It’s World No Tobacco Day today (May 31).
Created by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1987, World No Tobacco Day aims at a 24-hour abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption across the world.
Global Adult Tobacco Survey – India 2010 report acknowledges that tobacco use is a biggest preventable cause of premature death and disease. Globally, 1 in each 10 adult deaths is caused by tobacco consumption.
Also, globally, 55 lakh people die each year due to tobacco consumption. And approximately, one fifth of these deaths occur in India. According to WHO till the 2050 estimated tobacco consumer will be 2.2 billion.
Here are 10 ways to quit smoking:
1. Go for nicotine replacement therapy
Consult your doctor and try nicotine replacement therapy. Go for the option you are most comfortable with – nicotine nasal spray, inhaler, gum or lozenges. They will help you control tobacco smoking cravings.
2. Find ways to avoid triggers
Identify the situations in which you usually feel the urge to smoke. And try avoiding them. For example, suppose you always smoke when you talk on phone.
Keep a pen and paper handy when you speak on phone next and engage yourself in scribbling, while resisting your urge for a cigarette.
3. Delay your craving
You feel like having a cigarette right now. Delay the act by, say, 10 minutes and rather distract yourself. After the 10-minute period is over, buy another excuse for another 10 minutes. This simple exercise, done regularly, will derail your craving to smoke.
4. Get something to chew on
An effective way to fight tobacco craving is to always keep in mouth something to chew on. Feeling the urge to smoke? Pop in a hard candy or sugarless gum and keep chewing on.
5. Don’t believe in “just one”
“Just one” is never just one. You might feel tempted to have that “just one” cigarette and convince yourself that you are smoking that one stick instead of dozens a day. But it has been found mostly that “just one” leads to another and then another. Either your quit completely or don’t.
6. Move your butt
Whenever you feel like smoking, get physically active – go out for a walk, or jog for a while; if nothing else, climb up and down the stairs a couple of times. The distraction and adrenaline rush will help you deal with your craving.
7. Learn to relax
It has been found most people smoke when in stress. So in order to deal with smoking, try to de-stress yourself naturally. Take time out of your busy day to “practice” relaxation. You might try yoga, get a massage, or even listen to soothing music.
8. Count the benefits
Whenever the addiction triggers, make yourself remember the benefits of “no smoking”. Also, as you know by now, passive smokers are equally affected if not more. So quit smoking for your loved ones. And yes, besides a healthier life, you can also save a lot of money by stopping to buy cigarettes.
9. Get online support
You may join an online program on stop smoking or join a WhatsApp group of smokers who are trying to quit cigarettes. Read up blogs by quitters or tips on how to deal with the addiction.
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10. Get virtual help
There are several Apps available for the iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone that help you stop smoking, like, Livestrong MyQuit Coach – Dare to Quit Smoking, Stop Smoking – Mindfulness Meditation App to Cessation Smoking, Quit Smoking, Quit Now!, and KickSmoking.
These applications help you with personalized quit plans, motivational stats, guided meditation sessions, track your daily cigarette consumption and manage your urges.
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.