INSTANT SURVIVAL TIP: Give up the smokes!

image by h.koppdelaney

One of my readers contacted me to let me know that she has given up smoking as a way to prep.  She said, “I have my weak moments like anyone, but I laugh through my tears, cause I’m in control!”  All her preparedness related activities are keeping her mind and hands busy.

If you or someone you love wants to stop smoking, here are some huge motivators:

  • One package of cigarettes costs around $6.  One month’s worth and you’re talking some pretty serious prepping money, almost enough to buy a Sun Oven or a Berkey.
  • In the future, health care may become very expensive and possibly scarce.  As a smoker, you might have to just suffer with all those smoker-related ailments and disease.
  • Stop smoking now, while you have access to lots of support systems.
  • It’s hard to lay low if you and all your surroundings smell like cigarettes.  I’ve heard zombies can smell cigarette smoke for miles around.
  • As a non-smoker, your stamina will improve, allowing you to walk further, run faster, and have more energy to get things done.

It’s far, far better to face an uncertain future with the healthiest body possible.  Trust me, in a collapse or other worst case scenario, you will stop smoking, cold turkey.  Do the hard thing now, or do the much harder thing later.

Have you stopped smoking? Share your inspirational story in the comments section.

There may be links in the post above that are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, which does not affect the price you pay for the product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. 

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I'm the original Survival Mom, and have been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more for 5 years. Come join me on my journey to becoming more prepared to handle everyday emergencies and worst case scenarios.

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  1. Dennis C. says

    Well in New York City a pack is more like $10. so in one month you can certainly have some serious
    cash left over to buy a Sun Oven AND a Berky.

  2. Iowa Prepper says

    I am an ex-smoker and I can tell you that it takes a LONG TIME to recover from the effects smoking has on the human body. I quit about 13 months ago and I STILL don’t have the lung capacity as I would have if I had never started smoking in the first place !! I have been jogging, exercising, and weight lifting for those same 13 months.

    IMHO the only way to quit is to just quit. But you have to WANT to quit. Not think you need to or know you have to or even have a doctor tell you to. YOU have to WANT to !! The other piece of advice is to AVOID ANYONE THAT SMOKES !!! It’s way too easy to cheat or to even start up again if you do spend time with smokers !!!

    Good luck to anyone that is quiting smoking, I share your frustration still !!!

  3. Becky says

    Congraduations, to all of you have stopped smoking and are working at this very difficult process. It is a process of the mind, body and soul. We(my husband & I) gave up smoking 12 years ago, it was stop smoking for him or lose his cancer doctor, she flat out told him stop or I will not keep you as a patient. She was the best thing that happened to the both of us. My husband states quite proudly he stopped smoking and could afford to buy a home. For those of us who are ex smokers, you can smell it from far away, or track a smoker through a store. It stinks, and so did we at one time.

  4. Karyn says

    Like milleniumfly said, this way of thinking counts for other “leisures” or addictions like alcohol. For myself, I would like to reduce my consumption of sugar and junk food. This food is more expensive, is generally not local or sustainable, and it negatively affects my overall health. And as you pointed out, Survival Mom, better to give it up now rather than going cold turkey during a crisis.

  5. says

    I quit smoking in 1981 by taking up a healthy habit, jogging. I used the phase-out method of switching to chewing tobacco to take the edge off, mainly in the evening. I found it very helpful to reduce my caffeine intake and to avoid drinking situations that I had associated with smoking.

    As others have commented, smokers reek (but their sense of smell is so bad, they don’t realize it). I am embarrassed to admit I was ever foolish enough to get started after watching my father’s miseries and death from 43 years of the habit.

    My lung capacity is down somewhat, but at age 63 I bike up steep hills with no breathing difficulty. It is great that we get a second chance to clear out our lungs and enjoy the rest of our lives without much penalty IF we stop early enough. I’m glad I did — No temptation now to go back to that filthy, stinking curse.

  6. says

    $6? More like $10 in Canada. When I was 27 I bought my house. I had a nice sports car I was leasing and I smoked a pack a day.

    It was after I bought the house that the money started ending before the month. I got rid of the sports car, and it was the final motivator to give up the smoking. It was really, really, really hard just like it always had been but I kept on looking at the bank statements.

    Today I’m 34 and have been smoke free for almost 7 years. I have more debts paid off and make a lot more money now and could easily afford cigarettes – but I don’t.

    I’d like to say one thing though. For people who are still addicted to cigarettes, having some around can be a VERY powerful bartering tool. Think about it!

  7. says

    Not to mention, it is hard to keep your wits about you when you are going through withdrawls. The same could be said of alcohol or sweets withdrawls.

  8. says

    A few things to consider:

    1. Tobacco is not as unhealthy as people say. Many of the statistics are fabricated.
    2. Cigarettes don’t cost six dollars a pack. They cost one dollar. The tax is five dollars.
    3. Sugar is more dangerous than nicotine. If you want to stay healthy, stop drinking soda first.

    • Annette says

      Agreed. Its part of shifting the blame from all of the other evils we are subjected to, pollution, stress, economic warfare. People have smoked for millenia. Sugar, processed and fast “food” do so much damage. Not saying there are no health implications, but its similar to making mothers consider that disposable diapers contribute to waste problems when big biz is creating so much toxic waste, we are swimming in it. Many people have smoked many years and not gotten cancer, and many people who have never smoked have suffered from copd lung cancer and the like. Statistics are always manipulated to fight some causr, to add to the denial and distraction memes.

        • says

          I “quit smoking” before, sometimes not smoking for over a year at a time, and I never noticed much difference, perhaps because I have never consistently smoked more than 1/2 pack average per day.
          In fact, the lack of any noticeable difference is a big reason I went back to it; I like the smell, taste, and experience of smoking, so I’ll do what pleases me and everybody else can go screw themselves.
          So if a person is smoking so much that they notice the difference after they have quit, then that person
          might have a smoking problem that has gotten out of hand. Otherwise, why don’t you nanny goat bluenose fussbudgets go to h.e. double toothpicks.

  9. Strider says

    By all means quit smoking. But since those punitive taxes in places like NYC are creating a black market in cigs, cash in on this particular form of govt. tyranny by becoming a smuggler. Add the money made smuggling to that saved by quitting. And Mike is right about cigs as barter.

    It’s truly amazing how quickly people forget history. Liquor prohibition was a dismal failure, so naturally we repeat it with the drug war, and now the tobacco war.

  10. Joey says

    I quit. I’m glad. I smoked two packs a day. Too much. Too expensive. And, I general felt unhealthy. Big tobacco is evil and engineered their smokes to be highly addictive. Smoke some tobacco fresh out of the hanging barn. It don’t do nothing for Jones. Still, the cost is mostly taxation so the government don’t really want you to quit. They are just as evil as the tobacco company’s. I hope there is a hell for both of em.

  11. Eddie Willers says

    Interestingly, I see no comments about the ‘e-cig’ here. At the moment, it’s a cheap way to get the nicotine fix without all the other chemical garbage from burning plants that actually causes the cancer.

    E-cig vapor doesn’t smell and dissipates quickly, leaving no residual odor either.

    • Another Karen says

      My step kids are using the electronic cigs, I know they are not perfect, but they nolonger reek of stinky smoke and have quit the terrible coughing. Wish they could quit it all, but so far, this is a bit better than those other death sticks!!

  12. Michael Price says

    Bonus for giving up the ciggies, you now no longer financially support your oppressors – well not as much.

  13. rolland carpenter says

    I quit smoking 42 years ago–after 17 years of fairly heavy smoking. I did gain weight, but started jogging–just around the block to form the replacement habit. Got up to four miles most days! My biggest reward came after about three months of abstaining completely. I went thru an entire day without a thought about tobacco. Of course, I didn’t realize that “milestone” till the next day. Now, I rarely even think of those long ago tobacco days, and never crave it. Alcohol was different. I needed to remember the misery regularly so I did not go back. Go for it, guys, you will have a better life!

  14. Sean P says

    I was a smoker for 30 years, at my worst, I smoked 3 1/2 packs a day.
    My Wife and I were at her staff Xmas party, when someone pulled out an e-cig. 13 days later, we each had one and quit tobacco cold turkey. She took 6 months before she weened off even the e-cig, I took 17 months, and we have BOTH been tobacco free since Dec 22 2010. IF you want to quit, the e-cig works, and works well. (Incidentally, the money I was spending on smokes, went right into my prepping budget for the first little while…you can make quite a pantry, very quickly if you do it this way)

  15. Kaye McNamara says

    I’ve never smoked but I live with a man that smoked for almost 25 years and then in our first year together, he gave it up for me. That was 22 years ago and I know it’s part of Monica’s motivation. Monica, you are doing WONDERFUL, it was such a wise decision for so many reasons! Monica & her family are the reason I starting stocking up or storing anything and she is MY motivation for this work. Her determination and success has just elevated my admiration for her – strong AND smart woman!!!

  16. Maureen says

    Back in the late 1960s I saw a billboard with brown gunk being poured from a test tube into a dish. Ha, I thought, propaganda. About a month or so later I got a cough and coughed up DARK BROWN GUNK!

    Not smoked since.

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