In a region mired in conflict, it takes all the more courage, and perseverance to be the voice of the voiceless, and to separate facts from propaganda. Help The Kashmir Monitor sustain so that we continue to be editorially independent. Remember, your contributions, however small they may be, matter to us.

On World No Tobacco Day, know ways to quit smoking

Tobacco is either chewed [GUTKA] or smoked in form of cigarettes, which can result in mental and behavioral disorders.

Cigarette smoking is often considered as gate way to “abuse drugs like cannabis, alcohol or Volatile solvents”.

Everybody knows adverse effect of tobacco on physical health, less talked problems being impotency in males and abortions in females, while most talked problems being mouth and lung cancer, heart attacks and bronchitis. Instead of statistics of smoking in Kashmir, I am deliberately concentrating more on prevention, and easy steps for treating it, for which we have to consider it as a disease rather than just any habit.

Its pertinent to mention that children whose fathers or other elders use tobacco have more chances of starting cigarette smoking at early age and then becoming chronic smokers.

Stress and smoking are closely related, the less stressed we or our children are we remain assured of not smoking cigarettes or any other drugs. Increase in number of teenage smokers in Kashmir is matter of great concern for all, and its causes include peer pressure but importantly stress and harsh attitude of family members.

We all including our teenagers look towards our family for support, but sometimes when family has all the money in world to purchase us gadgets worth lakhs but no time to talk for even hundred minutes weekly, many seek refugee under cigarettes .

By smoking cigarettes smokers think that they get relief from stress or other problems, but smoking cigarettes or taking drugs is in fact like a fire is in your house but you go to another house and hope by the time you return back fire would have been anguished by itself. In life we have to face our problems and emotions, rather than closing eyes like a pigeon when confronted by a cat.


Ø Please consult a doctor and counselor to check your physical and emotional health. Sometime your doctor may suggest for you nicotine replacement therapy.

Ø With the help of counselor identify particular situations or persons when any smoker smokes the most, try to develop healthy ways of dealing with such situations, persons or events.

Ø Visualization= after taking practical steps to quit smoking, you can do this visualization exercise daily till you stop smoking. “When you wake up in morning visualize how happy you, your parents, your wife or children will be if you quit smoking , try to make in your mind a small film of 5 minutes regarding changes and happiness in your life if you quit smoking”. Repeat this exercise after lunch and importantly before going to bed. Instead of giving negative feedback to your mind by saying “HOW SAD I WILL BE IF I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO QUIT SMOKING” give continuous positive feedback to your mind by thinking “ HOW HAPPY I WILL BE IF I WILL GIVE UP SMOKING”.

In the start these self help techniques also help, which include

A] Make it hard to find a cigarette; do not keep stock of cigarette packs at your home.

B] Make a NO SMOKE HOUR DAILY, set a time when you will not smoke for 60 minutes, slowly increase the time, first by 15 minutes, then 30 minutes, then 3 hours and so on.

C]Spend the money which you saved by not smoking on something else, in the beginning if its summer a cold bottle of juice and then slowly something for your children and other family members.

The day or even hour you do not smoke, REWARD YOURSELF by enjoying in a healthy way. Remember psychologically every time you do not smoke and reward yourself, the chances of you not smoking in future become bright and your motivation strongest.

D] Watch video clips of people who quit smoking.

E] Remember most importantly even if you do not smoke at home, your family members become passive smokers and are prone to all diseases caused by smoking.

Lastly never discourage a family member or friends if he is not able to quit smoking, tell him that you are with him till he develops the will power to quit smoking.

Every year May 31st is observed as World No Tobacco Day.

(Author can be mailed [email protected])