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The worst ever addiction!  

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By: Shagufta Hassan

Amongst the most common and habitual problems people fall easy prey to is smoking or tobacco addiction. It is a massive health disaster which is eating up several lives each year.  Many people around the globe fall into this habit quite early in life and then associate it with stress, personal issues, depression, work stress etc. As a matter of fact, some even start showing it off. Apart from casuing harm to themselves, smokers also affect the health of those around them who are often termed as passive smokers. For many Muslims, the legal status of smoking has changed during recent years, and numerous fatwas, including from notable authorities such as Al-Azhar University in Cairo, now consider smoking as Haram (Forbidden). The reasons cited in support of the reclassification of smoking as prohibited include Islamic law’s general prohibition of all actions that result in harm. For example, the Quran says, “And spend of your substance in the cause of God, and make not your own hands contribute to your own destruction.” Furthermore, jurists rely on the exhortations in the Quran not to waste money. Greater appreciation of the risks associated with second-hand smoke has also led recent jurists to cite the obligation to avoid causing willful annoyance, distress or harm to other people. Smoking isn’t a good thing to do.

Tobacco can have unimaginably disastrous impact on our health. Even so, people consume it daily for a long period and in some cases until it’s too late. Because of nicotine’s habit forming nature, this habit doesn’t go away very easily and given a rough estimate that states around one billion people have fallen in this trap of smoking and consuming tobacco- isn’t the figure already alarming?

Cigarettes have major wrongful impacts on the lungs. Almost a third of all cancer cases happen due to smoking. For occurrence, it can affect breathing and causes shortness of breath along with coughing. Additionally, it also increases the risk of respiratory tract infection which affects lung functions and reduces the quality of life. It makes alterations to the sense of smell and taste and reduces the ability to perform physical exercises. Besides, it is also an expensive habit. Even though some people don’t have money to live by their by a standard yet they waste fortunes on addictions.

There are a lot of ways through which a person can quit smoking forever though for most of the addicts, it is not easy to quit suddenly or abruptly- it may need a proper plan and a well thought over strategy. One can also use NRTs for their nicotine dependence which can reduce their cravings and withdrawal syndromes. NRTs including skin patches, chewing gums, lozenges, nasal spray and inhalers can help greatly, which are easily available nowadays. In addition to this, one can also contemplate non-nicotine medications to be prescribed by a professional. But first and the foremost is one’s will power that helps in quitting tobacco addiction. One can also seek behavioural support, counselling services, self-materials or more to get through this phase along with a strong will to end this habit for good. One can also think of getting alternative therapies if it’s hard to quit smoking. There is no harm in trying as long as you are focused to quit smoking.

But you need to remember that you cannot quit smoking instantly as it will be bad for you both physically as well as mentally. Try cutting down the number and then slowly and steadily progress towards quitting. It is necessary to understand that it is never too late to quit smoking and with a determined mindset and a good action plan, anyone can quit. The benefits and best results can be evident as early as in a few days of quitting. We need to understand that smoking causes illnesses like cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and more. It also increases the risk of tuberculosis, certain eye diseases and problems with the immune system along with some severe mental illnesses even lessening our life expectancy in general.

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