If you are addicted to tobacco and want to quit, then read on to find out what can help.
The urgent need to quit smoking
AC Neilson, a global market research company’s recent survey on Indian smoking habits revealed, that while 85% of those polled believed smoking caused lung cancer and more than 4/5th of adults believed that second-hand smoke caused serious ailments among non-smokers — quitting remained a challenge. According to the report, about 47% of current smokers and 46% of smokeless tobacco users want to quit their tobacco use, but only a meagre 2% succeed.
Quitting is all about mind over matter. So once you decide to quit, it would be wise for you to seek support from family, medication, alternative therapies or counselling.
How to quit smoking
Here are some tips that might help you quit:
There is a school of thought that emphasises that any form of substance abuse is triggered by underlying anxiety or depression. So, get some counselling, identify the cause and ease the process.
2) Alternative therapies:
If you are up to experimenting with alternative techniques then try hypnotherapy or emotional freedom technique.
Like counselling, clinical hypnotherapy also works on unearthing the cause for your addiction.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), a relatively lesser-known technique in India, is a combination of acupressure and psychology. It relies on the notion: what the mind believes, the body delivers. Here, one taps on the acupressure points in the body using fingertips, while thinking about the specific problem (in this case addiction to tobacco use).
See what works for you!
3) Removing nicotine and tar:
Removing nicotine residue (an addictive substance) found in tobacco products from the body can go a long way in helping you quit the use of tobacco.
Epsom Salt (magnesium sulphate), easily available with your neighbourhood chemist is known to help remove nicotine and tar residue from the body.
So, if you have the luxury of a bathtub, add a handful of Epsom salt in your bathwater and soak your body in it for 10 minutes. Otherwise mix a spoonful of Epsom salt in a little water and rub it on to your body, leave for a few minutes and shower.
In fact, if you use a light-coloured towel, you’ll be able to see a brownish residue after you dry yourself.
4) Aids to quit smoking:
i) Chewing on liquorice root:
The liquorice plant, a legume is a natural throat lozenge referred to as ‘mulaithi’ in Northern India. The natural sweet flavour of liquorice has been used to mask the more bitter flavours of nicotine by tobacco companies for long. While the quantity of liquorice used in tobacco products is small, the smoker unconsciously associates the act of smoking a cigarette with the flavour of liquorice. And this is exactly where chewing on liquorice root might help you.
b) Nicotine Replacement therapy:
Once you overcome the psycho-social need to use tobacco, nicotine replacement therapy can gradually help relieve your nicotine dependence. Nicotine patches or gum will supply clean ‘nicotine’, minus the harmful additives like tar and carbon monoxide, thus helping you quit. But, do check with your doctor before use.
Photographs by Vivek Chugh and Abel Leemans via sxc.hu
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