Some years back an Irish gentleman and others were partying at our house . While drinks were permitted , but cigarettes were a taboo. An occasional drink was a relaxation so to say.
This Irish gentleman survived a plane crash and gave up smoking , thanking his stars and God almighty. A few years later , he once again survived a plane crash and restarted smoking. But I reckon he lacked in gratitude. ” When a person doesn’t have gratitude , something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude towards gratitude.” writes Elie Wiesesl .
So very true.
A few days back I met a junior in service , who kicked smoking in circa 2000, but once again resumed smoking 11 years later. Why do we smoke? Peer pressure , just to chill it out or relax? There is no definitive answer . However it is a weak mind which cannot resist the temptation. But all smokers agree that smoking is dangerous to their health . Not only theirs but also of their family members and those in close in proximity.
WHO estimates that in the year 2014 approximately 6.4million deaths occurred on account of tobacco consumption. And apparently 100 million people have perished over the course of 20th century because of smoking and tobacco related diseases . There is an apt Japanese proverb that ” Fear is only as deep as mind allows .” Despite realising the dangers of smoking and consumption of tobacco related products we fall prey to the temptation.
The United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention describes tobacco use as ” the single most important preventable risk to human health in developed countries and an important cause of premature death worldwide.” Several countries have adopted stringent measures to control the consumption of tobacco with the usage and sale restrictions as well as bold warning messages printed on the packaging .
While our venerable Parliamentarians do not agree to the passage of GST( Goods and Service Tax) to kickstart the economy, they are however in unanimity not to print the prohibitive and horrific pictures on the products which would otherwise scare the prospective consumer .Without doubt the tobacco lobby in India is brazen and emboldened to carry on the sale of their dangerous products. Infact celebrities like sports persons , filmstars and others should refrain from endorsing tobacco and alcohol products completely . That should be their minimum corporate social responsibility for the enormous wealth accumulated .
Without any doubt tobacco is one of the single greatest cause of preventable deaths globally. It affects the heart, liver and lungs of human bodies. Smoking is a major contributor for heart attacks, COPD(Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). This includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. I recall of an incident when an officer( who was both an alcoholic and smoker) in railways who was charred to death in a state of stupor. I reckon as Arthur Rubinstein says” If you love life, life will love you back.” Such tragic human foibles lead to us hubris as we fail to love and appreciate life.
Smoking causes cancers of larynx and mouth , hypertension besides polluting the environment. Secondary smoking is equally debilitating for the passive smoker. WHO argues that cigarettes sold in underdeveloped countries tend to have a higher tar content and are less likely to be filtered , potentially increasing the vulnerability of tobacco and smoking related diseases .
Given all these negativeness, people still consume tobacco and smoke. To begin with a person planning to quit smoking should find a powerful reason to stop smoking as his mind remains in a state of denial . The individual should realise that both he and his family needs to be protected.
Is the addict not being self centred by not caring for the family. As Louis Hay says” By choosing loving , joyous thoughts, I create a joyous , loving world. I am safe and free.” The addict is neither safe nor free or joyous.
The human brain is wired to this addiction and nicotine. It is the withdrawal symptoms which plays a havoc on the physical and psychological self. The addict needs to consult a counselor, take medication or join self help groups like smokers -anonymous to be free from this addiction.
That craving for that ONE -DRAG needs to be challenged at any cost . It would be wise on part of the smoker or tobacco addict to fix a goal of not smoking at all for a certain period of time and see the results and benefit . Make a solemn promise to the self and family that smoking is deleterious to health and therefore , resolve that whatever may be the provocation , avoid smoking . It would be worthwhile to look at the financial cost of the packet and savings that could accrue by quitting smoking . The amount of money saved in a day, a week , a month , a year by abstaining from smoking would be manifold. This is Darren Hardy’s Compound Effect .
Simultaneously , the addict should avoid triggers like coffee, cafine, tea and alcohol . Invariably an addict lights up a cigarette while consuming triggers. Instead we would recommend taking to exercise, long walks and developing hobbies to divert the mind from consuming tobacco products and smoking.
A smoker should clear his office room and house of those innumerable stubs and see the garbage accumulated over a period of time. Just clean the environment of the existing stench and appreciate as to how fresh the air could be( despite the existing pollution).
We would strongly recommend breathing techniques like Nadi Shodhan Pranayama ( alternate nostril breathing), Sudarshan Kriya ( as discovered by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar), meditation and yoga to overcome this malady. An addict without fail should enroll for the Happiness Programme of Art Of Living followed by the Advanced Meditation Course to kick the habit.As such breathing patterns and techniques permeate to the millions of cells in our body and detoxify the system. . An addict becomes addicted to a healthy way of life and accumulate positive thoughts . Such positivism spreads and acts as a change agent.
There is a saying ,” If you want to walk fast , walk alone, and if you want to walk far , walk with someone.” So an addict can walk with the Art Of Living to overcome the habit . That is what Guruji calls Sangachadwam ( Let us Move Together).