How to Save $2,011 and Add Years to Your Life

Here at The Healthy Trucker, we cover all aspects of being healthy from physical health, to financial health, to mental health. Today, we’re going to kill two birds with one stone and tell you how you can save two grand and add years to your life.

It’s no secret that truck driving is one of the more…unhealthy professions out there. Professional drivers have an average life expectancy of 61 years, which is a whopping 16 years shorter than the average American’s expectancy. A number of factors contribute to this reduced life expectancy, including smoking, inactivity/lack of exercise, and an unhealthy diet.

Hand holding a lit cigarette

Image via Kari Soderholm, Flickr

Today we’re going to talk about that smoking aspect. Did you know 54% of truck drivers smoke? While not as high of a statistic as the 92% of drivers who don’t exercise, it’s still a high number that needs to be diminished.

Let’s assume that the average OTR driver smokes about a pack of cigarettes a day. In the US, the average price for one pack of cigs is $5.50. If you’re a pack-a-day smoker, you’ll spend $2,011 in a year on cigarettes alone.

Think of everything you could do with that money if you kicked the habit! Think of all the bills you could pay! Think of the extra years you can spend with your children by quitting.

This is the exact reason Steve, a 10 year veteran of the trucking industry, quit smoking. He made the decision to quit cold turkey in February of this year and is still going strong 4 months later. Steve is now running regularly, eating better, and feels like he has much more energy to spend with his children. Listen to our podcast with Steve here.

You’re not just saving yourself money, though. Nope — most importantly, you’re saving your life. Smoking contributes to many of the truck driver health issues that plague the industry today including strokes, heart attacks, and obesity. If you can kick the smoking habit, you can also help to decrease your chances of being diagnosed with things like high blood pressure, lung cancer, and diabetes.

Here’s a very brief overview of the changes you’ll experience right after quitting:

  • In 20 minutes: Your heart rate returns to normal.
  • In 12 hours: Carbon monoxide levels in your body return to normal.
  • In 2 days: Damaged nerve endings regrow. You’re able to smell and taste again!
  • In 10 days: Blood circulation is the same as a non-smoker again.
  • In 2 weeks: Risk of heart attack drops significantly. Lung function starts to improve.

View a detailed time-table of what happens to your body when you quit smoking here.

As you can see, when you stop smoking, the health benefits begin almost immediately. When you consider how much money you’ll save in the long run and how much you’re doing to improve your health, it’s simple to see why this is the best decision to make!

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About Amanda

Amanda is a former digital communications coordinator and frequent blogger for the TheHealthyTrucker.net, a website focused on truck driver health initiatives. Our mission is to encourage truck drivers to embrace a healthier lifestyle by providing both expert advice and real world experiences. Let us be your co-driver on the road to a healthier, happier life!