How many times have you thought you were going to quit and yet found yourself looking for what you tell yourself is the last? And then, yet another? Well, on No Tobacco Day, psychiatrist Dr Naveen Jayaram, who consults on Practo, shows you how to quit the habit for good.
Research shows that tobacco use takes about eight lakh lives every year in India. Cigarettes contain addictive nicotine and around 4,000 other chemicals known to cause cancer. Nearly 40% of people diagnosed with cancer in India find it to be due to tobacco use. So why not take the plunge?
• Reflect on your smoking behavior, reflect on it and explain why you became addicted to it.
• Don’t deny that you are not addicted to tobacco. Acceptance is essential and see it as a problem.
• Overconfidence in quitting smoking is not a good sign. Take one positive step at a time.
• Affirm to yourself that “although quitting smoking is a problem, I can quit smoking anytime”.
• Decide on a quit date. Do not postpone. To be determined.
• Get help from family, friends and co-workers. You will find that close members are always very happy to support you.
• Always remember that you have to take a step, don’t blame others or stress as the cause of your addiction. Tell yourself, “A journey to a healthy and happy life begins with one step. » Don’t blame the stress, use other healthier stress management techniques.
• Our mind has the ability to overcome any addiction.
How to reduce the quantity
• Keep a record of the number and frequency of cigarette smoking.
• Switch to a brand of cigarettes you don’t like.
• Reduce the number of puffs while smoking.
• Do not inhale deeply.
• Do not buy packs of cigarettes and keep a stock, buy fewer cigarettes. Try not to have any on hand.
How to manage the urge to smoke
• Delay the craving for an hour or two, or by counting the numbers. Distract yourself. Remember that the craving will only last for a few minutes.
• You can use nicotine gum or chewing gum when the urge is extremely strong.
• Managing the stimulus associated with smoking, ie drinking coffee or juice instead of tea, etc.
• Remove objects that remind you to smoke from your home and office (ashtrays, lighters, etc.)
• Breathe deeply, this will calm you down.
• Drink small sips of water.
After quitting smoking
• Feel good about your behavior.
• Tell people about your success, it will increase your self-esteem.
• Say no to offers to smoke from colleagues or friends. Explicitly tell them not to make the offer again.
• Avoid the company of smokers and try not to think it’s just a puff.
• Practice relaxation techniques – deep breathing, listening to music, doing exercises, meditating, etc.
• Know withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, decreased concentration, headaches, restlessness. Ask your loved ones to support you, but be aware of your behavior. Don’t engage in unacceptable behavior because you’re irritable.
• These symptoms are temporary and only last a few days.
• Don’t be discouraged if you fail, keep trying.
• Quitting smoking is a process and relapse is common, you should be aware of this.
• If you cannot stop despite several attempts, see a doctor.
• A medication course is available to help with your quitting process.
• Always remember that with conscious determination you can accomplish anything.
Quitting smoking is the most important step that smokers can take to improve the length and quality of their life.
Choose life, not tobacco. Happy to stop!
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