Up in Smoke

I don’t know anybody who smokes anymore, do you?

I feel qualified to comment on this; not only did I start smoking in my teens, but it took me 4 or 5 tries before I was able to quit. 12 years ago, I wasn’t an exception, either. My Dad, aunt, uncle, Grandpa, cousins, friends, and friend’s parents smoked as well. We knew smoking was unhealthy, but it was just common enough that people were still doing it. So what finally got people to stop en mass?

For me, it was two things: price and a princess cut. 

First of all, I always swore that I would never pay more than $3 for a pack of cigarettes. At that time, $2.75 was crazy expensive to spend on something I knew was bad for me. So that was sort of my cut off point: if and when a pack of cigarettes went up to $3, I would quit.

The princess cut is another story. When I met my husband, he didn’t know I smoked. I never smoked in the house, or around him and I knew he was a health nut, so I wanted to try quitting (again) and just not tell him I had ever smoked in the first place.

A few months into our relationship, I was out at the bar and just had to have a cigarette. Needless to say, he was disgusted. The next day, he said, “Look Jennifer, you can smoke if you want to but I won’t ever put a ring on a hand that’s holding a cigarette.” CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

I quit smoking and we’ve been married for almost 12 years.

Interestingly enough, the CDC released data last week on what their research has uncovered on exactly who is still smoking in America. While their research shows the smoking rate among adults dropping significantly from 42.4% in 1965 to just 16.8% in 2014, it’s interesting to see who is still lighting up.

43% of smokers reported a GED as their highest level of education.
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People in the Midwest are also more likely to light up. 
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But the most shocking information to come out of the CDC report is the insurance most smokers have. A whopping 78.1% of smokers are either on Medicaid/public insurance or uninsured. 
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Very sad that the majority of people doing harm to their own health don’t pay for their own healthcare, yet they can afford to pay anywhere between $5.25 – $12.85 for a pack of smelly toxins that we know causes cancer.

For more information on how you can quit smoking, visit Quit.com or talk to your doctor for more resources to finally kick the habit. As a former smoker, I promise; you will feel better, look better, and have a much fuller wallet if you quit, too!