Among the various bad habits, smoking is one among the worst habits which not only spoils the health of the smoker, it also spoils the health of the near and dear who reside or move around him. Smoking effects one's all-round health, finance, personality, confidence, ability and performance. So, it is advisable to quit smoking as early as possible. Here are some tobacco related statistics and awareness tips to quit smoking, to enjoy sound wealthy health.
STATISTICS OF TOBACCO
: *Tobacco usage in India claims more than 800000 lives annually. *Globally the number of smokers is expected to rise to 1.7 billion by 2020. *Ninety percent of the smokers in the country start smoking before they are 24 years old. *Half the male tuberculosis deaths in India are caused by smoking. *If smoking is unchecked, by 2020, millions of people in India will become regular smokers. *Most of them experience their first puff before attaining the age 18. *What is most disturbing is the steady rise in the numbers of teenagers, some of them as young as 14 or 15 years. *Out of the 1000 teenagers who smoke, at least 500 have been found to die of tobacco-related diseases. *In USA, the drop in smoking has been attributed to a number of reasons - a growing awareness about the health-damaging effects of smoking, rising cigarette prices, rising cigarette taxes, aggressive anti-smoking campaigns and a decline in the social acceptability of smoking.
: *Smoking predisposes to oral, lung, and other cancers. *Smokers are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure and to experience a heart-attack or stroke. *Smokers are also at increased risk of disturbances ranging from dental caries to osteoporosis. *Women smokers are more likely to have abortions. Their children are more likely to have behavioral disorders. *Non-smokers, who regularly inhale cigarette smoke also suffer higher medical risk. *A study of half a million Americans who were followed-up for an average of nine years, showed that the risk of death was doubled in smokers. *As many as 2200 Indians stop smoking every day - by dying. *Tobacco is the second major cause of death in the world. *Forty percent of the cancer detected in India, is because of tobacco use. *with every cigarette, you ingest a staggering 4700 chemicals, 42 carcinogens or cancer-causing substance.*One cigarette and one beedi reduce seven minutes of your life. *Approximately Rs.27000 crores in terms of healthcare costs and lost productively. *One packet of Pan Parrag or Hans reduces four minutes of your life. *It causes sexual impotency in men, miscarriage and infertility in women, wrinkled skin, stained teeth, bad odour, mouth ulceration and difficulty in swallowing. *Every organ in the body is affected from head to toe, especially the brain, lungs and heart attacks, chronic cough and lung disease, worsened condition of diabetes, blood pressure and lower stamina. *Babies born to mothers who smoke can be sicker, die suddenly, or have more infections of the middle ear, coughing and wheezing. *Tobacco-related causes lead, every year in India, to 20000 amputations besides frightening diseases like lung/oral cancer, stroke and heart problems and over eight lakh deaths compared to 60000 from road accidents. *Cause problems to family, friends and co-workers from the smoke from the cigarette - exposing them to the same dangers. This is called 'second hand smoking'.
ORGANISATION EFFORTS TO ERADICATE SMOKING
: *WHO has taken an initiative to set up Tobacco Cessation Centers (TCC). *Tobacco Products Prohibition of advertisement and regulation of trade and commerce, (production and supply and distribution) act has four rules, which bans smoking in public places, sale of tobacco products to minor, tobacco advertisements with pictures of celebrities, and sales of tobacco products within a 100-yard radius of educational institutions. *Counsellors work in tandem to help the person seeking help for his problem, by telling them of specific ways to counter the craving, as well as of positive lifestyle-altering habits.*NIMHANS has a free OPD at the TCC which functions thrice a week-Monday, Wednesday and Friday, between 2 pm and 4 pm.*Tobacco Cessation Centre, Department of Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Hosur Road, Bangalore. Tel: 26995311/12.
TREATMENT AWARENESS TIPS
: *Many medicines can help smokers drop their deadly habit. Smokers are addicted to the nicotine in cigarette, but the chemicals in tobacco tar are what especially harm health. *Nicotine replacement can help smokers quit cigarette without suffering the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. *Nicotine replacement is available as a patch, gum, lozenge, inhaler and spray. *Bupropion is another effective treatment. Patients take this drug for about three weeks before attempting a clean break with smoking. *About half of treated patients successfully quit smoking within two months, but gradually relapse during the rest of the year. *Varenicline is the latest drug. It received approval in USA in May 2006. *Smokers also need counseling on how to stay tobacco-free. This guidance is provided through cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), a highly successful approach used to treat depression and other psychiatric disorders.
GOOD EFFECTS OF QUITTING SMOKING
: *By stopping, a person will no longer be a bad influence on younger children in his or her family and in the society. *The self-confidence and self-image of the person improves, when he or she quits. *No more looks of disapproval or feelings of guilt. *Saving of money is another advantage, expenditure on buying cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays; matches and so on can be saved. *Quitting smoking reduces bad breath, yellowing of teeth or fingers. *Overall performance of the person in physical activities will be remarkably improved after quitting the habit of smoking.
AWARENESS TO QUIT SMOKING
: *Throw away all of your tobacco. Clean out your room if you have smoked there or left a tobacco packet lying around. Throw away your ashtrays, lighters, empty packets, anything that you connect with your tobacco habit. *Pick a stop date. Choose a date one to two weeks away so you can get ready to quit. *If possible, choose a time when things in your life will change. Or just pick a time when you don't expect any extra stress at school, work or home. For example, quit after final exams or a project assignment not during them: *Make a list of the reasons why you want to quit. *Keep the list on hand so you can look at it when you have a nicotine carving. *Keep track of where, when, why you smoke. *Tell your friends that you are quitting smoking. *Ask them not to pressure you. *Find other things to do with them besides using tobacco. *Stop on stipulated date and time. *Plan little rewards for yourself for each tobacco-free day, week or month. For example, buy yourself a new shirt or ask a friend to see a movie with you. *Things to do instead of smoking or chewing; chew sugar less gum, cardamoms, a toffee etc. *Call a friend. Go to a place where you can't smoke. *Take a walk or workout. *Remind yourself why you want to quit. *Develop a healthy lifestyle.
LIFE AFTER QUITTING
: *After two weeks: Blood flow improves; nicotine has passed from the body. *Two weeks to three months: Circulation will improve, making walking and running easier; lung functioning increases up to 30 percent. *After Five years: Risk of stroke will be substantially reduced, within five to fifteen years after quitting, it becomes about as non-smokers. *After 10 years: Risk of dying from lung cancer will be about half of what it would have been if smoking is continued. Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas will also decrease. *After 15 years: Risk of dying from a heart attack is equal to a person who never smoked. *NicVAX is a vaccine against smoking which is presently under development. It produces antibodies against nicotine, the addictive substance in tobacco. If a vaccinated person smokes, the antibodies attach themselves to nicotine. The resultant nicotine-antibody complex is too large to cross the blood-brain complex. Consequently, the smoker does not experience the expected effect of smoking in his brain. Clinical trails on NicVAX have begun; the food and drug Administration in USA has put this research on fast track.
NicVAX could be useful for smokers who are trying to quit, and for abstinent. NicVAX may also prevent smoking; for example, parents may vaccinate their children against the development of addiction. This then might be the first vaccine to prevent a behavior rather than a disease.
CAUTION: CONSULT SPECIALIZED PROFESSIONALS/COUNSELLERS, BEFORE TAKING ANY TREATMENT TO QUIT SMOKING.
FOUNDER: SRI KRISHNAMURTHI CHAIRPERSON: SMT K. PRAMEELA.
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QUIT TOBACCO - SET SOUND HEALTH