From chain smoking to no smoking,from 25 cigarettes a day to none,some city residents have shown the way and kicked the butt forever.
On World Tobacco Day on Thursday,Chandigarh Newsline spoke to some of the city residents who have shown extraordinary willpower to quit smoking and have been successful at it.
Naveen Singhal,a 43-year-old businessman,who started smoking as a teenager would smoke nothing less than 25 cigarettes a day until one day he decided to quit after noticing the adverse effects smoking was having on his body. Setting short-term goals helped me. I did not decide to quit it in one go but decrease the number by every single day. Finally there came a day when from 25,I reached one per day,and the following day,I was a non- smoker, he says.
Singhal says,The last time I smoked was four years ago.
Naresh Kumar Joshi,60,a lawyer based in Panchkula,smoked for 40 years before he finally quit smoking in 2011. I always told himself that the craving was only psychological and instead I started thinking of the rewards of having a fit body. Whenever I felt the urge to smoke,I thought I can reward myself for not smoking. It helped and once I did not smoke for one day,and then I challenged myself to try not to smoke the next day as well. Soon enough I did not need to challenge myself any more,and not smoking became automatic, he says.
Another person who was able to successfully quit smoking is Pawan Kumar,who works on a farm on the outskirts of the city. Kumar was addicted to beedis and smoked at least 10 each day. His family helped him get over his addiction and always motivated him. They understood that I was trying hard to quit and never blamed me even when I relapsed after trying many times. They helped distract my mind and encouraged me all along, he says.
Dr Savita Malhotra,Department of Psychiatry,PGIMER,says there is no one way in which addiction can be combated. Every persons addiction is different and requires a different strategy. Nevertheless the first step is to believe that quitting is possible and the smoker needs to be ready and motivated to quit before trying to quit, she says.
Dr Malhotra adds that it is required of the smoker to analyse and understand his addiction before trying to quit. The smoker should first identify the triggers for smoking and then try to eliminate them. It is important to engineer the environment of the smoker in such a way that he does not feel like smoking. He should avoid the friends he smokes with or stop drinking in case alcohol triggers the urge, she says,adding that a relapse should not be taken as a sign of failure because most people take three-four attempts to quit smoking completely.