Reasons for stopping smoking vary from generation to generation. Those teenagers who smoke heed health warnings only rarely; they think the possibility of death is too far away to bother about, and the danger may even attract them. However, they will often listen if a potential partner says that smoking is smelly and dirty, and immature. They will sometimes also listen to the environmental argument, such as that big multinational companies are exploiting Third World poverty to their massive benefit. Pakistan, Zimbabwe, and Brazil put hundreds of thousands of acres of fertile land, which could be used for food, under tobacco, to serve the appetite of the developed world for tobacco. That profit does not reach the average person in these tobacco-producing countries.
Even worse, the tobacco companies are vigorously promoting their deathly products to the poorer countries, adding lung and heart diseases to their already huge health problems. What right-minded person can collude in that process? Ask any teenager!
The appearance of a smoker can be another powerful motive to stop. Smoking induces wrinkles and a gray, pasty complexion. Women who smoke could save themselves the horrendous costs of beauty creams and of cigarettes, and look far better by stopping smoking.
For older men and women, and particularly people with angina, the main motivation to stop must be health. Cessation of smoking decreases coronary risk by almost 50 percent within the first year. Remember the statistics given a few pages ago. They are horrific for the smoker with angina. A third of all men do not live to collect their pensions, mainly because of their smoking. There are few merry widows outside of opera—that fact alone should be enough to make people stop. But how to do it?