#NoTobaccoDay: “Quitting smoking is not a single event, it’s a journey”, Doctors say

Deciding that you are now ready to quit smoking is only half the battle. Knowing where to start on your path to becoming smoke-free can help you to take the leap, but completely overcoming the urge and the addiction is not as easy as it seems.

” Starting to smoke tobacco products is not an addiction, the nicotine substance in the cigarettes triggers the body to depend on it. You know nicotine is a stimulant drug that speeds up the messages travelling between the brain and the body”, says Dr. Colman Tambo, General Surgeon at the Douala General Hospital

Most people are aware of the numerous health risks that arise from cigarette smoking and yet, tobacco production and distribution continues to be one of the leading and fruitful business in the world today.

According to a credible charity side, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, over 2.3 billion cigarettes were sold in Cameroon in 2016. This explains why 3.5 million hectares of land are converted for tobacco growing each year in the world.

Taking the case of Cameroon, recent statistics indicate that 8.300 Cameroonians are killed every year by smoking-caused diseases. One hundred and twelve men and forty-seven women are killed every week by smoking

Tips to Quit Smoking

To quit smoking, and kick the habit for good, you need to alter your behavior and cope with the withdrawal symptoms experienced from cutting out nicotine, but you also need to find other ways to manage your moods.

A senior health practitioner, Nkwain Louis states that breaking free from nicotine addiction and kicking the habit for good is a difficult task, in fact it like detaching yourself from your comfort zones.

“Before taking the decision to quit smoking, the victim has to first of all identify the motivating factors (intrinsic and extrinsic ) , then choose to engage into collective or individual management with the help of a medical practitioner if you he/she wants”, Dr Colman Tambov adds

The two health experts indicate that after the identification phase, the next is either pharmacological regiments/treatments or psycho-therapy which can be done through support groups or individual efforts, educative talks on the disastrous health effects of smoking amongst many others

Practical methods of Quitting

* Avoid hanging out with peers who smoke.
* Try different relaxation techniques or indulge more in sporting activities.
* Get support from friends and family.
* Set a realistic quitting date
*Throw away all the cigarettes in your keeping.
* Wash all clothes so to avoid the smell of cigarettes since nicotine is highly addictive.
* Break the link between driving and smoking. Stop and take a walk or distract yourself.
* Substitute something else with cigarette.
* Nicotine replacement therapy such as nicotine patches or gums can reduce the cravings and withdrawal symptoms
* Stay busy
* Drink more of water or juice, drink less of alcohol or none

Smoking is a silent killer and even when they are aware, even when every pack has a warning signal, smokers continue to smoke. It leads to complicated underlining health issues like diabetes, hypertension, vascular diseases, lung infections and cancer of the lungs

Benly Anchunda

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