart disease or COPD.
- Reduces the risk for many adverse health effects, including poor reproductive health outcomes, cardiovascular diseases, COPD, and cancer.
- Supports the health of pregnant women, their fetuses, and their babies.
- Reduces the financial burden smoking places on people who smoke, the healthcare systems, and society.
While quitting earlier in life yields more significant health benefits, quitting smoking improves health at any age. Even those who have smoked for years or smoked heavily will benefit once they reduce or eliminate tobacco use.
Furthermore, quitting smoking is the single best way to protect family members, coworkers, friends, and others from the health risks associated with breathing secondhand smoke.
Where can you get help to quit smoking?
If you are ready to break away from the financial burden and health risks of smoking cigarettes, the Moultrie County Health Department recommends you contact the Illinois Quitline. It’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-866-Quit-Yes.
It’s one of the best resources, and it’s available to smokers at no cost. The quitline offers tips, tools, and professional resources to help you quit smoking. It’s sponsored by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the American Lung Association in Illinois.
For more information on quitting smoking or the Smoke-Free Illinois Act, contact the Moultrie County Health Department at 217-728-4114.