By Sandra Bright
I had a client today that made me think about a lot of things. One was the cost of smoking. I have thought of a lot of the costs related to smoking but I had never thought about the cost of the items that people use to mask the fact that they are a smoker. This client had to drive long distances to get to clients and would smoke along the way. But before she went to a meeting, she had allotted some time to find a restroom somewhere, to stop, get out of the car, walk into the place where there was a restroom, brush her teeth, use mouthwash, wash her hands, fabreze her car and perfume herself. These things cost her extra money not to mention time which is money, too. And all the time she is doing this, she feels like a fraud and believes that she can never mask it enough, that people will smell it on her breath, hair or clothing anyway.
She has two lifetime gym memberships but avoids going because she knows that when she works out hard and exhales hard, people can smell cigarettes on her breath.
She mentioned that she had burned a cigarette hole in the seat of her car and was concerned that if she got in an accident the insurance adjuster would smell the cigarette residue in her car and see the burn hole and tell her “We don’t have you insured as a smoker, so we won’t cover this claim.” This weekend she is buying a new car and there will be no smoking in that car. No more lying to insurers and worrying about getting caught.
At 15 minutes per cigarette, x’s 10 cigarettes per day, she is spending 150 minutes smoking and being unproductive. That’s 2 – 2 ½ hours per day and she is self employed. Now if she spent that 2 hours per day productively, during the day, she would have more leisure time at home in the evening, not working.
In her family, she is the one who people come to for advice and help. She said that if she doesn’t stop smoking, she is going to have to rely on them to take care of her, for some illness that she could have prevented by quitting smoking.
She has low blood pressure and used to tell herself: “Good thing I smoke, smoking will make my blood pressure go up.” Now she wants to exercise, get fit and deal with her low blood pressure in a healthy way.
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