Today is World No Tobacco Day. But as famous American author and comedian WC Fields Mark Twain rightly said, “It’s easy to quit smoking. I have done it many times.” Quitting smoking is far easier than staying de-addicted.
If a recently concluded survey is to be believed, nine out of 10 smokers have sincerely tried to quit, but have somehow caught themselves entangled in the self-degenerating habit soon after. It’s no secret that smoking is by far the strongest addictions.
As one of the nations with the highest population of active smokers, India surprisingly has very poor facilities to help smokers quit and ensure they do not lapse, lamented Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi of the Head and Neck Department at Tata Memorial Hospital. “Apart from strict laws to control tobacco usage and undertaking awareness campaigns on its harmful effects, the city also must have strong cessation centers,” reported The Health Site.
“Our medical colleges do have cessation centers, and not all people approach public hospitals for help.” What Dr. Pankaj was rightly concerned about was the lack of awareness about de-addiction centers and ineffectiveness of the infrastructure to tackle the exponentially growing population which is severely addicted to a known cancer causing habit, reported DNA.
So what is a smoker to do? While there are several Over The Counter (OTC) solutions like nicotine patches and chewing gums, the surefire way to quit smoking is simple self-discipline. Some of the relatively unknown techniques that have surprisingly high success-rate in helping smokers quit are as follows:
Win A Day: Try to avoid any tobacco-related products for a single day, then the next and so on. Working against the habit just a day at a time helps smokers feel the joy of fighting the urge over smaller periods of time.
The Four Ds Approach: Smokers are triggered by urges that compel lighting up. The Four Ds technique may sound difficult at first, but helps to fight the urge momentarily and allows the smokers to quit in the long run. The Four Ds are: Delay the urge; Distract yourself; Drink water; Deep breathing exercise.
Smoking Causes Unhealthy Weight Loss: Smokers often justify that smoking helps them lose weight. Though true, weight-loss by smoking is very unhealthy. Smokers can easily lose weight by eating fruits and vegetables.
Structured Approach Seldom Works: Contrary to popular belief, gradually reducing the number of cigarettes have a very uncertain success rate. Instead experts advise to go cold turkey. It may be difficult, but it is by far the most effective techniques. Simply dump any and all tobacco products.
Essentially, prolonging the decision or procrastinating will only dissuade the smoker from quitting. Hence in order to quit smoking, only a strong will to become addiction-free works.
[Image Credit| Swapnil Sakhare / DNA]