Are you afraid if you quit smoking, you’ll pack on the pounds, or your mood will tank? It’s time to stop worrying. We’ve got a little science to help us debunk a few myths about quitting smoking.
- You’ll gain weight. Not necessarily true. According to the Center for Tobacco Control, people who quit smoking find it fairly easy to avoid gaining weight if they eat a healthy diet. Quitters also find it progressively easier to exercise; since their lungs start getting healthier the moment they stop smoking. But even if you gain weight, you’ll only add an average of six pounds. And you’d have to gain about 100 pounds to equal the negative health impact of smoking one pack a day.
- It causes mood swings. The experts say that nicotine withdrawal can make you moody and edgy, but only for a week or two at most. Why two weeks? That’s about how long it takes to get all the cigarette chemicals out of your system.
- Quitting smoking will ruin your social life. It won’t ruin your social life, but it might change the way you socialize. For example, instead of hanging around outside the office or bar, smoking with your friends, you could go on a hike. In fact, any physical activity will be more fun and less challenging once you quit smoking. You may make new friends who fit into your new lifestyle - and you might even inspire your fellow smokers to quit, too!
- It’ll kill your creativity. Actually, it might do the opposite. While it could be harder to concentrate for the first week or two. But studies show that creative people are often more creative after they quit smoking. One reason? They’re no longer preoccupied about when they’ll get their next cigarette.
- The cost of quitting adds up. It can, but cigarettes cost more. Quitting-smoking-treatments cost between $3 and $7 per day. Compare that to what a pack-a-day tobacco user spends in a year: almost $4,000. Plus, if you have health insurance, they may cover your treatment.
While quitting smoking is difficult, there are various ways to get help. Talk to your doctor about the healthiest way to stop to get help in determining the best options for you.