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Learn how to quit smoking on World No-Tobacco Day 2024

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Are you a smoker? Are you planning to quit smoking for a long time but unable to leave it altogether? Are you wondering how to achieve the ‘no smoking’ goal?
‘World No-Tobacco Day’ is observed on 31st May every year to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes. People who smoke often fall prey to health issues like lung cancer, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and stroke.
“Tobacco kills up to half of its users who don’t quit. Tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year, including an estimated 1.3 million non-smokers who are exposed to second-hand smoke. Around 80% of the world’s 1.3 billion tobacco users live in low- and middle-income countries. In 2020, 22.3% of the world’s population used tobacco: 36.7% of men and 7.8% of women,” as per World Health Organization (WHO).
So, if you have been thinking to quit smoking but are not able to do so, here are a few suggestions which can help you in the process.

Tips to follow to quit smoking

Start working out

The more you are physically active, the less inclined you will feel to take a drag. Seriously, this works! You can try working out regularly at home with squats, deep knee bends, pushups, aerobics, Zumba or Yoga or go down for a walk or ride a bicycle. You can also hit the gym, go jogging or dive into the swimming pool in the morning or evening as per your convenience. Physical activity helps to distract a person from tobacco cravings.
Yoga can help beat stress

Pursue your hobbies

Each of us has a hobby or a set of hobbies. For some it can be reading books, for some it can be listening to music or podcasts, some prefer watching television while some like to stay updated on the latest seasons of OTT content. Some people prefer to cook new recipes or bake a cake in their free time, while some like to spend time with their pets. Whatever your hobby is, just pursue it in your free time. The more time you dedicate to extracurricular activities and your hobbies outside your office hours, the lesser time you get for smoking.

Relax yourself

For some people, smoking is a way to relax themselves from stress and anxieties. But there are other ways to achieve this! You can try doing yoga or meditation, book a stress relieving massage at home or visit a parlour or spa for the same. You can listen to calming music, spend time gardening or go for a quiet walk in a park. Believe me, there are better ways to deal with stress than smoking, which will help you overcome your stress and not cause you any harm in return!
A spa, facial or massage makes us feel relaxed and happy

Wait before you light the cigarette

If you are having tobacco craving, wait. Please wait till you light up your cigarette. Try to delay as much as you can. Make yourself wait. It is difficult but it is possible. Try telling yourself, “I will smoke after 10 minutes” and gradually you can go like “After 20 minutes,” “After 30 minutes” or “After 40 minutes.” These simple tricks actually help in killing your tobacco craving.

Try chewing gum/mouth fresheners

If you are craving for a cigarette, try a chewing gum instead. You can also try some kind of mouth freshners like cardamom seeds (elaichi) or fennel (saunf). These will keep you busy for some time till your craving for a cigarette reduces.

Say NO to ‘only one cigarette’

Our minds have a way of fooling us by making us believe that we will have just one cigarette and stop there. But in reality, a smoker cannot and does not stop there. Smoking one cigarette makes the person crave for another one and this is how the count gradually increases.

Avoid triggers

Visiting a place, maybe a restaurant or bar where you visit often and smoke after a meal can be a trigger for you to light up a cigarette. In that case, avoid visiting such places at least for some time till you are able to control your tobacco craving. Stop thinking that you cannot use the washroom in the morning without a cigarette or you need at least one cigarette after your meal. If drinking alcohol encourages you to smoke, stay away from drinking.

 

Try a Replacement Therapy

Replacement therapies can act as a substitute for tobacco. Nicotine replacement therapy is a medically approved way to treat people with tobacco use disorder by taking nicotine through means other than tobacco. It is used to help with quitting smoking or stopping chewing tobacco. However, one should not be completely dependent on therapies and try to use their will power instead.

Fight your withdrawal symptoms

Smokers trying to quit cigarette, often experience withdrawal symptoms like having an urge to smoke, mood swings, feeling anxious, sad, depressed, irritated or upset, lack of focus or concentration, feeling of restlessness, being unable to sleep, feeling hungry and weight gain. But we have to remember that smoking cannot be quit in a day, it takes time, effort and patience. There are ways to handle withdrawal symptoms too. Just do not give up and you will be able to reach the destination.

Seek help

If despite every kind of effort, you are unable to quit smoking, there is no shame in seeking help. You can always seek help from a counsellor, try enrolling in any online programme or download any app which helps you in achieving this healthy goal. There are a lot of apps which are easily downloadable from your mobile phone’s app store which can support you in this process if you sincerely wish to quit smoking.