Kill the urge to smoke

Kill the urge to smoke

No Tobacco Day

No one tries to particularly stop smoking on World No Tobacco Day. But trying to quit smoking is every smoker’s dilemma since the time they feel addicted. Doctors say there are specific reasons why people find it hard to kick the urge of smoking. There are ways one can learn to help themselves. 

“Youth is taking up this habit under peer pressure and sometimes to look cool or combat stress. Smoking is also strangely being equated with liberation and emancipation of women, which is inciting women to take up the habit at even more alarming rates than men,” says Dr Prashant Mehta, Dr Prashant Mehta, consultant, medical oncology, Artemis hospital, Gurgaon.

Mehta speaks of statistics where he says that there has been a steady rise in incidence of cancer in India, and recent data shows that one out of every eight Indians may have to face this deadly disease over a lifetime. Even passive smoking has a similar risk, and second hand smoke is equally dangerous and kills 3000 non-smoking adults every year.

“For those who are not using tobacco but are fascinated by the idea, I suggest, develop other habits, like reading, music, sports and arts. These are the kind of addictions you would benefit by having,” Dr Mehta tells Metrolife. 

Dr Salik Raza, senior consultant respiratory medicine, Park Group of Hospitals says, “Successful quitting is a matter of planning and commitment, not luck. To quit smoking you need to pick the date and mark it on your calendar. Tell friends and family about your Quit Day. Get rid of all the cigarettes and ashtrays in your home, car, and at work. Don’t forget to consult your doctor for the same in case of depending on drugs to quit smoke.”

Stocking up oral substitutes like sugarless gum, carrot sticks hard candy, cinnamon sticks, coffee stirrers, straws, or toothpicks are often helpful. According to Dr Raza even the practice of saying “No thank you, I don’t smoke also helps. 

 “Vegetables such as celery, carrots, spinach, cucumber, zucchini and egg. Keep plant leaves in your mouth for a bitter taste, which helps to reduce your dependence on nicotine. Milk and dairy products have an added advantage which prevents one from enjoying a cigarette, as it leaves a horrible taste in your mouth which will make you want to put out your cigarette,” says Dr Raza. 

She says that foods such as peas and corn should be avoided as this will stimulate one’s desire to smoke again. She agrees that it is more difficult for smokers who've had the habit for a long time.

“Exercise can really help  reduce craving . Smokers often experience shortness of breath with physical activity. But after you’ve quit, you’ll probably notice that it's becoming easier to exercise. That’s because your lung function gets better when you're not smoking,” says Gagan Deep Khajotia, fitness expert at Mantan – The Fitness Lounge. 

He advised some of the exercising tips at work when a craving strikes.

Here are a few exercises you can do in your work clothes
*Deep knee bends.
*Climb up and down the stairs.
*Relax and tense your muscle while sitting at your desk.
*Find a private spot and do normal or standing push-ups.


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