Survivors and victims of tobacco –related diseases are playing a significant role in narrating and educating the common man on tobacco-control, otherwise the ill effects of smoking they need to face.
This time for a change let’s see a woman who has been a smoker from fifth standard and now 30 years of age the problems she faced on being a smoker. Reema (name changed) admired a few friends who were smokers and thought she should also start smoking and by the time she was 13 she smoked every day. She had become so addicted that she went out of class on some pretext to smoke. While in college she smoked a pack of cigarettes a day. When she learnt she was pregnant she wanted to quit smoking but could not. She thought cigarettes helped her to deal with stress. Her baby was born 2 month early, which is common among all pregnant women. Reema’s baby was in the incubator for weeks. Then she realized that smoking was the main cause that she had a premature baby. Reema, as a mother felt sad that she could not hold her baby in the first few weeks. When the child was brought home the child did not gain weight and got sick easily. Before her first birthday the baby developed allergies and asthma. With good treatment the child’s health has improved. So with great difficulty and determination Reema quit smoking. Today she is a mother of two healthy children, encourages and counsels especially pregnant women to quit smoking.
Increasing smoking rates remains a significant concern for public health. People narrating their difficulties associated with smoking can control it and is considered more trustworthy and credible to bring about behavior changes and also helps people to visualize themselves the consequences of smoking.
31st MAY –WORLD NO TOBACCO DAY!
On 31st May every year the world celebrates NO TOBACCO DAY. The international community organizes various events and encourages avoiding all forms of Tobacco consumption. To commemorate the day WHO highlights and promotes awareness the link between Tobacco and Cardiovascular diseases. According to WHO about 7 million people die every year on account of tobacco. If people don’t realize by 2030 Tobacco might kill 8 million per year. On this day every year WHO celebrates by informing the public on the dangers of using tobacco, the business practices of tobacco companies, what WHO is doing to fight the tobacco epidemic and the rights that world people can claim to health and a healthy living and strategies to adopt to protect future generations.
WHY SHOULD YOU QUIT SMOKING ON THIS –NO TOBACCO DAY?
- Within ten seconds of your first puff, the toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke reach your brain, heart and other organs.
- In fact smoking harms almost every part of your body and increases the risk of many diseases.
- Smoking changes your looks and how you feel, your finances and the people close to you also change their behavior towards you or your behavior towards them might change when they try to stop you from smoking.
- Smoking might help you to feel happy, concentrate more on the work you are doing, gives you more energy, but this effect doesn’t last long.
- Slowly you become dependent on nicotine, without it you will have withdrawal symptoms like-
- You may find it difficult to concentrate or feel nervous, restless, irritable or anxious.
QUIT SMOKING ON THIS NO TOBACCO DAY BECAUSE:
The chemicals present in tobacco smoke can damage your body in many ways, like:
- Nicotine- narrows your veins and arteries and your heart begins to work faster so your heart is damaged,
- Slows your blood flow and reduces oxygen to your feet and hands.
- Carbon monoxide present in the tobacco deprives your heart the oxygen it needs to pump blood around your body. Slowly less air enters your lungs.
- Tiny particles present in tobacco smoke irritates your throat and lungs and you start coughing, results in producing more mucus and damages your lungs tissue.
- Cancer-causing chemicals can make your cells grow too fast or abnormally. This results in cancer cells.
ON THIS DAY LOOK AT THE WAY HOW TOBACCO AFFECTS YOUR LOOKS:
- Yellow-brown stains are caused on your fingers, tongue and teeth.
- Increases bad breath and loss of tooth.
- Your skin becomes saggy and wrinkles on your face starts earlier than you age.
- Your hair loses its natural shine.
ON THIS DAY GIVE A THOUGHT TO YOUR HEALTH AS:
- You can increase your life span and quality of life is better if you quit smoking.
- If you quit smoking you may decrease the risk of getting many diseases related to cancer and you can help yourself of dying prematurely.
- If you quit smoking the negative effects that smoking creates on your mental health can stop.
- You can protect yourself from anxiety, the panic attacks you get, depression and above all you can stop yourself from the suicide attempts you wish to make.
PROMISE ON THIS DAY TO STOP SMOKING AS YOU CAN PROTECT YOURSELF:
- From getting cancers like- lung, lip, tongue, mouth, nose, throat, kidney, bladder, blood, cervix, penis and anus.
- From getting heart diseases, stroke and blood circulation problems.
- From getting type 2 diabetes, infections, dental problems, hearing and vision loss, fertility problems, osteoporosis and early menopause.
- You can help the people around you, especially you family members from breathing in the same toxic and cancer-causing chemicals that you are inhaling due to smoke and protect them from being passive smokers.
- You can save yourself from financial problems as a pack of cigarettes is very expensive. So calculate the expenditure per year for buying cigarettes and if you are affected with cancer the amount that you would spend on your treatment.
As a doctor my advice is listen to stories from people who have faced the problems due to smoking, on this NO TOBACCO DAY cut down on smoking, quit smoking, talk to me about quitting, get support from those around you, set a date for quitting and do it sincerely, use nicotine replacement therapy and make a list of reasons to quit smoking.
ALL THE BEST TO QUIT SMOKING –ON THIS-“ NO TOBACCO DAY.”