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World No-Tobacco Day 2023: Unleashing Innovative Ways to Triumph Over Smoking

Recognizing the global increase in tobacco consumption, the World Health Organization (WHO) has designated May 31 as the World No-Tobacco Day since 1987.

Shivangi Rai
World No-Tobacco Day 2023. (Image Courtesy- Unsplash)
World No-Tobacco Day 2023. (Image Courtesy- Unsplash)

Tobacco consumption poses significant health risks, and despite widespread awareness, many tobacco users struggle with powerful cravings.

It is crucial to address these cravings due to the alarming public health impact of tobacco in India, where it claims over 1 million lives annually. A 2016-17 Global Adult Tobacco Survey revealed that approximately one-third of Indian adults were regular tobacco users, with smokeless tobacco being the most common form of use.

Recognizing the global increase in tobacco consumption, the World Health Organization (WHO) has designated May 31st as World No-Tobacco Day since 1987. This annual event aims to raise awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco and empower individuals to make informed decisions regarding their health. While the urge to indulge in tobacco can be overwhelming, it is important to remember that cravings typically subside within 5 to 10 minutes, regardless of whether or not they are indulged. By persistently resisting these cravings, individuals can gradually break free from tobacco's grip.

Let us now explore innovative and effective methods that can help overcome the urge to smoke or use tobacco when cravings arise.

1. Embrace Nicotine Replacement Therapy- There are various therapeutic options available for smoking cessation, including the use of nicotine in different forms like nasal spray or inhaler, as well as over-the-counter patches, gum, and lozenges. To overcome strong cravings, it may be helpful to combine short-acting nicotine replacement therapies such as gum, lozenges, nasal sprays, or inhalers.

2. Practice the Power of Delay- When you feel an impending tobacco craving, try challenging yourself to delay giving in to it for an extra 10 minutes. During this time, distract yourself with activities that can effectively divert your attention. You can also find a smoke-free area nearby and spend time there.

3. Steer Clear of Triggers- It is important to recognize the triggers that lead to smoking or tobacco use. Typically, the strength of tobacco cravings is heightened in environments where one regularly smokes or chews tobacco. Examples of such situations include parties, bars, moments of stress, or while enjoying a cup of coffee. Take the time to identify your specific triggers and develop a plan to either avoid them altogether or navigate through them without turning to tobacco. By doing so, you can better manage and overcome the urge to smoke.

4. Channel Your Chewing Impulses- To combat tobacco or smoking cravings, provide your mouth with an alternative activity. You can opt to chew on sugarless gum, enjoy a piece of hard candy, or indulge in the satisfying crunch of raw carrots, nuts, or sunflower seeds.

5. Be Careful of the Illusion of "Just One"- Do not fall in the trap of one more cigarette or any other source of tobacco. Hold it and let yourself overcome the urge of tobacco.

6. Social Networking- Establishing connections with people who have successfully quit smoking. It can be a valuable psychological support for those in the process of quitting. Their motivation and experiences can provide significant assistance during the quitting journey.

7. Employ the Power of Physical Activity- Engaging in physical activity has the ability to shift your focus away from tobacco or smoking cravings. Even short bursts of exercise, like going up and down the stairs multiple times, can effectively alleviate the desire to smoke. Consider taking a brisk walk or jogging outdoors as well. These actions can help distract your mind and minimize the craving for tobacco.

Hence, the road to quitting smoking requires dedication and perseverance, but the rewards for your well-being are immeasurable. So, if you're prepared to quit smoking, stay determined and don't lose sight of your goal.

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