Quit the Habit for Good
It is common knowledge today that smoking is injurious and even fatal to health. Awareness campaigns and statutory warnings in the public media have increased to a great extent over the past decade. The World Health Organisation, founded the world ‘Anti-smoking day’ on the 31st
of May in 1987. However, cigarette smoking and other forms of tobacco use continue to be on an alarming rise. According to the WHO (2014), Tobacco kills nearly 6 million of its users every year, 600, 000 deaths due to the effects of second-hand smoke. At this pace, the death toll could rise up to 8 million by 2030.
There are many good reasons to quit smoking and it is important to keep these reasons in mind when the going gets tough in trying to kick the habit. Tobacco use has been implicated in lung cancer, respiratory and cardiac conditions. Being smoke-free is saying yes to a longer and healthier life. Smoking is a bad health choice, not only for you but for your loved ones as well. Second-hand smoke can put your family and friends at an equal health hazard related with smoking. When you make a decision to stay smoke-free you are also taking a decision to improve the health of your family. Creating a smoke-free environment means access to cleaner and healthier air.
Quitting also gives across a strong positive message to your family and friends. As a smoker, you become responsible for creating an environment wherein it is permissible to smoke and use tobacco. This not only has a negative impact on your friend circle, enabling smoking behaviour, but also on your children who internalize the message that it is OK to smoke.
Nicotine, a substance present in tobacco can be highly addictive. This makes it challenging for the smoker to quit despite awareness of the negative impact of tobacco. However, there are many behavioural and psychological aspects that strengthen smoking behaviour as well. Peer-pressure is one reason, pro-smoking media-messages and even the belief that smoking helps to reduce stress can strengthen smoking behaviour. It is a myth that smoking can reduce stress levels. In fact, smoking can serve to increase stress levels in smokers. This is because nicotine, which is a highly addictive substance, creates a craving in between a person’s smoking sessions. The relief provided by smoking is only temporary. Hence, an addictive cycle is formed leading to more stress for a smoker.
Today there are many forms of smoking-cessation plans available in healthcare centres that are highly effective in enabling smokers to quit. These include both pharmacological and psychological aspects to help you kick the habit.
So on this anti-tobacco day, it is time to make an oath to yourself and to your friends and family. It is time to kick the cigarette butt and invest in a healthier and cleaner future for you and your loves ones.