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Smoking: The Most Common Excuses

Smoking can be fatal: Ever since the introduction of warning labels on cigarette packets, every smoker has known how harmful regular consumption of tobacco products really is. A third of the Austrian population still smokes - and finds various excuses not to stop.

Short version:

  • It is astonishing: in theory we all know the danger posed by tobacco consumption.
  • Every six seconds, somewhere in the world, someone dies of the effects of smoking, a total of just over five million people a year.
  • By 2030, the number is even expected to rise to 8 million, according to the gloomy forecasts of the World Health Organization (WHO). Yet there seem to be innumerable reasons not to stop.

On the occasion of World Non-Smoking Day on May 31, we have collected the most popular reasons for continuing to smoke and explain why they are just pure self-deception. Click through our picture gallery with the top 10 excuses - you might find yourself in one or the other statement.

++ You can read more about diagnosing lung cancer in the netdoktor cancer school ++

"Everyone has to die sometime!"

The most popular excuse among smokers, of course, has a grain of truth in it - everyone actually dies at some point. With life expectancy rising steadily, however, the question arises: How do you want to spend your retirement? Surely it would be better to be healthy and mobile than dependent on an oxygen mask.

++ More on the topic: smoking and cancer ++

"I have a stressful time ahead of me, now I just can't stop."

A cigarette can induce a brief relaxation effect - but this is of a purely psychological nature and disappears just as quickly as you smoke it. In truth, you are only burdening your body with the toxins that you expose it to - so it in no way relaxes.

"It must first click in the brain to be able to stop."

This sounds good in theory, of course: a sudden impulse, a switch that flips in the head and suddenly stops the craving for a cigarette. Most smokers wait a lifetime for this day - for many it is the day they are diagnosed with "lung cancer".

++ More on the topic: This is how the body recovers after quitting smoking ++

"I need the smoke breaks to chat with colleagues and to clear my head again!"

Slowly get used to the idea that these types of breaks won't last forever. This is already becoming apparent in a global trend. But you can also take your breaks as a freshly baked non-smoker - and when chatting the cigarette in your mouth is annoying anyway, right?

"I know a healthy 90-year-old who has been a lifelong smoker."

Some people live to an old age despite long-term smoking - this also happens. However, if you consider that more than five million active smokers in the world die from the consequences every year, you quickly realize that one should not rush to draw conclusions about the general public from an individual case.

"I've been smoking for so long, it's no use quitting now!"

When you smoke, you expose yourself to 50 different carcinogenic substances every day. Avoiding this in the future is never pointless - regardless of whether you have been smoking for a few months or for 30 years. You will always improve your quality of life by stopping smoking.

"I don't want to gain weight by quitting."

Yes, some ex-smokers put on a few kilograms - because they reward themselves with snacks instead of cigarettes, because the intestinal flora can change, or because the calorie consumption of heavy smokers is higher - after all, the body has to detoxify around the clock. If gaining weight is your only concern: Simply use the breath you suddenly have again and get rid of the excess kilos with renewed joy in movement.

"My neighbor never smoked and also died of lung cancer."

Lung cancer, like any cancer, can be promoted by many factors, not just smoking. Nevertheless, the regular consumption of tobacco products is the most common cause of such an illness worldwide and therefore an enormous risk factor for every smoker.

++ More on the topic: Lung Cancer Causes & Symptoms ++

"Coffee just goes with a cigarette!"

Hand on heart: Do you smoke a cigarette with every cup of coffee? If not, you have already discovered the self-lie. If it does, it's just a habit. Instead, think about a new ritual and enjoy your coffee consciously, without any distraction.

++ More on the topic: Test your knowledge with the smoke quiz ++

"I've been hardworking all day, I've earned it now!"

The reward argument is also very popular among smokers. The nicotine contained in tobacco products stimulates areas in the brain that signal us, among other things, reward. But whether you actually reward yourself by deliberately harming your body, you should consider carefully.

The following video provides helpful tips on quitting smoking:

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Katrin Derler, BA
Editorial editing:
Philip Pfleger

Updated on:



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