Retirement helps people quit smoking

Last updated on 10 April 2024

Thinking about calling it quits? Here’s why it’s time to butt out the coffin nails and breathe in the air. [Source: Shutterstock]

Key points:

  • In 2024, a pack-a-day smoker can expect to spend $14,600 each year on cigarettes
  • Many people believe that smoking helps them deal with stress or relax, which, although incorrect, can make retirement the ideal time to give up smoking
  • In smokers, the estimated number of cigarettes smoked each day decreased from about 27 cigarettes per day at 10 years or more before retirement to nine cigarettes/day at 10 years or more after retirement

Research has indicated that quitting work may help you quit something even worse for your well-being: smoking.

A longitudinal study found that the prevalence of smoking can be up to 60 percent higher in populations 10 years before the year of retirement, whether to cut back on costs and afford to live without employment or to preserve their health.

Contributing factors may include reduced sources of stress and reduced sources of peer pressure and socialisation.

Data from Relationships Australia revealed that 15.1 percent of retirees reported feeling lonely, 10 percent felt emotionally lonely and 27.1 percent felt socially lonely. A further 28 percent claimed that community groups played a significant role in their lives.

For retirees looking to keep their social lives steady and kick the habit, retirement villages can be a great place to start holding yourself accountable to quitting through policies regarding smoke-free spaces.

A village rule addressing smoking can be adopted via special resolution, i.e. where 75 percent of votes are cast in favour of the rule. There are three ways to initiate the proposal of a new rule:

  • The Village Operator can choose to propose the adoption of a new rule
  • The Village Operator must propose the adoption of the new rule when requested to do so by the Residents Committee via a written letter
  • The Village Operator must propose the adoption of a new rule when requested to do so by at least five residents or 10 percent of residents — whichever is greater — via a written letter

The operator must hold a meeting of residents within 28 days after receiving the request. Residents will have to vote by special resolution which means at least 75 percent of residents who participate in the ballot must support the smoke-free rule. The operator must notify all residents of the outcome within seven days.

Quitting smoking before retirement may be more difficult, but it can offer you a way to save, invest and retire sooner, which makes it a great argument for giving up the habit. Additionally, smoking may assist with financial planning and saving in other areas for a richer retirement — reduced insurance premiums, reduced medical bills, greater autonomy and the ability to do household tasks without health concerns.

Previous research has indicated that the transition to retirement may be the essential period for smokers who are thinking about quitting, as the study found that some workers, depending on a range of factors, including their occupation, showed higher rates of smoking before and after the transition.

Thinking about giving up lighting up? Let the team at Your Retirement Living know and subscribe to the newsletter for more information, news and industry updates.

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