Every year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) celebrates World No Tobacco Day on the 31st of May. The idea of this annual day is to bring awareness to the ill effects that tobacco has on our health. Yes, we all know that smoking can lead to lung cancer and other chronic respiratory diseases, but what a lot of people don’t know is that tobacco smoke can even cause tuberculosis. What’s worse, an infant that is exposed to tobacco smoke, even while still in the womb, is likely to experience reduced lung growth and function later on in life. This is found to be the case even if mothers are only exposed to second-hand smoke. As of 2019, it was estimated that 60,000 children under the age of 5 contracted fatal lower respiratory infections from second-hand smoke. Given all these facts, it’s important that we all do whatever we can to end the consumption of tobacco.
World No Tobacco Day seems like a good day to make a resolution to reduce or completely stop any consumption of tobacco. But, given how addictive the substance is, it isn’t always easy for individuals to give up smoking or tobacco consumption cold turkey. If you’re struggling to find ways to quit smoking or chewing tobacco, here’s a look at a few things you can resolve to do this World No Tobacco Day to make the transition easier:
1. Set a Date
Set a date to quit. Ideally, it should be 1-2 weeks away. If you set a date that’s in the distant future, you may end up changing your mind. Once you have the date, mark it in your calendar. Then, try and reduce your consumption of tobacco in the days leading up to your quitting date. You also need to ensure that you get rid of any tobacco products around you. This will prevent you from getting tempted right after you quit.
2. Ask Others to Hold You Accountable
Ask your friends and family members to hold you accountable for your decision. Tell as many people as possible that you’ve decided to quit using tobacco. Ask them to check on you at regular intervals to make sure you aren’t using tobacco again. If you like, you can even document your journey on social media. This way, people who may have quit can reach out and provide you with words of wisdom when you need it the most.
3. Stay Busy
The first few days after you quit any addictive substance are always the hardest. You need to find a way to fill your days with activities and work, so you don’t have time to dwell on any withdrawal symptoms you might be facing.
4. Keep Medicine Ready
Withdrawal may make you feel like you’re coming down with a cough or the flu. You should keep cough lozenges ready to help you deal with the cough symptoms. It’s a good idea to have basic cold and flu medications at hand, but you shouldn’t take them unless it’s absolutely necessary.
5. Replace a Bad Habit with a Good One
A great way to get over the addiction is by replacing your bad habit of using tobacco with a good one. Every time you feel like lighting a cigarette or chewing on tobacco, you can try drinking a glass of water or going for a quick walk. This could help you beat your tobacco addiction and help you develop a good habit at the same time.
Most importantly, when it comes to quitting, it’s vital that you never stop trying. Tobacco is incredibly addictive and many people quit for a few weeks or even months before they eventually pick up the habit again. If you relapse, remember that you can always try again. This World No Tobacco Day, let’s all choose health over tobacco.