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World No Tobacco Day 2023: Know The Harmful Effects Of Smoking And Ways To Quit

World No Tobacco Day is observed May 31 every year. The day tries to highlight the negative effects of tobacco use and the importance of quitting.

World No Tobacco Day 2023: Know The Harmful Effects Of Smoking And Ways To Quit

According to the WHO, around 267 million adults in India consume tobacco

Smoking is an addictive and harmful activity that has serious detrimental effects on the health of the person. According to the WHO, around 267 million adults in India consume tobacco. The act of smoking itself can come from various influences such as media or the internet, peer pressure, ease of access to the substance, etc. A single cigarette can harm the body but continuous consumption of the same leads to critical disorders including:

1. Respiratory diseases such as difficulty in breathing, wheezing, shortness of breath, COPD, Bronchitis, and even lung cancer.

2. Cardiovascular issues like damage in blood vessels, coronary artery diseases, and valve diseases. Smoking is the primary cause of stroke and heart disease impacting many people worldwide.

3. Cancer caused by the intake of tobacco-based products can develop in the lungs but can also impact the throat, esophagus, bladder, kidneys, and pancreas.

4. Smoking is also seen to cause an overall decline in health by causing premature wrinkles and dryness, risk of cataracts, tooth and gum diseases, and orthopedic issues such as arthritis and orthopedics.

To prevent oneself from these risks, people should avoid smoking completely. If they are in a situation where they are unable to quit the habit of smoking, then they should:

1. Seek support from a medical specialist to map down potential triggers and come up with a viable plan to quit smoking once and for all.

2. During this time, the elimination of influences and support from friends, family, and community plays a strong role in building the mental strength to keep the no-smoking streak going.

3. The after-effects of smoking that make the substance addictive can be replaced with healthier habits such as exercising, practicing breathing and relaxation techniques, and creating new replacement routines. For example, if a person likes to smoke after eating then they can switch that up with a walk.

4. Lastly, if needed an expert can assist in quitting smoking by using medications or nicotine replacement strategies.

Quitting smoking is a difficult journey, and different strategies work for different individuals. Reaching out to healthcare professionals helps in additional guidance and support throughout the quitting process.

(Dr. Mayank Arora, Consultant - Internal Medicine, Manipal Hospital, Ghaziabad)

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