National No Smoking Day 2024 and Its Importance


National No Smoking Day 2024 and Its Importance

Smoking continues to be a leading cause of death, which is preventable globally. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 12% of individuals in India are smokers. On October 22, 2002, smoking was outlawed nationwide in public areas. Every year, more than a million individuals die due to tobacco-related problems. Considering that there are about 120 million smokers in India, it is crucial to the underlying reasons driving this widespread habit. 

Smoking significantly diminishes life expectancy, shaving off multiple years from a person's overall lifespan. People can enhance their quality of life as they get older by giving up smoking. Not only does it cause harm to smokers but people around them, too. This is why following an anti-smoke day is important. No Smoking Day motivates people to make healthy lifestyle changes, realise the negative impacts of smoking, and improve their lives. 

What is No Smoking Day?

The No Smoking Day awareness campaign was initially launched in the United Kingdom in 1984. Since then, it has grown into an annual celebratory event. It aims at educating people about the harmful effects of smoking. The goal of this day's celebration is to help individuals in quitting smoking permanently. Research states that at least one smoker out of every ten has been seen to quit on this particular day, thus proving the effectiveness and strength of their campaign.

Celebrations involve plenty of things. Smokers are provided with tools that can assist them to quit smoking. People who are worried about someone they love or care about can also celebrate this day. Indeed, there are several programmes and support groups that may encourage and assist them to quit smoking. In fact, many firms, companies and organisations run different initiatives to support smoking cessation. 

Each year, the National No Smoking Day comes with a theme. This year, i.e. No Smoking Day 2024 theme included “protecting children from tobacco industry interference”. 

Why do People Smoke?

People claim to smoke for a variety of reasons. This includes social situations, peer pressure, pleasure, or stress relief. Let's explore some of them.

Repeated Patterns

Smoking can often be associated with daily activities, such as socialising with friends, watching TV, making phone calls, visiting certain locations, or taking a break/relaxing. With such repeated patterns, smoking becomes a part of the routine and, thus, a habit. 

Addiction

If you've been wondering why do people smoke, here’s the answer. Continuous smoking makes the body develop a certain tolerance against nicotine. Because of this significant tolerance, people find the urge/need to smoke more cigarettes to experience the same level of dopamine rush over and over again. This cycle of continuous rush repeats itself, thereby causing major addiction.

Moods and Emotions

Many people smoke as a coping mechanism for the stress they face every day, bad/negative moods, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Does Smoking Reduce Stress? 

Most people believe that the major cause of smoking is stress. However, does smoking reduce stress? It is important to know that smoking does not work as a permanent stress reliever. The stress returns again. However, the urge to smoke is entirely different. In fact, the addiction to nicotine causes stress. 

Smoking is popular among those who think it helps them relax. This is because nicotine is a drug that alters mood to a huge extent. When inhaled, this nicotine tends to smoulder and play with feelings like anger, frustration, and anxiety. 

Smoking allows nicotine to enter your bloodstream and make its way to your brain. Here, it releases a number of neurotransmitters, the main neurotransmitter responsible for reward in the brain being dopamine. Dopamine releases happy feelings into your system. However, these releases are temporary and fleeting. Needless to say, you will feel worse than you did before you lit up after the dopamine levels drop.

Simply put, smoking eventually causes increased stress. It damages your respiratory system and raises the risk of severe diseases. As a result of this health condition, your stress level might eventually elevate.

Why Should You Quit Smoking Right Away?

Although smoking may give the impression that you're feeling more at ease, it really raises your body's stress level and has the following detrimental effects. Here's why you should quit smoking right away. 

  • Significant rise in blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate 
  • Narrowed blood vessels 
  • Tensed muscles 
  • Reduction in the amount of oxygen the body and brain need to support healthy coping mechanisms
  • Medical costs are skyrocketing, and treatment can break your bank and savings

Why is Smoking Bad for You? 

The above mentioned are not the only reason to quit smoking. It may damage all the organs of your body, leading to a host of illnesses. Below are some of the detrimental effects of smoking:

  • Lung conditions like COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis
  • Lung cancer 
  • Severe coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing
  • Coronary heart disease and stroke
  • Nearly every part of the body, including the cervix, bladder, colon, blood, rectum, kidney, oesophagus, ureter, pancreas, larynx, stomach, liver, and oropharynx is susceptible to cancer
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis 
  • Effects bone health 
  • Increases asthma 
  • Raises the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Damages the digestive system. Causes peptic ulcers, stomach cancer, and acid reflux
  • Blockage in blood flow to the skin and legs 
  • Encourages gum diseases, tooth decay, oral cancer. 

How to Quit Smoking?

Quitting is hard. However, following a no smoking day in India can help. If you're wondering how to reduce smoking, given below are some effective strategies to quit smoking. Take a look. 

  • Speak with a professional counsellor who will help you quit smoking 
  • Apply the NRT ( nicotine replacement therapy) 
  • Participate in the 10 days no smoking campaign 
  • Take medications as prescribed by your doctor to control the urge and practice withdrawal 
  • Engage in physical activities 
  • Take a walk when you feel the urge to smoke
  • Try practising relaxation techniques on a regular basis, such as yoga or tai chi, if you're experiencing extended durations of stress
  • Engage in meditation and deep breathing exercises. Until you feel at ease, repeat these steps multiple times
  • Engage in visualising exercises. Close your eyes while lying down or sitting in a chair in a calm area. Picture yourself in peaceful, pleasant surroundings. Imagine the soothing sounds of flowing water, the sun's warmth, the scent of fresh air, grass, or sand.

The No Smoking Day initiative is an excellent strategy that raises awareness and educates individuals on the dangers of cigarettes, tobacco use, and other forms of smoking. 

Let’s Wrap it Up

Smoking is a costly habit. Not only does tobacco, nicotine, or other drugs cost money, but it also raises healthcare concerns, too. Following anti-smoke day and giving up smoking can help you save tons of money and protect your financial situation.

Considering all the illnesses and diseases that come with smoking, medical treatments can dig deep into your savings. Are you considering a health insurance policy here to cover the expenses? Did you know that by quitting smoking you can save on your health insurance premiums?

Yes, you’ve heard right! Health insurers always charge high premiums for smokers considering the associated health risk. While you can ensure adequate coverage by quitting smoking, let’s be aware of the consequences of this deadly habit and  stay vigilant. Happy no smoking day to all!

>> Also Read: Facts about Health Insurance If You Are a Smoker

Disclaimers: The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.

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