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Archive for March 1, 2012

Smoke and don’t want to say QUITS ?

Do you smoke and are in no mood to quit?  Fine, this blog is for you.

The intention here is to give you some information without any strings attached. There won’t be any lecture, any pressure or any judgmental statements

The blog also means to support the person in you, and to give you some tips on how to relieve stress from your life which arises as a result of others reactions to your smoking. The blog shall not trick you to make you quit, I promise.

You are the only one in your life to decide whether you wish to smoke or to quit.

Although as a health activist, I would wish no one smoked, but we have to recognise that each person has a right to make his own choice. Anyone forcing it upon you will make it give a sense of deprivation and is bound to fail.

The blog will mainly discuss
1. How to deal with people who nag you to quit
2. Understand your own smoking habit
3. Get some new facts about smoking
4. Why would you not want to quit?

Before we begin with these points know that the fact that you smoke and don’t even want to quit smoking does not make you a devil.

POINT 1: How to deal with people who nag you to quit

“How many cigarettes do you smoke each day? Can’t you just stop this nuisance.”

“Listen, I know it is harmful. Don’t preach me, okay. I’ll quit when I want.”

I am sure these are the usual dialogues that you may be exchanging day in and day out.

The people around you must have told politely or at times harshly or even without words through their body language that they don’t approve of your smoking.

If they are your loved ones—relatives, friends or well wishers, they say because they care.
Remember that their intentions aren’t evil. But the problem is that they do not know how to convey it, or perhaps don’t know that their reminders or nagging won’t be of any benefit.

They know not that it puts you at a defensive and  can’t make you quit, for sure.

So what’s the way out?

Understand that they are well meaning. Appreciate their concern in words. Then, explain to them politely that their constant reminders would make you more annoyed and that their nagging will make your chances to quit harder.

And tell them that if they eased off, perhaps you will be less defensive, and it might make you think to quit one day.

As for those unknown who judge you in public places:

I know you may be feeling bad when people who don’t matter judge with words or make faces on smokers. You may be aware that those who do not smoke do not hold a great image of smoking.

It’s the smoke they disapprove, not you.

Also, most public places have gone smoke free. The truth is that not only are they to stay, but shall spread wider.

This is not to stigmatise smokers. Just as you have the right to smoke in your own private domain, others who do not smoke have the right to worry about their health and of the community at large.

So it isn’t to shun smokers, but to ensure a safe environment for non smokers.

POINT 2: Understand your own smoking habit:

Think of the reason why do you smoke? Probable answers would be:

  • “It helps me relax from the stress.”

Yes, many smokers believe so. But the truth is that smoking makes your heart beat fast, your breathing gets quicker and raises your blood pressure.

It is not the smoking that calms you.

You relax because
1. the cigarette stops the craving caused by nicotine addiction
2. The mere habit to reach and light a cigarette when tense make one feel better. ( a learned response)
3. Having a cigarette diverts the mind from worries.

It may calm you down for a while but the level of stress builds up over time and reduces the energy levels.

  • “It is my choice; I am hurting myself, not anyone.”

Well , your argument is valid only and only if you smoke in a bubble, where no one else exists and where it is not spilled over to the air shared by others.

POINT 3: Get some new facts about smoking:

We won’t  share the information here which all doctors say: “Smoking has 4000 harmful chemicals, and they cause lung cancer blah blah blah…. .”
I know we all know this by now.

The only thing that I would like you to know is when you smoke out, you dump these chemicals in the air which is shared by others too:
Acetone (paint stripper)/ Arsenic (poison element)/ Hydrogen Cyanide (poison of gas chambers)/ Naphthalene (in moth balls)/ Pesticides (insect killers)/ Carbon monoxide (car exhaust) etc. See more in the picture below.

And all these chemicals get inhaled by kids, women and men around you who do not smoke.

I am sure you know how dangerous second hand smoke is?

It causes some serious health issues in children like allergies, chest infections, poor attention span, hyperactivity and even increased chances of sudden death in the first year of life called SIDS.

In men and women who take in second hand smoke are 5 times more likely to die of lung cancer for no fault of theirs.

This is just not to make you feel guilty, get stressed and smoke more.  Please, don’t misunderstand.

This is just to let you know that you may not choose to quit smoking, you may at least make a choice not to smoke in your home or car where others especially children are present.

The smokers get certain other health problems too, which Respirologists don’t talk about.

Women smokers develop hormonal problems, find it 3 times more difficult to conceive and have an early menopause.

During pregnancy, whether it is a Mom smoker or a Dad smoker, the baby born is likely to be low birth weight, cranky and has very high chances to develop a serious lung disease. His chances of SIDS are 5 times high.

Men smokers have both poor quality and quantity of sperms . Smokers develop sexual dysfunction after 10-15 years of smoking,( e.g those who start to smoke in teenage, may face such problems in their thirties and forties). The chances of such problems increase with the number of cigarettes smoked per day.


POINT 4: Why is it that you don’t want to quit?

  • “I don’t feel like quitting.”

Well valid enough, your life, your choice. But please, just one tiny bit of suggestion:

‘Keep your mind open, it might just click to you one day that you want to quit.  After all if you’re not an angel that people expect you to become, you’re not a devil either.’

  • “I am too addicted?”

Correct. Smoking is very addictive and very hard to quit even to those who intend to quit. It is the nicotine not the cigarette that makes you hold on to it.

And for nicotine addiction there are several options in Nicotine Replacement Therapy: patch, gum, inhalers, and lozenges.

Just keep these options in mind, in case you ever decide to change your mind at a later date.

  • “I’ve been smoking for years.”

Fine it’s your choice. You want to do it probably because you know the benefits smoking gives to you-to relax and feel good.

How about having a look, just a look at what benefits would it gives you if you stopped smoking:
Day1: Your lungs work better, and you don’t feel out of breath
Day2: Your sense of taste and smell starts to return. You may cough up more mucus, but only to clear the lungs
A week after: Blood flow to your hand and feet will increase, and you won’t feel as cold
Within 6 months: Less of coughing, less of sinus congestion, less of shortness of breath will occur.
After an year: Your risk of dying from a heart attack will be reduced to half.
There are many many more benefits …

Well, I know after this you must be wondering: “The blog didn’t work. It did not trick you to change your mind.”

Well friends, this wasn’t at all meant to change your mind, though the blog would be very happy if you did.

But then know it’s not easy and the decision is entirely yours.

Remember one thing…all those who care for you, wished you would change your mind ONE DAY, and SOON.

Just keep your mind OPEN. You might just one fine day decide to say QUITS. Imagine !  🙂

But take your time.

Just relax, and feel there’s one place in this world which does not judge you even as a smoker.

And if you ever wish to quit….refer to the next blog >>>

“Smoker and want to kick off the habit?.”

*Warning: Smoking is injurious to health. *

Content courtesy: Canadian Cancer Society & Credit Valley Hospital Anti Smoking Unit.


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