Sunday, December 8, 2013

Even Mr. Perfectionist has his flaws! Keep away from Tobacco please Mr Amir Khan

Aamir Khan is back to smoking again, dhoom 3 to blame

The Cycle of Change! Where are you today!

The news of Aamir khan taking to smoking again is highly demotivating for the people who wish to quit. The blame of relapse is being put on his new release Dhoom 3.

From ‘satyamev jayate’ to his ‘atithi devobhawa’ campaign, Aamir Khan emerged as a symbolic icon. If reports are to be believed, the superstar has taken up smoking again despite his resolution to quit smoking forever in January 2011. This will have a major impact on those who take him as their role model and also to them who are amid the process of quitting tobacco.

Yes stress is one of the major causes for relapse!

Smokers often mention stress as one of the reasons for reverting back to smoking. Stress is a part of our life, smokers and non-smokers alike. The difference is that smokers use nicotine to cope with stress. While quitting, new ways of handling stress must be learnt.

Let us have a look at the important factors for tobacco addiction:
·         Physical
·         Psychological
·         Social

the three factors have to be taken care of to win over tobacco habit.
It is known that after 48 hours of quitting nicotine level in our body is negligible. So once Aamir Khan left smoking for more than a year, there is no more physical factor present in him. It is only the psychological and social factors which dominate. Look at the social model of quit tobacco cycle.

A person who is quitting may relapse any time. It is generally assumed that the maintenance phase for the quit cycle is 6 months to 5 years. So one has to be careful and watch for the triggering factors. Although stress is blamed by most as the reason to go back to smoking, one has to understand that there are many more ways to relieve stress than smoking. 

Exercise is a good stress reducer. Exercise can also help with the temporary sense of depression that some smokers experience when they quit. Deep breathing exercise is an easy way of relieving stress. Just do 10 rounds of deep breathing whenever you are stressed and have a craving. All Spiritual practices such as prayers and meditation have been used very successfully.

Lot of people ask me “Can’t I just take one puff”

No not at all. One puff will break all your efforts and you will have to start all over again.
There are some key elements in quitting smoking successfully. These four factors are crucial:

1. making the decision to quit
2. Setting a quit date and choosing a quit plan
3. Dealing with withdrawal
4. Maintenance or staying quit

Be careful. Know your triggering factors and be prepared how to cope with them.

No not a single puff after you has quit!

(Dr Pawan Gupta - The author is a cancer surgeon and tobacco counselor)

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