It may not surprise you to read that smoking tobacco is the No 1 cause of preventable death in Australia.
Research from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows that an estimated 15,511 Australians died as a direct result of smoking back in 2003. The habit also accounts 7.8 per cent of the burden placed on the healthcare system from disease.
If you manage to quit smoking in the long term, your life insurance premium is likely to fall too.
If you’re trying to quit smoking, there are plenty of reasons to do so. As much as anything, it will save you money – both at the store and with your life insurance premium.
You’re also not alone in quitting. The Australian Bureau of Statistics found that the number of male smokers in Australia fell from representing 27 per cent of the population in 2001 to 20 per cent in only a decade. Meanwhile, in women, that number tumbled from 21 per cent to a healthier 16 per cent.
Still, it’s not an easy task, so here are three ways to increase your chances of finally kicking the habit, for the good of your health and your life insurance.
1) Remind yourself of the benefits
When the nicotine cravings set in, you’re likely to lose sight of why you’re giving up. Your bank balance will begin to look healthier, much like you will, so remember that if you manage to quit smoking in the long term, your life insurance premium is likely to fall too.
If that’s not enough, consider some of the health-related impacts brought about by smoking, such as increased chances of:
- Coronary heart disease
- Cancer and other chronic illnesses
- Peripheral vascular disease
2) Tell your family and friends
Some of the short-term side effects from going cold turkey – like irritability, headaches and trouble sleeping – can make you think “one cigarette won’t hurt”. As well as being a slippery slope, Australian organisation Quit says that just one cigarette brings about substantial changes in the body, such as increased heart rate and escalated blood pressure.
Tell as many people who’ll listen that you’re quitting. It will make you more accountable, and that one smoke may not be worth the feeling of telling people you’ve had a stumble.
3) Get a pay rise
Easy, right? If there’s ever an incentive to seek a promotion or a better-paying job, perhaps the likelihood that you’ll be able to quit smoking is it. A recent study from the University of California found that a 10 per cent increase in pay was enough to spur 5 per cent of smokers to quit. It’s not a huge drop, but it could be enough to help you finally stop smoking – and the extra money surely won’t hurt either.
However, quitting in itself is the biggest pay rise. Consider that a pack a day smoker in the typical 30 per cent tax bracket is spending over $10,000 per year of their wages on cigarettes! That’s a substantial amount in anyone’s pocket.
While you’re at it, you could think about income protection, too, to secure your new-found wealth.