May 31st is World No Tobacco Day which is a day dedicated to highlight the health risks associated with smoking and advocate for reduction or cessation of tobacco use. This year’s theme is “Raise taxes on tobacco”, which aims to advocate for countries to develop effective policies to promote reduction of tobacco use.
According the World Health Organization (WHO)::
- Tobacco kills almost 6 million people per year, this works out to 1 death per 6 seconds.
- More than 600,000 of the people who die from tobacco related illnesses are not smokers themselves. They die from second-hand smoke, which is the smoke from a cigarette that the smoker doesn’t inhale.
- One billion people in the world are smokers and nearly 80% of them live in low income to middle income countries like Botswana.
This has serious economic implications not only for the government, but for the families and society at large. Early tobacco deaths rob families of expected income in situations where the the person who has died was a breadwinner. Tobacco is the cause of many chronic illnesses like cancer and heart disease and treatment of these illnesses can be very expensive. So families may not only lose an income but lose a lot of money in caring for their loved one.
Are you a smoker and want to quit smoking tobacco? Below are some tips on how to do this:
- S = Set a quit date.
- T = Tell family, friends, and co-workers that you plan to quit.
- A = Anticipate and plan for the challenges you’ll face while quitting.
- R = Remove cigarettes and other tobacco products from your home, car, and work.
- T = Talk to a doctor or counsellor about getting help to quit.
Tips for dealing with withdrawal symptoms.
When you quit or reduce your tobacco intake, you may feel physical symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, irritability, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances and poor mood regulation.
- Drink plenty of water after smoking to help flush out toxins and help curb cravings.
- Keep your hands/fingers busy: squeezing stress balls, playing with paper clips, or using your phone are all good substitutes to satisfy that need for tactile stimulation.
- Delay. If you feel like you’re going to give in to your tobacco craving, tell yourself that you must first wait 10 more minutes and then do something to distract yourself for that period of time.
If you think that you might have a smoking problem, or if you have a friend or family member who does, we encourage you to seek help. For some, it can mean the difference between life and death. You can find BOSASNet on Facebook, visit us on www.bosasnet.com, or call us on 3959119 or 72659891 for more information.