World No Tobacco Day: This 5-step guide will help you quit smoking
By NCVC Staff | Published on Oct 10, 2023
It’s World No Tobacco Day, and the numbers are staggering. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco consumption claims the lives of over 7 million people annually. Among them, 6 million deaths are directly caused by smoking, while 890,000 are due to passive smoking.
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In India, the statistics are alarming too, with 34.6% of adults consuming tobacco, among which 20.3% are women. These numbers are not meant to scare you, but to emphasize the deadly consequences of smoking that we’re all aware of.
If you’ve been struggling to quit smoking, don’t worry, we’re here to help you out. Say hello to a healthier life with our practical five-step guide to kicking the habit for good.
Step 1: Plan, Plan, and Plan
Quitting smoking is not something you can accomplish overnight. It requires careful planning and dedication. Set small targets for yourself and stick to them. Avoid purchasing cigarette packs, as easy access can tempt you. Reward yourself when you achieve each milestone to stay motivated.
Dr. Arvind Kate, a pulmonologist at Zen Hospital, Mumbai, advises, “Reduce it gradually because that’s the only thing that will do the trick.”
Step 2: Change Your Drinking Habits
If you often find yourself reaching for a cigarette while drinking tea, coffee, or carbonated beverages, it’s time to cut back. Though there is no scientific evidence, Dr. Kate suggests that these drinks may trigger cravings. Stay strong and resist the urge to light up.
Step 3: Distract Yourself with Gum
To divert your attention from smoking, try some simple techniques. Chewing gum or keeping elaichi (cardamom) in your mouth can keep your mouth engaged and your mind occupied. Remember, e-cigarettes or vapes are not better alternatives, as they can still harm your health.
Step 4: Seek Support from Loved Ones
Having the support of your family and friends is crucial. Dr. Kate recommends involving them in your journey to quit smoking. Surround yourself with positivity, and don’t make yourself feel guilty if you slip up. It’s all part of the process.
Step 5: Clean House, Clear Mind
Removing triggers from your immediate environment can make a significant difference in your quitting journey. Take the time to thoroughly clean your home and get rid of cigarette packs, ashtrays, and anything else associated with your smoking habit. A clean environment promotes a clear mind.
Dr. Kate advises, “It’s a two to three-month process, so be patient.”
Sadly, a survey conducted by Aviss Foundation revealed that a staggering 53% of smokers are between the ages of 20 and 30. Moreover, more than 50% believe that smoking helps them cope with stress. However, the harsh reality is that smoking poses more health risks than it alleviates.
If you need further convincing, consider the European Union’s health agency report, which suggests that smoking increases the likelihood of severe complications from a COVID-19 infection.
So, take these tips to heart and make a pact with a healthier life. Leave smoking behind for good and embrace a brighter, smoke-free future.