The Hindu newspaper published an article on detoxification on January 24th this year that contained some great news for anti-tobacco activists.
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The Hindu newspaper published an article on detoxification on January 24th this year that contained some great news for anti-tobacco activists. The article entitled ‘India drinks and smokes less now’ outlined the preliminary findings from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) that was recently released. The NFHS-4 indicates that Indians are smoking less than they did a decade ago. The Indian government is all set to implement stricter laws pertaining to tobacco control. From April 1, 2016, tobacco products will be subject to the ‘plain packaging’ regulations. That means manufacturers of these products will have to do away with all exclusive branding, including logos, colours, and images on the packaging. This move will decrease the visual appeal of these products and, hopefully, prevent many more from being tempted to try them. The country is making progress in encouraging its citizens to kick this harmful habit, but are you putting in enough effort to stop smoking and staying committed to your ‘no-tobacco’ pledge? You may have already found the best way to quit smoking and have also implemented it. But, it is also important to prevent yourself from succumbing to the lure of tobacco once again. Here are some tips you can use.
Tip #1 Go Public
Well, we don’t mean that you should actually make a public announcement that you are quitting. But, thanks to the many social media channels we now have, you can now make your pledge to kick the smoking habit public without resorting to TV or radio! Put up a post about your pledge and goals on your Facebook page or Tweet about it. The support and complimentary messages you get from your friends motivate you to stay cigarette-free. Plus, since so many folks now know that you are quitting, you know that if you start the habit again, you will lose face with them and probably have to answer a number of questions from them too. That’s a good deterrent.
You can go one step further and ask your social media buddies to keep motivating you and also have an ‘eye’ over you until you have eliminated the urge to smoke completely. That way, you are sure to keep getting periodic enquiries from them about how you are progressing. Knowing that people are ‘watching’ makes you feel guilty about restarting your smoking habit.
Tip #2 Make it a ‘Team Sport’
Join an online community or forum for people who are quitting cigarettes and you have a group of people all facing exactly the same challenges as you are. You can discuss your withdrawal symptoms, sympathize with others and get empathy for your no-tobacco woes all at one place here. People who have successfully kicked the habit will happily share their experience and give you advice about what they did when the urge was too much to bear.
Make friends with people on the forum who have taken the no-tobacco pledge at the same time as you. Stoke up your competitive spirit, make sure that you ‘win’ the ‘game’ by kicking the habit before your buddy does. Have a friendly bet with your buddy— the person who fares better in the no-smoking game over the next month gets a free dinner from the ‘loser’.
Tip #3 Say Goodbye to your Cigarettes For Real
The mental tussle that you undergo when you first stop smoking is about as difficult to get through as the physical urge. To help the idea of quitting get firmly entrenched in your mind, have a symbolic ‘funeral’ or ‘burial’ for your cigarette packs. Remember that if you actually bury them you may dig them up again so make it really, really difficult to get at the packs again. Get someone to take a picture of you burying the cancer sticks and put it up where you can see it every day whenever you have the urge. Add an interesting caption that also talks about the reason why you decided to quit. For example, ‘The Day I Decided that My Life was Too Valuable to Burn Away’ or ‘The Moment I Knew Cigarettes Were Killing Me Slowly Day by Day’.
Tip #4 Get your Family and Friends Involved
If you have family members or friends who smoke, persuade them to join you in your ‘no-smoking’ campaign. The most difficult things become easier when you have company in doing them. If no one else smokes, rope someone in to watch over you at home or work, making sure that you never give in to the habit again. Give them some ‘power’ over you, for example, if your wife catches you smoking, she can allocate a household chore to you for a week. If your kids do, they can set ‘homework’ for you.
A reward system works well too, especially if your entire family is going to share the reward. They are even more motivated to keep you committed to your no-smoking pledge. Decide to take a vacation to a brand-new spot with your family if you kick the habit within a specific date. Make a promise to buy that brand-new giant-sized TV you love, if you stop the habit before time. These rewards make quitting the habit easier because you are working towards a pleasurable goal.
Tip #5 Celebrate Small Successes
In your passion to overcome the smoking habit, you may set yourself a big goal that gets really difficult to achieve as time goes by. For example, if you are a one-pack-a-day person, even moving up to one cigarette a day is a huge progress. Staying focussed on your ultimate goal of going completely tobacco-free is necessary, but you can make it easier by celebrating small successes along the way. Reward yourself with a big dinner if you bring it down to one pack a week. Buy yourself something nice when you come down to one pack over three weeks and so on. Rewards keep your motivated and enthusiastic about the challenge you have set for yourself.
You may even want to use a combination of methods to kick the tobacco habit instead of just relying on one best way to quit smoking. The important thing is to quit the habit once and for all, even if it takes a few days longer than you would like.