Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I Got Paid to Quit Smoking!

It's been exactly one month and a day since I quit smoking! Okay, sure, there was a brief indiscretion back around Day 12, but we have moved past that. I survived my Sister's Wedding without a puff and was complimented by all my parent's friends and many of my relatives (except my cousins who were hoping I would hook them up!). And if you knew me, you'd know that's a big deal because I tend to be a ball of nerves at family events and sneaking a smoke was my favorite way to get away.

I even survived an almost half an hour wait at the busstop yesterday - smoking used to be the only way I didn't feel insecure standing around on a street corner by myself waiting for a bus, a ride, etc. I'm learning you just have to relearn doing those things - dealing with stress, impatience, etc., without a cigarette. What did I do yesterday, for example? Well I called the toll free number of the bus company to find out what the delay was! Hey, I bet you thought I'd say you have to start doing yoga or anything, right? Nah, just do anything else except smoking!

And why was I waiting for the bus when I usually just walk to/from work? Well, I had an appointment at the local university's pyschology lab. An appointment wherein I got paid $25 for 20 minutes of work!

A while back, a co-worker told me the university was having a Stop Smoking research study and they were looking for participants. I signed up and for a whlie was receiving $2 a day for answering a daily telephone interview and $20 a week for showing up in person for a brief computer survey. All told I probably made $200 participating in this survey! And though, it wasn't the ultimate factor in my decision to quit (quite honestly I was just in it for the cash) it definitely got me thinking about it.

Yesterday was my six month follow up appointment, for which I got paid $25! And I was happy to report to the researcher that I have, in fact, quit smoking. In another six months, I am confident that a full seven months will have gone by since my last cigarette.

And are you curious how much money I am saving as a result? So am I! That's why I found this nifty little tracker which I have added to my blog to track how much money I would have spent on smokes!

Over $100 bucks, nice! And in case you are on the fence about quitting and don't think you can use another $100 a month, here's some other facts I found on the web about the costs of smoking:

Life Insurance: Smokers have a greater risk of dieing at a younger age than non smokers and this risk is reflected in higher life insurance premium payments.

Health Insurance: Smokers have a greater risk of medical problems than non smokers and this risk is reflected in their medical insurance premium payments.

Health Care: Since smokers frequently have more medical problems than non smokers, they must pay more to take care of these problems.

Medications: More medical problems for smokers usually results more prescription medicine taken by smokers than non smokers.

Home Owner's Insurance: Smokers have a greater risk of burning down their house than non smokers and this risk is reflected in higher home owner's insurance premium payments.

Value of the House: Smoking leaves a bad smell in a house thus decreasing the value to potential buyers.

Value of Your Possessions: Just as with the house, smoking leaves a bad smell to many of the items in your house thus decreasing their value.

Car Insurance: Smokers have a greater risk of getting into a car accident than non smokers and this risk is reflected in their car insurance premium payments.

Car Resale Value: Smoking leaves a bad smell in a car thus decreasing the value to potential buyers or when traded-in for another car.

Earn Less Money: Studies have found that smokers earn between 4% to 11% less money than their non smoking counterparts.

Less Social Security / Pension Benefits: Since smokers earn less than non smokers, they receive less overall social security and pensions benefits than non smokers.

Cost of Cleaning: Whether its the inside of their home, the inside of their car or their clothes, smokers have to spend more to keep things clean.

Dental Care: Smokers spend more on dental care and special dental products than non smokers.

Lost Interest: All the extra money that smokers must spend means that money can't be saved resulting in lost interest.

So I hope some of the readers out there I've communicated with (and those I haven't) will take this information in mind in their own struggles to quit. Heck, if I can do it, you can do it!


Anny said...

That's great news! Way to save money and your health!

I tend to play with my phone when standing around waiting too.

Daizy said...

Keep it up! You can do it!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I hope you will survive the most difficult period .) But it's interesting, that such a small sum of money was the key factor for quitting smoking! If you compare it to money you spent just for cigarettes, it's nothing. And as you said there are many other expenses - as a Toronto life insurance broker I am persuading clients to fight smoking almost every day, price reduction is really significant. But it takes some time - insurers usually require one year without tobacco and negative laboratory tests for cotinine...

Anonymous said...

Damn, that's pretty impressive! i don't smoke myself (although i sometimes WISH i did! you meet mad people that way), but friends tell me even 1 week is hard.

I just realized that this post is from last still on track?! i hope so :)

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Quitting smoking is always beneficial to the health.smoking is very dangerous to the health,it causes major diseases like lung cancer,sexual dysfunction,asthma it is better to quit smoking.