QUITTING SMOKING ∙ 3 minutes read

5 reasons why lockdown is a great time to quit smoking

By Emily Cameron

From taking up a new hobby to taking control of your health, many of us have found ourselves with more time on our hands to implement changes that we may have been putting off. During this period of uncertainty, regaining control over our lifestyle choices can also provide us with something positive to focus on. That being said, if you’re a smoker and you’re ready to quit, there has never been a better time to do so. 

1. Your lack of “normal” social life will make it easier to quit

After work drinks, garden parties and big get-togethers are off the cards at the moment, and will remain so for the foreseeable near future. However, this means that those who are more inclined to smoke in social situations won’t have as much temptation to turn to cigarettes.

Being around other people who smoke also negatively impacts the likelihood of successfully quitting, so making the decision to quit while you aren’t around other smokers will give you a greater chance of success.

2. Your friends and family will benefit

If you’re staying at home with other members of your household, quitting smoking now will not only transform your life, but theirs too. Secondhand smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, causing numerous health issues in infants and children, as well as in pets and other adults. 

Living with a smoker also increases the likelihood of getting lung cancer through secondhand smoke by 20-30%. Quitting now will prevent you from exposing people you live with to secondhand smoke (and your home will likely smell much better, too). 

3. You’ll sleep better

With more time at home and less evening plans, lockdown is a great excuse to get early nights and regulate your sleeping pattern. Smokers are significantly more likely than non-smokers to experience poor sleep quality and sleep disturbances, which can make it difficult to feel well-rested.

For every cigarette smoked, total sleep time decreases by around one minute – so to maximise your chances of getting a sound night’s sleep every night, now is a great time to quit.

4. You’ll come out of lockdown more attractive

Despite some depictions in popular culture of smoking as ‘sexy’, research suggests that non-smokers are actually considered more attractive than smokers. 

The NHS says that people who don’t smoke are three times more appealing to prospective partners than those who do smoke, making it a no-brainer if you’re looking to amp up your sex appeal for when social distancing measures are lifted.

5. You have the time

Although advice is regularly changing around how long it might take to go back to a “new normal”, it’s clear that the remainder of 2020 will look different than the day-to-day that we are used to.

Nicotine withdrawal symptoms peak around the three-day mark, and typically taper off after around three-four weeks. Now is a great time to set a quit date, and stop smoking for good: by the time life returns to “normal”, you could be happily smoke-free.

The bottom line

Quitting smoking has numerous health benefits. Given the current situation with COVID-19, many people have more time on their hands, more time at home and less social plans. Now is a great time to successfully break the habit for good, and prioritise your health and wellness.