World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is observed around the world every year on 31 May. WNTD is celebrated to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption around the globe.
The member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) created World No Tobacco Day in 1987. This yearly celebration informs the public on the dangers of using tobacco, the business practices of tobacco companies, what WHO is doing to fight the tobacco epidemic, and what people around the world can do to claim their right to health and healthy living and to protect future generations.
According to reports, its thirty one years of celebration has been marked with both enthusiasm and resistance around the globe from governments, public health organizations, smokers, growers, and the tobacco industry. Records has it that nearly 6 million people die each year worldwide, including 600,000 of which are the results of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.
A research carried out on Tobacco Consumption and Regulation in Nigeria in recent years shows that Nigeria is one of the three largest tobacco markets in Africa, others being Egypt and South Africa. Although there are no records of consumers in Nigeria, a 2012 WHO report has estimated that Nigeria has a population of almost 13 million smokers, and 18bn cigarettes are sold each year at a value of about $931m (N185 billion).
Source: Tobacco Atlas (Third edition)
Nigeria has a relatively low smoking prevalence rate compared to other countries across the globe has shown in the paragraph above.
National Health Services (NHS), England which is one of the world’s largest publicly funded health services provides 10 self-help tips to stop smoking.
You might have tried to quit smoking before and not managed it, but don’t let that put you off. Look back at the things your experience has taught you and think about how you’re really going to do it this time.
Make a plan to quit smoking
Make a promise, set a date and stick to it. Sticking to the “not a drag” rule can really help. Whenever you find yourself in difficulty say to yourself, “I will not have even a single drag” and stick with this until the cravings pass.
Think ahead to times where it might be difficult – a party for instance – and plan your actions and escape routes in advance.
Consider your diet
Is your after-dinner cigarette your favourite? A US study revealed that some foods, including meat, make cigarettes more satisfying. Others, including cheese, fruit and vegetables, make cigarettes taste terrible. So swap your usual steak or burger for a veggie pizza instead.
You may also want to change your routine at or after mealtimes. Getting up and doing the dishes straight away or settling down in a room where you don’t smoke may help.
Change your drink
The same study as above also looked at drinks. Fizzy drinks, alcohol, cola, tea and coffee all make cigarettes taste better. So when you’re out, drink more water and juice.
Some people find simply changing their drink (for example, switching from wine to a vodka and tomato juice) affects their need to reach for a cigarette.
Identify when you crave cigarettes
A craving can last five minutes. Before you give up, make a list of five-minute strategies. For example, you could leave the party for a minute, dance or go to the bar. And think about this: the combination of smoking and drinking raises your risk of mouth cancer by 38 times.
Get some stop smoking support
If friends or family members want to give up too, suggest to them that you give up together.
There is also support available from your local stop smoking service. Did you know that you’re up to four times more likely to quit successfully with their expert help and advice?
A review of scientific studies has proved exercise – even a five-minute walk or stretch – cuts cravings and may help your brain produce anti-craving chemicals.
Make non-smoking friends
When you’re at a party, stick with the non-smokers.
“When you look at the smokers, don’t envy them,” says Louise, 52, an ex-smoker. “Think of what they’re doing as a bit strange – lighting a small white tube and breathing in smoke.”
Keep your hands and mouth busy
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) can double your chances of success.
As well as patches, there are tablets, lozenges, gum and a nasal spray. And if you like holding a cigarette, there are handheld products like the inhalator. There are also e-cigarettes.
When you’re out, try putting your drink in the hand that usually holds a cigarette, or drink from a straw to keep your mouth busy.
Make a list of reasons to quit
Keep reminding yourself why you made the decision to give up. Make a list of the reasons and read it when you need support.