#HealthBytes: Here's how you can help yourself quit smoking
The ill-effects of smoking are known to most and need not be repeatedly iterated. In fact, a recent study published by the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World revealed that almost seven out of ten Indian smokers are aware of the negative consequences of smoking, but 53% still can't quit. If you're among the 53%, here's some general advice that might help you quit.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says that 12% of global smokers come from India. Further, one million plus tobacco-induced deaths are witnessed in India each year. Between 1998 and 2015, the number of smokers in India has jumped a deadly 36%, and reached 108 million.
A general piece of advice, especially for smokers and drinkers, is that bad habits invite more bad habits. If one is trying to quit smoking, it's imperative for them to control their alcohol intake because when they sit down to have a drink or two, reverting to lighting cigarettes might feel more, if not completely, normal. Drinking might also increase the urge to smoke.
Physicians and experts suggest that those looking to quit smoking must engage in regular physical exercise. Studies have shown that physical exercise, especially aerobic exercise, helps fight smoking urges, and can help someone quit. You don't have to go all out, but aerobic activities like walking, running, biking etc. can go a long way in helping you quit.
This method suggests that whenever one feels the need to light a cigarette, they must try and hold the urge for an hour or so. By the end of an hour, the urge may have gone completely. While this sounds easier said than done, doing this on a regular basis can help you slowly, but steadily, combat the urge to smoke.
If you're trying to quit, it's also best to distance yourself from people who are heavy smokers, and those who tell you that it's normal to continue to smoke. You may consider joining support groups to be with like-minded people and stay motivated. In short, surround yourself with people who are supportive of your attempts at quitting, rather than the company which promotes smoking.