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The average adult has seven major regrets – with starting smoking, not saving enough money or putting on weight likely to be top of the list, it has been revealed. A study of 2,000 adults revealed taking up smoking was the most common regret, with 88% of smokers wishing they had never started in the first place.
Not getting better exam results at school, not keeping in touch with people and getting into debt also featured in the top ten.
Other popular regrets include choosing the wrong career path, not going travelling and drinking too much at a young age.
Getting a tattoo, marrying too young and not learning to drive also made the list.
Adrian Everett, CEO of e-cigarette brand E-Lites said:
”Almost everyone has at least one thing they wish they hadn’t done, especially from their younger years.
”While some regrets are small, some of the mistakes from your past can have a real effect on your health, bank account and on your entire future.
”What’s more, some regrettable decisions or actions can also have an effect on others around you.
”Luckily many things on the list are rectifiable and actions can be taken to ease the feeling of regret.
”If you wish you had never taken up smoking, you can cut down or give up altogether and if you wish you had more money in savings, then start putting the cash you save from managing your smoking habit away now.”
Not achieving higher grades in school exams came fourth, while losing touch with people came fifth.
Losing concentration or being too distracted at school was named the sixth most common regret, with getting into debt at number seven.
Choosing the wrong career path, not quitting smoking at an earlier age and not being brave enough completed the top ten.
Other common regrets to feature in the poll include not going travelling, not going to college or university and losing your virginity to the wrong person.
Not getting on the property ladder early enough, not learning to drive and getting married too young are also among the life mistakes Brits have made.
Researchers also found while the average Brit has seven regrets about their life, 82% think bad decisions made when young helped to shape their personality.
While 80% think those regrets have gone on to influence the decisions they have made since.
It also emerged that almost a third of those who say their partner smokes admit they regret choosing to be in a relationship with someone with a cigarette habit.
And another 28% wish they had made more effort to try and encourage friends or family who smoke to cut down or give up altogether.
Of those who regret smoking, the effect it has had on their health is the biggest reason followed by the amount of money the habit has cost them over the years.
Other reasons for wishing they had never smoked include worries about how addictive it is, the effect it had on other people’s health and possibly dying at a younger age.
Adrian Everett added:
”I’m not surprised smoking tops the list. We speak to people every day who regret taking up smoking.
”It is this sentiment that continues to be a big motivator behind the brand today.”
TOP 40 REGRETS
1. Taking up smoking
2. Not saving more money
3. Allowing myself to become overweight/fat
4. Not getting better exam results/grades
5. Not keeping in touch with people
6. Not concentrating hard enough at school
7. Getting into debt
8. Choosing the wrong career path
9. Not quitting smoking at an earlier age
10. Not being brave enough
11. Not socialising with friends enough
12. Not making the most of an opportunity
13. Not going travelling
14. Not going to college or university
15. Drinking too much at a young age
16. Not learning a language
17. Losing your virginity to the wrong person
18. Not having more relationships
19. Not spending enough time with my family
20. Being too sensible
21. Not getting on the properly ladder sooner
22. Ignoring an illness
23. Having unprotected sex
24. Not learning to drive
25. Not listening to my parents advice
26. Not leaving home quick enough
27. Not taking up a sport/hobby
28. Losing your virginity at a young age
29. Getting married
30. Getting married too young
31. Getting a tattoo
32. Not having children at all
33. Using sunbeds
34. Having an affair
35. Not having more children
36. Buying a house at the wrong time/too soon
37. Getting into the wrong crowd of people
38. Having children too late
39. Moving out of your parent’s home too young
40. Taking drugs