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Smoking

Question 1

How to quit smoking and help others to quit smoking?

Answer 1

A person who wants to quit smoking undergoes four phases and follows the following steps:

    1. Phase 1: Thinking of quitting

      Make a firm decision that you are interested to leave the smoking habit. Strengthen your commitment and promise to yourself that you really want to quit. Identify the main reasons why you want to quit and write the list of reasons and put the list in a place easily accessible to you so that you can go through the list every time you feel like smoking.

    2. Phase 2: Preparing to quit smoking

      After deciding to quit, you need to make some preparations in order to facilitate your efforts with success. Use the “SIIDD” approach:

      S- Search for a suitable date to quit. The date chosen should be within two (2) weeks from when you decided to quit. Do not take much time as this will demotivate you from quitting.

      I- Inform family members, friends and colleagues of your intention to quit. Get help and support from them, so that your efforts to quit will be shared by people close to you.

      I- Identify the challenges and plans to overcome each challenge. Be informed that the first month is the most challenging month. Many smokers relapse within three (3) months because they fail to overcome stress and withdrawal symptoms. Outline ways to overcome this addiction.

      D – Discard all the materials and equipment that are related to smoking such as cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays. These things can bring fond memories of smoking and motivate you to smoke.

      D- Discuss with your doctor or any health personnel the best and the right way to quit. Although many former smokers have quit without the use of drug treatment, it is still an option that can help you. You can contact the Ministry of Health at 03-88834400 to get further information.

    3. Phase 3: Stop Smoking

      On the day you quit to smoke, remind your family and close friends that your quit smoking day is today. Do not feel shy to ask for their support and help to ensure your success.

      If you are undergoing treatment make sure that you follow the doctor’s or medical personnel’s advice. Keep yourself occupied by doing beneficial activity. Occupy yourself by being in places that has been gazetted as a no-smoking area. If you feel like holding something in between your fingers or mouth, use a pencil or a carrot stick.

      It is recommended to practise the method below to overcome withdrawal.

      • Delay the urge to smoke by delaying the time to search or to light up the cigarette.
      • Take 3 depth breaths if you have the desire to smoke.
      • Drink a lot of water and never take caffeinated coffee or tea because it will increase the desire to smoke.
      • Do other activities that distract you from the thought of smoking
      • Chewing on something such as chewing gum, carrots, fruits etc. Avoid foods that are sweet for instance candy.
      • Take a bath as often as possible when you have the urge to smoke.
      • Washing your hands often when you have the urge to smoke.
      • Stretch yourself if you feel drowsy.
      • Prayer and meditation are ways to strengthen the determination and effort to successfully quit smoking.
      • Keep away from smokers or friends who regularly smoke.
      • Avoid boredom or situations that lead to smoking.
      • Refer to the reasons for quitting.
      • Know the benefits of quit smoking. The body’s healing process begins within 20 minutes after your last cigarette.
    4. Phase 4: Remain non-smoking
    5. Have full-determination and confidence as a non-smoker. You should feel be proud of yourself to have reached this stage, so why not continue as a non-smoker.

    Always remember and be careful because the threat to relapse is always there. Your presence at places and certain events can stimulate your desire to smoke again, even after several years. So do not start the habit even though you left smoking ages.

Question 2

I am a passive smoker because my dad always smokes in the house. What are the effects of cigarette smoke on me, my children and others who are in my house?

Answer 2

Stale cigarette smoke contains high and dangerous concentrations of toxins. Those who are exposed to cigarette smoke either actively or passively have side effects. Among other things, stale cigarette smoke is harmful to the foetus which can cause miscarriage, birth defects and premature births. Children exposed to stale cigarette smoke are more prone to ear infections whereas adults are at risk for various cancers, heart diseases, lung diseases etc.

Question 3

Does smoking affect fertility either in the male/female?

Answer 3

Yes, smoking can affect fertility in both men and women. Men smokers develop erectile dysfunction while women smokers are more prone to pelvic infections, ectopic pregnancies and other complications.

Question 4

What is the method to quit smoking?

Answer 4

There are two main treatments for smoking cessation. Counselling for behavior modification and medications to control withdrawal symptoms are the two main treatment. It is also proved that smokers also successfully quit by “cold turkey” without any counseling or medication. Others quit smoking by using a combination of counselling and medications.

Question 5

Are there any programs initiated by the government to help smokers to quit smoking?

Answer 5

Yes, the Ministry of Health is providing smoking cessation services across the country that is through more than 200 health clinics and selected hospitals. You can find more information by calling the quit smoking line, 03-88834400.

Question 6

I have tried to quit but failed, what should I do?

Answer 6

Failure doesn’t mean you will fail every time. It doesn’t matter if you had tried quitting and started to smoke again. Do not feel dejected or disappointed. Be aware that many former smokers have made many attempts and failed before they actually managed to leave this addictive habit. Continue to increase your motivation in order to succeed quitting it. Identify the causes of your failure and ways to overcome it in the future. Learn from your past experiences and seek advice from people who have overcome these similar problems. Talk to your doctor or health care providers for guidance.

Question 7

What are the symptoms due to quit smoking suddenly/abruptly?

Answer 7

The most common withdrawal symptoms experienced by smokers are:: Feeling depressed Difficulty sleeping (Insomnia) Easily provoked/irritated Feeling worried and anxious Unable to think and decide clearly or calmly Hungry and weight gain

Question 8

What are the places where smoking is prohibited?

Answer 8

Under the existing laws on Regulation of Tobacco Product Control 2004 (PPKHT 2004) the followings were gazetted as non-smoking areas:

  • In any entertainment outlet or theater, except pubs, discos, nightclubs or casinos which is open to public
  • In any hospitals or clinics
  • In elevators/lifts or public toilets
  • In any dining or air-conditioned shops/restaurants, except in places specially designated for smokers
  • In any public transportations or stations
  • In any buildings specified by the Minister from time to time, gazetted under Rule 22 (PPKHT 2004)
  • In any airport terminals
  • In any government premise
  • In any area used for public gathering activities other than private residence
  • In any area within an educational institutions or institution of higher education
  • In any kindergartens or child nursery
  • In any school buses
  • In any information or service counters in the building specified in the Second Schedule (PPKHT 2004)
  • In any shopping complexes
  • In any gas/petrol kiosks
  • In any area in a stadium, sports complex, fitness center or gymnasium
  • In any public buildings or places used for religious purposes
  • In any area in the library
  • In any area in the internet cafe
  • In any area in the National Service Training Center

Question 9

What is the Government’s role in enforcing the smoking prohibition order?

Answer 9

The government’s role under the Ministry of Health (MOH) which has about 2000 enforcement officers is enforcing and implementing the law under PPKHT 2004. Most of them are stationed in the State and District Health Offices.

Question 10

Is it true that after quitting my health will deteriorate and will increase my weight?

Answer 10

Is it true that after quitting my health will deteriorate and will increase my weight?

Last Reviewed: 30 January 2012

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