In 1987, the World Health Organization declared May 31 (today) World No Tobacco Day to inform the public of the dangers of using tobacco.
We must broadcast the damage cigarette smoking causes emotionally, physically, financially, socially, and environmentally. But that’s not all.
More Bad Effects
In the campaign against smoking, often, several frequent bad side effects are seriously ignored, neglected, or underestimated.
- Emotional damage. Cigarettes numb fears. Short-term that is comfortable but the long-term price is huge. We have our fears come up for good reasons. Sometimes distracting ourselves when we are scared is one thing. But, we pay dearly when we systematically shove our anxiety under the carpet. We need to learn how to listen to our fears and use them to our advantage.
- Financial damage. The cigarette industry is very lucrative; smokers are robbed of a lot of money. Especially the underprivileged.
- Societal damage. “A pipe smoker is no rebel seeker” – Dutch saying. A lot of wrong in people’s lives and society doesn’t get corrected because victims stifle themselves with tobacco.
- Environmental damage – see the above link.
- A slow killer. More than untimely death, cigarettes give smokers often years and sometimes decades of crippling disabilities. Hard to walk, breathe, and constant airway infections.
- Cancer. First-hand and second-hand smoking cause almost all lung cancer. But, much too little, we are aware that tobacco smoke gives cancer everywhere and of every organ in the body.
- E-cigarettes push young people to tobacco and must be banned.
- There is no slow quitting. You’ll just inhale deeper. And when in a crisis (and it will happen), you’ll smoke a record high number.
Help People Quit
While the truth about the side effects of tobacco smoking will help some people to not smoke or quit the habit, it generally makes people nervous. And smokers react to stress by lighting up yet once more, not by quitting.
We also need to face why people use tobacco, what they like about it, and spread knowledge about what alternatives there are.
Tobacco use ‘pushes fears away,’ ‘calms you down,’ and makes you hyper-focused, also when you are exhausted (pardon the pun). The ‘ideal’ drug for overstressed, overtired authors.
Tobacco has different short-term ‘beneficial’ effects on different people. That is a major reason why different people need special ways tailored to their lives how to quit. No ‘one size fits all’ here.
These gains go on, also when you are addicted. It’s one of the hardest drugs to quit.
On the other hand, it’s not as hard as winning the Olympics or becoming the world’s best player on a certain instrument. The only thing you need to do is to leave things: not buy tobacco, not have it in the house, not put it in cigarette paper, not roll it, not light it trying not to set your nose or clothes on fire, not to try to keep it lit, not find a safe place for the ash, etc. The only thing you then need to add is: not to care that you will cry and shiver and yawn like crazy to get over the addiction and heal your body.
When you quit, watch out not to get into another addiction, especially overeating. You need less food and less coffee when you quit, not more.
Besides all the tax money the state gets (much less than the health damage it must pay for), cigarettes make people give up on change. Let’s drink, eat, smoke, and be calm. The superrich love the status quo and hate activism.
Smokers die early and so cost society less pension. It’s not true that no one dies before his time is up.
A very expensive lesson to learn is to decide to quit because we admit that each cigarette we’ll smoke will enlarge our suffering and hasten our death. A second dear lesson will help us for the rest of our life to be activists who never give up. Apparently, people exist who will cripple and kill as many as possible just to become as rich as they can. We can stop being naïve.
The Advantages of Quitting
- More money
- In three weeks, your taste and smell return
- After a couple of weeks of nightmares, deeper sleep will make you fitter
- After a couple of weeks, your red blood cells will be able to carry 10% more oxygen, and you will be physically fitter
- Sport may become fun (again)
- Your minimal airway infections clear up
- The longer you quit, the longer you live, statistically
- You might actually die healthy (if at all you must)
- Saying No will build your character and more respect from others
- This could inspire you to live more supportive of your health overall
- The people you hang out with will get less cancer and lung disease
- You can help others quit
- The best gift to your kids/students is to show we can do without
- You can learn to love fear and use it to your benefit – see below.
Love Nervousness, Tension, Embarrassment, Fear, and Terror
- Talking about tensions is so much better than just thinking about it.
- However, light fears disappear the more we laugh.
- Heavy fears go away the more we whole-heartedly make fun of them.
These things work only, when we are not drugged. Stoned, drunk, etc., we stay exactly the same no matter what we do. Down with psychiatric drugs!
Fast food doesn’t really satisfy. Fast sex doesn’t really satisfy. Drugs don’t really calm us down. After a good meal. After relational sex. After a good laugh. Then we really feel alive.
Be Prepared for the Bad Side Effects of Quitting
- Know why and when you smoke.
- Know when and how it will get hard.
- Think ahead about how to cope.
At what set times or occasions do you smoke? When you wake up? After sex? At/instead of breakfast? On the phone? When you take a break? When friends/colleagues smoke? After supper? At the end of the day?
Plan what to do instead. Take a walk. Doodle or puzzle (keep hands busy).
Do you get nervous or a headache? Have someone to call and talk about it.
Laugh about the fear that others would make fun of you. They’re jealous.
It helps some people to tell everyone, others to tell no one.
If you’d started again for the 39th time, it’s time to quit the 40th time.
Make sure your check you have a better life. If not, make it better.
It’s better to have smoked and quit than never quit at all. Good luck.