Quit Smoking, Method Five

Conserve Increase Relish

“After some time he felt for his pipe. It was not broken, and that was something. Then he felt for his pouch, and there was some tobacco in it, and that was something more. Then he felt for matches and he could not find any at all, and that shattered his hopes completely.”  – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Conserve Increase Relish also known as, save up and enjoy the benefits. Now before I begin telling you how much money you could save if you quit smoking; I have some good news for those of you who want to keep puffing away. 

The price of cigarettes hasn’t really gone up that much in the last 20 years. I can almost hear you now, “What is this guy talking about?” cries the dumbfounded mind. “He’s insane! A mad man!” another skeptic howls, do I hear blasphemy… now you’ve gone too far.

Sit back, light up and let me explain. I will be using mostly  U.S. prices for this part. Back in the 1950’s in the good old U.S. of A,  minimum wage was about $0.75 per hour and a pack of smokes went for about $0.25. So, one hour of work at minimum wage could buy you three packs of the nicotine sticks. In 1965 when about 42% of the population was still inhaling the luscious poison, a bundle would cost you about $0.30 and minimum wage was about $1.00 per hour, again buying you 3.

We move to the 2000’s where smokes went up in price but have basically remained stable since then. Back in 2000 a pack cost about $4.00 and minimum wage was about $5.00. An hour of labour got you a pack of smokes. Now in 2020 minimum wage is about $7.25 and a pack will cost you about $6.25, once again an hour of labour gets you a box. Of course depending on where you live etc, etc., you’ll have variations on the price of cigs and wages. This is just an average over the whole country, so please calm your shit.

All I’m trying to say is, you really don’t have to complain too much about the price of smokes. If money is not an issue for you and you like to spend one of your working hours to pay for the pleasure of puffing away, do it. Stop worrying about your wellbeing, your health and your seaworthiness; people will get over you dying, pretty quick. Sure they’ll miss you for the first couple of days, but then they’ll be like “The house smells so much better now that he’s gone.” So stop feeling guilty and let anyone who says otherwise go fidget themselves. Buuuut… if you do care about the moola and you do want to quit, read on.

Depending on where you live in Canada the price of smokes will differ. In Canada as of 2020 the price of a pack of smokes will range between  $11.00 to $16.00 and minimum wage averages between $11.30 to $15.00 per hour. The hour of labour vs smokes stands firm so far.

For the next few examples I’ll be using Canadian dollars. Why? Because it sounds like more money. Now, if you’re an American and are slightly confused by the price difference don’t be, the reason is the metric system. You see we here in Canada and pretty much the rest of the world (including Nasa) use the metric system. For example “One Inch” equals about “Three Centimeters”, so while a pack of smokes in the US is $6.25 here in Canada the metric version is about $12.50.

Let’s say you smoke half a pack a day (if you smoke a whole pack, multiply the next numbers by 2), you’ll be spending about $6.25 Metric/Canadian dollars. Multiply that by 365 days (that’s the number of days in a year). “Come on I’m not that brainless!” you might be saying at this point,  but if you’re still smoking, I beg to differ. The cost of your substance abuse is about $236,000 dollars a year. I’m just kidding… It’s about $2,300.00 a year give or take. Now, if you and your partner smoke or you tend to give some away to friends and leeches, and you work your way up to a pack a day; that’ll cost you $4,600.00 a year. What would you do if you won $2,300.00 on a scratch and win? You could be a winner every year.

I once knew a man who smoked cigars and one day decided he wanted to spend his money on something else. He got out a giant old pickle jar and put it on the floor next to his bed and every day when he got ready for work he’d drop in his cigar money for that day. After a year he had enough money to take a trip. He did this for years and every time the price of cigars went up he’d increase the amount of money he’d put into his jar. At one point he decided to save for five years and at the end of the day he had enough money set aside to put a down payment on a small restaurant.

That restaurant was his pride and joy, until one day his wife left him and took the restaurant away from him. But, that’s not the point, is it? No, the point is if you’re going to quit smoking and save up tons of money and buy a restaurant, divorce your wife first.

For me personally, money is not a huge motivator. I mean, I like money, it’s a great tool. I sometimes wish I had more. Some people are motivated by “The Cash” (As the kids say.) to buy things like “The Stuff” while others may lean toward saving for their future retirement. If you put away $2,300.00 a year for 10 years and you add a 4% average growth rate over those ten years, you’d have about $31,000.00. That could pay for the extra lifetime you add from quitting. A different person may be about to start a family. Kids will sap every penny you have. So go ahead and find something you want. A trip, a new T.V. a phone, a savings account, whatever you want. Get a pen and paper and write it down, “I am going to be the proud owner of X” and if X doesn’t appeal to you, replace it with whatever does.

Now put that note in  your purse or wallet and any time you get the notion to buy a pack, read it, commit to it, visualize it if you can. This is your new mantra.

Not only will you have more of “The Cash”, a month post cigarettes you’ll begin to feel a sense of heightened energy, one that I’m sure your spouse will appreciate, if you catch what I’m throwing. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. (I am talking about mowing the lawn just to make it clear.) If you know what I mean? You’ll also notice less sinus congestion and shortness of breath. The fibers in your lungs will be growing back; this will help protect you against bacterial infections. This could mean less snoring and with less snoring,  you’re less likely to wake up in the middle of night with your wife holding a pillow over your face trying to accidentally end your life so she can sleep just one night without having to wear soundproof headphones. So, yeah, a longer life possibly. 

All those people who weren’t going to miss you all that much when you die, will simply have to put up with you a little longer. You can still keep the house smelling bad by not bathing or using deodorant. Not all is lost. You’ll probably smell pretty bad while you’re detoxing too, so there’s that.

Congratulations, you are no longer sucking back sticks of Decalactone, Mace powder and Isoamyl Hexanoate. Well done, my compliments to you.

“Earth is a necessity, not Mars. Food and water are necessities, not alcohol and cigarettes.”

  • Abhijit Naskar
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