INSCMagazine: Get Social!
Smoking and travel simply don’t go together anymore. Where you used to be allowed to smoke in airport terminals and even on the plane itself, smoking has been banned on airlines and in most public places in recent years. Why? Because the very act of smoking is an individual and public health hazard. Cigarettes give off noxious smoke that contains thousands of dangerous chemicals and toxins, and while first-hand smoke is filtered through the cigarette’s paper filter, second-hand smoke isn’t filtered at all. Second-hand smoke has been linked to many of the same ailments that first-hand smokers suffer from, including lung cancer. Quitting for good might just be the best decision you make for your life as a traveler. Traveling becomes infinitely easier when you’re not bogged down by cravings, withdrawal symptoms, the social stigma that comes with being a smoker, or the cost of your habit.

Money

Obviously, quitting smoking can save you money, but do you know how much? Considering the average pack of cigarettes costs anywhere between $6-$9 per pack, depending on the state you’re in, you’re probably spending more on your habit every month than you even realize. This is money that could be going right into your pocket, but instead, you’re using it to slowly damage your heart, lungs, and increase your risk of premature death tenfold. Let’s say you spend $7 per pack and you smoke two packs per day. That’s $14 dollars per day, $98 per week, $392 per month, and $4,704 per year. That’s the cost of a vacation just in cigarettes every year! Maybe the only thing standing between you and that dream vacation to Italy is your smoking habit. This is just the cost of the cigarettes themselves. This doesn’t include the medical bills you’ll undoubtedly have later on when your habit catches up with you. Cancer treatments can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars, with surgeries, chemo, and other medical processes being a necessity. Not to mention, you could end up needing an oxygen tank for the rest of your life, which is also costly. The bottom line? You’re paying to give yourself health complications and potentially death. Yikes.

Limited Options

Smoking has finally been recognized for the health hazard it is, and legislators have taken notice. Many public attractions don’t allow smoking, and you certainly can’t smoke indoors anymore. Smoking indoors is even more harmful, as small spaces tend to amplify the effects of cigarette smoke. As a traveling smoker, you’ll find that you can’t light up in certain areas, which means you’ll constantly be cutting your experience short to go have a cigarette. In some places, smoking is banned entirely. Imagine being on a relaxing vacation trip, only to be afflicted by the misery of nicotine withdrawal. Your trip is suddenly anything but relaxing, and your sole focus is centered on how and when you’re getting your next cigarette. Even if you don’t ditch nicotine altogether, you can still drop smoking and adopt an alternative like tobaccoless dip or vape pens.

Fitness

Maybe you want to backpack through the Alps, or freedive off the coast of Mexico, or trek through the jungles of South America. Unfortunately, your physical abilities will be limited thanks to your smoking habit. When you smoke, your body doesn’t get nearly enough oxygen just to walk up a flight of stairs, let alone ascending a mountain pass or spending a few days walking through the roughest terrain known to man. Such travel plans are simply incompatible with a smoking habit. Even if you do manage to make it through an entire trip, you’ll be miserable. You won’t be able to breathe well (especially high in the mountains), and your muscles will cry out for more oxygen and blood flow, only to be denied thanks to the carbon monoxide that’s attached itself to your red blood cells and the tar coating your lungs.

Social Stigma

Smokers aren’t bad people, but certain stigmas have certainly developed around the habit. If you’re in a new area trying to connect with new people, smoking could very well be a barrier between you and that bridge. Anti-tobacco ads have helped curate a certain level of stigma around tobacco use, but whether or not that stigma is actually helpful in the end is still the subject of debate. The truth is, some people simply don’t want to be around smokers. They’re putting their own health at risk!

It’s Time To Quit

If you take away all of the ads, social pressure, and stigma surrounding smoking, you’re still left with a glaring, unavoidable truth: smoking is dangerous and destructive and a hindrance to everyday life. If you want to travel more, enjoy your trips, and gain access to more amazing destinations, the best thing to do is to simply kick the smoking habit once and for all.    


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