We all know that tobacco smoking is injurious to health. According to a World Health Organization report, nearly 5 million people die due to smoking related issues. In 2015, 11.5% of global deaths (6.4 million) was caused due to smoking. Besides, India has 11·2% of the world’s total smokers. Then, why is it that most of us still remain hooked on to the stick? What makes it so difficult to leave smoking for good? And can one really stop smoking permanently? If so, how?
First, let us understand why people keep getting back to smoking, time and again despite repeated attempts to leave it.
When one smokes, the nicotine contained in the tobacco enters the blood stream and it stimulates the pleasure centres in the brain. When the person abstains from smoking, the nicotine content drops in the bloodstream and the body craves for it. This is known as the withdrawal symptom, which can manifest itself in different ways in different people. For instance, some can experience lack of sleep, fatigue, irritability, difficulty in concentrating or craving to smoke and more.
While the smoking addiction surely gets a hold on people even before they realize it, it is not impossible to get rid of it. Here are some health tips that can get you off the stick.
1. Find a personal reason and stay motivated
You need to have a very strong and powerful reason that will prevent you from slipping into it. For instance, you can tell yourself how your families are dependent on you. As a result, the fear will dawn on you where you can’t risk falling prey to cancer, which is a direct consequence of smoking.
2. Auto suggestion
Short term daily autosuggestions are very effective. For instance, telling yourself, “I’ll not smoke TODAY.” This is a positive impetus and works very effectively because even though it may pose a challenge to you being the smoker, it is achievable and practical. You don’t have to be bothered about the coming days, but just “today”, the day at hand which you feel is under your control. In this way, by stating the same over a course of 21 days (minimum habit-forming duration), you can shirk off the habit.
3. Nicotine-Replacement Therapy
The withdrawal symptoms make it tough. Hence, there needs to be the provision of a substitute. Studies show that tobacco can be replaced by nicotine gum, lozenges, and patches. These improve the chances of success as the body is obtaining nicotine from a different source other than tobacco.
4. Take a break
One of the major reasons for smoking is stress. Treat your body to a relaxing massage or undergo detoxification. As the body muscles, skin and cells feel toned and nourished, you’ll feel refreshed, recharged and revitalised.
5. Lean on loved ones
Love heals and the support of your loved ones tell you that you are not alone in this fight. Besides, confiding in your friends or loved ones about your purpose will help you stay on track and not let you stray from your goal even when tempted. You can also take up ‘behavioural counselling’ with a counsellor that identifies quitting strategies and help you stick to them. Besides there are also the options to ask a doctor online at any instant and at your convenience. These days online medical consultations are also proving to be of great help.
So don’t let your health go up in smoke. Simply follow these few but tried-and-tested five effective ways, and say goodbye to smoking today!