Cigarettes kill more than people

Reporter: Nathan MacKinnon

I’d stand out in the freezing cold or pouring rain for them and I’d even use my last $10 to buy some.
They’re all labelled with the adverse health effects I could suffer, but I hacked them down pack after pack.
There are so many things those packages don’t say about the affect cigarettes have the rest of your life, though.
Looking back on life as a smoker after quitting in June, I realize how wasteful, time consuming and influential the addiction actually was.
Quitting can be easier if you examine the ways the nicotine addiction permeates almost every aspect of your life.
Stop-smoking ads tell smokers all the time to examine the habits around their addiction and try to change those, but this is different from that.
Now that I’m not constantly leaving for cigarettes, I see a change in my social life.
This time last year, as soon as class had a break, outside I would go, while my non-smoker friends remained inside, safe from my second-hand smoke.
And break at work wasn’t a time to relax, but a race to beat the punch clock while I fed my addiction.
And in both instances, relaxing, social situations were left inside.
I now realize I was consciously removing myself from things I enjoyed to accomplish nothing for well over an hour collectively every week.
When those hours could have been spent with friends, they were spent with tobacco.
Cigarettes also affected many decisions I made, especially when money was involved. Spending up to $40 or more a week on cigarettes meant less money for other things.
It’s obvious now, but when it came to dinner with friends or a day of shopping, making sure there was enough money left for cigarettes until the next pay cheque was always the real priority.
And at the end of the week, that $40 or more is literally just waste, because all that’s left are empty packages.
Not only did nicotine addiction have control of my social life, but my bank account as well.
Once again I was making a conscious choice to limit something I enjoy and only to ensure the cigarette budget was intact.
When I took that first drag, I didn’t realize I signed up for a life of constant self-ostracism and an empty bank account.
Coming to that realization early can turn quitting into something that is more than just a wise health decision, but a choice to take back your life and enjoy it as well.

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