A reason to be cheerful – stop smoking…

Some people manage to do it quickly and painlessly, but it would seem these are in the minority. Giving up smoking is often a real struggle – and can take several attempts. Even so, if you’re looking to give up, the end results should be more than worth it.

Research conducted by Lancaster University said that quitters typically took at least seven attempts – and five years – to stop smoking. Professor Cary Cooper said giving up cigarettes was “a very difficult and stressful time” and that the first week was often the hardest. He recommended having a “stop smoking buddy” to provide support and encouragement.

While some may simply go cold turkey and stop, there are many different techniques which smokers can try. These range from hypnotherapy to joining a local stop smoking group, in addition to a wide range of nicotine replacements.

The NHS provides support to help give up, and there are also going to be fewer temptations on display, as the latest government move is a plan to remove cigarettes from point of sale locations (i.e. behind the till) in shops. This might be a good time to kick the habit – fewer people smoke now and some smokers may feel marginalised, as they are likely to have to smoke outside at work and possibly at home as well.

We all know that becoming a non-smoker can have its benefits – including possible improved health and a boost to your finances – but a less well known benefit is that you might also be able to reduce your life insurance policy premiums.

Research from Sainsbury’s Finance has shown that around 3.3 million ex-smokers in the UK are collectively paying £316 million more a year for life insurance premiums than they need to. This is because they have failed to tell their insurer. However, simply having given up last week is not enough – an insurer will generally expect you to have been smoke-free for a full 12 months in order to qualify for a discount.

You will also need to have dropped any props you used to help give up – such as nicotine gum or patches – for at least a year. The research showed that the average smoker’s yearly life insurance premium is £209.75, compared to around £95 less for a non-smoker’s. Therefore, it is possible you could make a pretty impressive saving by making your new status known to your insurer.

To qualify, it is important to check out the life insurer’s terms specifically – and if you don’t meet these, then be honest when you apply – if not, your life insurance cover could be invalidated.

Of course, stopping smoking is not the only way to obtain a better deal – life insurers are also likely to offer more attractive terms if you are a healthy weight and avoid excessive alcohol consumption. No one is pretending that giving up smoking is easy or can be achieved overnight – but with the benefits that it could bring, it’s certainly giving more people a reason to try.

Article Courtesy of Sainsbury’s Finance