Addictions

Tobacco - Prevention of Tobacco dependence

Written by Dr. Surabhi and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

 
Image: Tobacco -  Prevention of Tobacco dependence

In many countries, tobacco is consumed both in smoked (including cigarettes and bidi) and smokeless forms(including Zarda, Gutka and inhalation of snuff). The prevalence of such consumption is alarmingly high to a level of about 20%. The harmful effects of both smoked and smokeless forms are due to its active ingredient, nicotine.

Smoking causes not only cancer of mouth, eosophagus, larynx but also has a role in cancer of cervix, pancreas, kidney and bladder. It also causes bronchitis, allergic diseases and stroke.

Prevention of Tobacco Dependence

  • Not to smoke in the first place
  • Create a smoke free environment around you
  • Never give in to peer pressure
  • Think about both the personal and social repercussions of smoking

How Do You Know if You Have Nicotine Dependence?

Signs which point out that you might have Nicotine dependence include:

  • You have made past unsuccessful attempts to quit but have failed many times and can’t quit smoking.
  • You find it difficult to refrain from smoking in places where it is forbidden like public places.
  • You feel smoking or chewing tobacco to be a great stress buster
  • You experience with drawl features like anxiety, restlessness, intense craving, lack of concentration, boredom, depressed mood, lowered frustration tolerance, increased hunger, difficulty in sleeping and constipation or diarrhea.

If you have any of these signs then you must consult a Psychiatrist who would assist you to quit tobacco with the help of medications and Psychotherapy.

What Can You Do to Kick the Habit?

  • Decide 'why' do you want to quit and will be the quit date. Inform all family and friends about your resolution as well as the quit date
  • Get rid of all the things which act as a ‘cue’ like ashtrays. And if you have friends who act as a cue, don’t hesitate to get rid of them too. Or even better ask them to quit smoking the way you have decided. Stay away from all the situations which tempt you to smoke.
  • Quitting cigarette and tobacco may label you as ‘uncool’ and ‘less manly’ but remember getting rid of an unhealthy addiction can only be done by those who have strong determination.
  • Make a list of things why the previous attempts failed. Try to work on these causes one by one
  • Make a table with two columns. In one column write how you envision your life 25 years from now if you continue smoking and in the other column write how it will be without the harmful effects of smoking
  • Quitting smoking can lead to a host of with drawl symptoms. But with the help of proper consultation from a psychiatrist you could easily bowl-over your symptoms.
  • Exercise regularly : Exercise releases natural neurotransmitters in the brain which help to elevate your mood without resorting to smoking.
  • Craving to smoke or chew tobacco occur most frequently and is most intense in the first week after you quit smoking. Whenever you have craving just pursue anything which will keep you busy for a while. It may talking to a friend, cooking, taking a healthy snack or listening to music. The point is to keep yourself engaged in that crucial time instead of giving up.
  • Thoughts like “Smoking just one cigarette will do no harm” or “Ill chew tobacco just once to get rid of the severe with drawl symptoms” will take you downhill. Remember ‘why’ you wanted to quit smoking in the first place.
  • Set realistic goals and follow them

Remember, your goal should be complete abstinence and even occasional smoking and chewing tobacco is harmful. Contact icliniq to get help via online therapy and counseling.

Last reviewed at: 07.Sep.2018

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