Dr. Arif Maghribi Khan

MAKING SENSE OUT OF ‘WORLD NO TOBACCO DAY’

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Every year 31st May is observed as WORLD NO TOBACCO DAY

Tobacco is either chewed [GUTKA] or smoked in the form of cigarettes, which can result in mental and behavioral disorders. Cigarette smoking is often considered as gate way to drugs like cannabis, alcohol or volatile solvents. Everybody knows the adverse effect of tobacco on physical health, less talked problems being impotency in males and abortions in females, while most among the most discussed problems being mouth and lung cancer, heart attacks and bronchitis.

Instead of giving statistics of smoking in Kashmir, I am deliberately concentrating more on prevention and sharing some easy steps for treating it. For doing so, e have to consider such habits as ailments and disease and not just a habit.

It is pertinent to mention that children whose fathers or other elders use tobacco have more chances of starting cigarette smoking at an early age and then becoming chronic smokers. Stress and smoking are closely related, the less stressed we or our children are we remain assured of not smoking cigarettes or trying any other drugs. Increase in number of teenage smokers in Kashmir is a matter of great concern for all and its causes include peer pressure apart from stress and harsh attitude of family members.

We, including our teenagers, look towards our family for support but sometimes when family has all the money in world to purchase us gadgets worth lakhs but no time to talk for even hundred minutes weekly, many seek refuge in various such hazardous habits that ultimately become a chronic issue. Smokers often think that they get experience some relief from stress or other problems when they use such substances, but in reality it is the actual culprit, the real problem. Here are some handy tips for quitting smoking:

1- Please consult a doctor and counselor to check your physical and emotional health. Sometime your doctor may suggest nicotine replacement therapy.

2-With the help of counselor identify particular situations or persons when any smoker smokes the most, try to develop healthy ways of dealing with such situations, persons or events.

3-After taking practical steps to quit smoking, you can do an exercise called ‘visualization’ daily till you stop smoking.  The exercise is that -when you wake up in morning visualize how happy you, your parents, your wife or children will be if you quit smoking , try to make in your mind a small film of 5 minutes regarding changes and happiness in your life if you quit smoking. Repeat this exercise after lunch and importantly before going to bed. Instead of giving negative feedback to your mind by saying “HOW SAD I WILL BE IF I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO QUIT SMOKING” give continuous positive feedback to your mind by thinking “HOW HAPPY I WILL BE IF I WILL GIVE UP SMOKING”.

There are some self-help techniques including:

A] Make it hard to find a cigarette; do not keep stock of cigarette packs at your home.

B] Make a NO SMOKE HOUR DAILY, set a time when you will not smoke for 60 minutes, slowly increase the time, first by 15 minutes, then 30 minutes, then 3 hours and so on.

C]Spend the money which you saved by not smoking on something else, in the beginning if its summer a cold bottle of juice and then slowly something for your children and other family members. The day or even hour you do not smoke, REWARD YOURSELF by enjoying it in a healthy way. Remember psychologically every time you do not smoke and reward yourself, the chances of you not smoking in future become  bright and your motivation strongest.

D] Watch video clips of people who quit smoking.

E] Remember most importantly even if you do not smoke at home, your family members become passive smokers and are prone to all diseases caused by smoking.

Lastly never discourage a family member or friends if he is not able to quit smoking, tell him/her that you are with him/her till he/she develops the will power to quit smoking.

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