My Dad Quit After 50 Years of Smoking and So Should You

by David Ning · 17 comments

Recently, my dad quit smoking after years of us encouraging, motivating, persuading, yelling, and cussing (you name it, we’ve done it). It was a struggle for so many years, but the fear of sickness finally convinced him to quit smoking. Many of us smoke (in fact, one third of all male in this world do), but none of us ever think about the harm it has on our body and our wallets. From experience, I won’t dare try to convince anyone to quit smoking, but here are some financial facts we should all consider every time we light a cigarette.
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  • At $5 a pack of cigarettes, my dad could’ve accumulated $1.6 million in investment and savings. This is assuming that he would invest or save the money weekly for 50 years earning 10% annually. 50 years ago, the cigarettes were not $5, but my dad smokes more than one pack of cigarettes many days of the year too. This also does not include the cost of lighters or matches.
  • His life insurance is much higher because of his “experience” in smoking. Actually, we were told that his insurance would probably be 1/4 if he never smoked.
  • His health insurance is the same thing, read the life insurance point again.
  • Non-smokers receive home owners insurance of about 10% less because there are fewer chances that they will burn down their home.
  • Non-smokers usually perceive a better image than smokers which indirectly lead to a higher salary. This is due to smokers potentially having yellow teeth, bad breath and smelly clothes.
  • Those extra packs of gum, extra trips to the dry cleaners all add up in our lives.

The list goes on and on. Smoking ranks as one of the most harmful activities we can do to our physical and financial health. If you read this blog because you want to live financially free, why don’t you quit smoking too?

Pass this on to your smoking friends.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura November 19, 2007 at 12:42 pm

I’m going to share this with my cousin. She’s still young and has time on her side. Maybe this will motivate her.

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Albuquerque realtor November 19, 2007 at 8:18 pm

Great info, if only I could get my hubby to read it and actually follow through.

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MoneyNing November 19, 2007 at 9:37 pm

Albuquerque Realtor: Forward it to him/her and see what happens.

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cdiddy December 24, 2007 at 1:49 am

Looking for some help or opinion on getting father to cut back smoking

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Mrs. Micah December 28, 2007 at 10:19 am

My dad did it after some 30-40 years. We were so proud of him. It (and alcoholism when he was younger) did some real damage to his body, but stopping then was better than never.

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I stopped smoking January 20, 2008 at 1:56 pm

… I stopped smoking too — here’s the website I helped set up to help other people stop smoking. Thanks.

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Forex Trading Blog February 18, 2008 at 7:50 am

Congratulations. I’ve just got my Mum to give up. She’s a housewife so she’s inside all day most days. I basically got her to just stop completely, and it worked. After all if you haven’t got any cigarettes in the house, then you can’t smoke.

All these nicotine patches, hypnotherapy, nicotine gum, pills, etc are a waste of time. All you need to do is just stop completely. It worked for my Mum and it’s also how my Dad gave up many years ago.

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Chris February 24, 2008 at 6:26 pm

My God.. That is the best article I’ve ever read to convince me to quit smoking. I’ve been smokin’ cigs for the better part of 10 years. I’ve thought about quitting, but never really seriously. But when you add the financials up, it’s an absolute no-brainer. Why, thank you, sir.

Chris Mechanic

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komodo dragon June 7, 2008 at 7:37 am

Good for your dad. He must of persevered because it is hard especially after all of those years .

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Magnesium August 9, 2008 at 3:02 am

Your dad has a big wil of power. My mom has been smoking for 30 years and cannot quit this habit up

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Chris Huntley August 21, 2009 at 3:32 pm

You said your dad’s life insurance would be about 1/4 of the cost if he quit. I’m a life insurance agent and have found it’s usually half to 1/3 the cost for a non smoker.
Here’s another incentive to quit… I have a carrier now who will give current cigarette smokers Non Tobacco life insurance prices for 3 years. If you quit during that time, you keep your low premium forever. If you don’t, your premiums go back up double or triple to what smokers pay.

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RB @ Financial Samurai September 6, 2009 at 6:00 pm

I’m impressed he smoked for 50 years. Could it mean that smoking really isn’t that bad for you?

My theory is that those with SUPERIOR immune systems smoke drink etc. I have an inferior immune system, and get a massive headache if I smoke, so I don’t do it.

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Corinne December 5, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Thank you for bringing up the financial side of smoking. My parents started at 14-15 and are still smoking full on at 66. When I think about the kind of parents I could have had if they were smoke free it breaks my heart. Their no. 1 priority was their nicotine habit. As a result swim lessons, braces, clothing and transportation and parenting took a backseat in their lives. They even lit up in front of my three year old 1 hour after she was diagnosed with pneumonia. They claimed that meeting me in the emergency room was so stressful that they had to have a cigarette.
Don’t do this to your children or your family. It is too painful. The mood swings alone are like living with someone with bi polar disorder, whose closest friend is denial.
Life is too short. If you’re lucky enough to have people that love you, don’t do this to them.

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John December 2, 2011 at 7:53 am

After 50 years of smoking, the damage to one’s health is done and irreversible… Quitting now will make him save money no doubt about it but it does not change his life expectancy… The tar that accumulated in his lungs over the years (instead of the money in his bank account) will not go away and we know tar is a potent carcinogen (not to mention all other chemicals found in cigarettes). The morale to this is that smokers lose both ways, they die from lung cancer, broke.

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Merydith Willoughby July 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Good for your dad for giving up smoking and I would like to share a snipped about how and why I gave up many years ago. The information has been taken from my fourth book – Breathing’s good.

I had started smoking later than most and loved it but there came a point when rationality had to take over because every time I had a cigarette I had to use the Ventolin spray. I couldn’t continue to live like this and I did not want to end up with emphysema. It was at this point that I had a serious asthma attack and ended up in hospital. It was the wake up call that I needed and I decided to stop smoking.

I am glad I decided to give up smoking at that time because shortly after the hospitalization I fell pregnant with my second child. I would not want my baby girl to have been smoking in the womb because there is enough evidence to show the impact that smoking has on an unborn baby.

Giving up cigarettes was brutal and I went ‘cold turkey’. I noticed that many people replaced one addiction with another and I did not want to do that. The first six weeks were cruel. As time marched on the addiction became easier to manage and I have not had a cigarette in all those years. However, it is obvious the addiction is just below the surface and could be triggered again easily. To this day, I still love the smell of someone else’s cigarette smoke and if it were not so dangerous for my health, I would take it up again.

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Carol December 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm

My mom has been smoking for 53 years. I believe it is affecting her taste buds. Now food does not taste right and she has no appetite. She will not quit. It is just a matter of time.

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hicksa121 August 3, 2013 at 8:57 am

A prescription from the doctor does miracles – smoked for 15 years (became a habit borne of “social” smoking in college) and used a prescription for 5 months. I’m smoke free! It really is a physical addiction – once that is gone you’re good. Can’t even touch a cigarette though without risking relapse.

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