Quit Smoking

This lesson is especially prepared for chain smokers, not for casual smokers.

It is well known to everybody that smoking is bad for the health and environment. A short history of smoking is that originally people used to do smoking by means of Huqqa which was a traditional style of smoking.

Old man smoking a hukka

Old man smoking a hukka

In this system a small cup of clay was used over which a burning piece of coal was placed and a certain specified quantity of tobacco was added and allowed to burn and produce smoke. Attached with it was a vertical cylinder which at the bottom was attached to another pot which contained water and a long smoking pipe. When the smoker inhaled, the hard smoke would pass through water making the smoke filtered, whereby the smoking was made less harmful. In those days smoking was not common. Actually it was made known to common man when the biri, the cigar the pipe and the cigarettes were introduced into the market.

At the very outset of the history of smoking and later on, there was no understanding that smoking was dangerous to health. On the other hand the tobacco companies launched heavy advertisement campaign and much publicity was made to attract the prospective smokers, they sponsored cricket matches and game shows to promote smoking and increase their sales hence this evil spread in all dimensions.

The research on the hazards of smoking disclosed that smoking is dangerous for health, subsequently a complete ban was imposed on advertisement in the print media, radio and electronic media but on the packet of cigarette it appeared as means of satisfaction and taste with glaring words. Then to prevent smoking, Ministry of health issued warnings to be printed on the face of the packets in 2 languages that “Smoking is injurious for health” but the number of smokers and their daily use went on increasing. Later on the Ministry had to issue another warning and made it mandatory for the manufacturers to print prominently on the face of every packet that “Smoking causes Cancer and Heart diseases”. But the smokers had their own reason for continuing smoking.

warning labels on Cigarett Packs

warning labels on Cigarett Packs

Other deterrents included signboards displayed on prominent public places, increasing the excise duty on the cigarettes, anti smoking ads in the press, on the T.V. and prohibition of smoking at public places but all these efforts ended in vain. No positive result came out. At last the Ministry of health issued relaxed warning which can be seen on every packet of cigarette that, “PROTECT CHILDREN, DO NOT LET THEM BREATH YOUR SMOKE.” as if it is an incentive for the smokers to smoke freely where there are no children.

What the irony, I think it would give more space to the smokers if restriction to smoke at public places is withdrawn at least where the children cannot see anyone smoking. How ridiculous it would be. Can there be any better comment on this warning. In my view the best warning language should convey the following sense. That “smoking is injurious for health not only to you’ but to all living beings” and the environment must be protected from all types of pollution including smoke, emission of poisonous gases from factories and industrial units, dust, radioactive pollution and other environmental hazards. Rather it is the subject of the Ministry of Environment on the one hand and secondly of the Ministry of Health which is more concerned about the interest of the tobacco industry than to the human health problems. In nutshell we can say that tobacco has lesser pleasure at the cost of health which is borne in exchange. So it is wise to get rid of this evil as soon as possible to avoid greater loss. Now we will study the impact of smoking on the health and the ways to stop it.

Doctors say that smoking is so dangerous to the health of man that it should be stopped at once because it damages the metabolism process, creates stomach problems, liver function disorder, affects kidneys and the nervous system and the cause of respiratory problems and sometimes creates cancer of different types and the major cause of heart diseases and hypertension. But some doctors believe that “there is no way to quit smoking except to throw away the packet and forget it forever.” but it has serious repercussions like anxiety, uneasiness, anger, low appetite and insomnia or the reverse of it i.e. dizziness and laziness, constipation, headache and monotony, lack of interest in work and lessening of the taste of the palate.

There may be cases where a smoker might be admitted in the hospital for after effects of the suddenly stopped chain smoking. It may be added that so far no medicine is available in the market which controls desire for smoking otherwise it is certain that most of the chain smokers would have tried it; they seriously hate smoking but are so entangled by this bad habit that they can hardly avoid it but there are ways that if a person seriously wants to quit smoking, he can do it some of which are given below.

If one has that much of will power he can suddenly drop half of the cigarettes per day at least, without feeling any change or uneasiness. The remaining half may be decreased gradually but there are examples which would revert to the original position. Now take a practical example. Suppose a chain smoker takes 40 cigarettes daily on an average. He will need only 40 weeks to completely quit smoking by adopting the following methodology.

In the 1st week he will smoke only 40 cigarettes daily from, say, Sunday through Saturday evenly distributed between 16 hours. In the 2nd week he will drop only 1 cigarette daily i.e. only 39 cigarettes per day. Similarly in the 3rd week the self imposed quota would be 38 per day and so on and so forth. In this way in the 40th week he will smoke only 1 cigarette per day, obviously smoked in the late night after supper. There is no hard and fast rule for the above example; it only shows a declining trend and a reducing method for getting rid of the bad habit for good.

Proper change may be made as per the demand of the specific situation but it is imperative that the trend should always be declining. Another important point to note is that whatever formula is adopted one should strictly adhere to it and must keep proper written record. This is the easiest way to quit smoking and get rid of it forever. It can be hoped that by this method one would hardly feel any difficulty or suffer side effect. In the mean time he must take some sort of energy food or fruits rich in vitamins and minerals and preferably take more rest and inhale deeply the fresh air of the early morning which carries oxygen.

Smokers Timeline

Smokers Timeline

Zafar Iqbal

Zafar Iqbal

Zafar Iqbal is Contributing Editor of Awaz e Pakistan. He strongly believes in the power of words and words represent ideas that cannot be suppressed.
Zafar Iqbal

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