Come 31st May and you would see different posters and ad campaigns increasing the awareness of tobacco-related health hazards. 31st May is celebrated every year as the World No Tobacco Day when the ill-effects of tobacco consumption and maintaining lung health are stressed upon. Though the World No Tobacco Day is supposed to increase awareness against tobacco use, many individuals ignore the message. Do you consider the World No Tobacco Day seriously?
According to a report published by the World Health Organisation (WHO), tobacco kills more than 1 million people every day. Approximately 9.5% of the total deaths recorded in India were due to tobacco usage. The most common ailment of tobacco use is cardio-vascular diseases (CVDs) and the number of deaths due to cardio-vascular diseases in 2018 was is quite high in individuals of all ages. Have a look –
Despite these numbers, 266.8 million people are either active tobacco users or are exposed to second-hand smoke and face an increased chance of cardio-vascular diseases. As per a survey conducted in 2016-17 by GATS ( Global Adult Tobacco Survey), the number of tobacco users in India went as high as 28.6% of the adult population.
As this year’s, World No Tobacco Day’s theme revolves around Lung Health, let’s explore this aspect and find out ways that help in smoking cessation.
Major Tobacco products include – Cigarettes, Cigars, Little Cigars, Cigarillos, Dissolvable Products like lozenges, strips, or sticks Electronic Cigarettes also referred to as: Vape Pen, e-Hookah, Hookah Pen or Traditional Smokeless Tobacco Products like cured tobacco in the form of loose leaf, plug, or twist. Tobacco smoke contains close to 4000 chemicals, 40 of which are known carcinogens or Cancer causing.
There are pharmacological and non- pharmacological interventions through which smoking cessation can be achieved.
1. Remain motivated for quitting with a strong Will power:
Not to make this article one on motivation, but behavioral scientists believe that course correction to any bad- habit has a bit of psycho-somatic aspect to it.
- Being in a good company of non-smokers will help keep your smoking urges in control.
- A support system of near and dear ones who have successfully quit and are happy to help you.
- Sign up for a “stop-smoking group”
- Keeping oral substitutes for a cigarette such as a toothpick, coffee stirrer etc. help you get over the urge of keeping your lips occupied with a cigarette stick.
- Keep healthy substituents such as juice or water handy to control the nicotine urges.
- Beat the craving by deep breathing, drinking water, delaying in acting till the craving passes, distract yourself with physical activities etc.
2. Use NRTs:
Using Nicotine Restricting therapy such as- skin patches, chewing gums, lozenges, nasal spray, inhaler etc. NRTs reduce your cravings and supply you with a controlled dose of nicotine while sparing you from exposure to other chemicals found in tobacco.
Pharmacological interventions, when used with behavioral strategies, can produce quit rates of about 25-30%.
NRT provides a slow and steady supply of nicotine in order to relieve craving and withdrawal symptoms and is associated with quit rates of about 23% as against 13% with placebo.
3. Alternative therapies:
Filters, Smoking deterrents, nicotine drinks, lollipops, straws, and lip balms, hypnosis, yoga,mindfulness, and meditation, herbs and supplements etc. help control the nicotine cravings. Make use of social media to meet people and discuss their success stories. Smoke free websites, Live Help through Online chats, making use of information and self-help material and advice to group therapy or individual counselling in person, by phone, or online -give massive boost to an individual’s resolve to quit smoking.
You cannot ignore the harmful effects of tobacco consumption. You can, however, take a positive step and choose your health over tobacco and its ill-effects. Here are some of the benefits of quitting tobacco –
- Improved health
This one is actually a no-brainer. If you avoid tobacco usage, your health would improve. Your lungs would thank you and you can lower the possibility of cardio vascular diseases. Moreover, your family, which might be a victim of passive smoking, would also benefit from your decision to quit tobacco. They would not have to inhale harmful smoke from your beloved cigarette and their health would also improve. Moreover, if you add regular exercising to your routine, you can become fit and healthy.
- Longer life
As your health improves, you can live a longer and more enriched life. A longer lifespan means you get to spend more time with your family and you can create beautiful memories.
- Financial saving
Did you know that quitting tobacco also helps you save money? Firstly, your expenditure on tobacco reduces and you save money. Secondly, as your health improves, medical ailments and diseases are kept at bay. When you become physically healthy, the expenses incurred on health related illnesses are minimized and, as a result, you save money.
- Better insurability
Both life insurance and health insurance policies are affected by your tobacco consumption. If you consume tobacco, the premiums under both these policies increase. Moreover, the insurance company might also pose a restriction on the coverage features making the scope of the policy limited. So, giving up tobacco also helps in improving your insurability and, once again, helps you in saving money on the premium outgoes.
With all these benefits of a tobacco-free life, don’t you think giving up tobacco is in your best interests?
So, this World No Tobacco Day, take a pledge to give up tobacco. Though the process might be slow, at least it would be a start. Remind yourself of all the benefits of living a tobacco-free life and any temptations that you face would slowly melt away. So, make 31st May count. Choose a tobacco-free life and do yourself, your health and your family a huge favour.
Also, check out our video below to spread awareness & support our #QuitSmoking campaign