Smoking is a grave problem the world has been struggling with for decades. According to WHO, the tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing more than 7 million per year. The true face of tobacco is that of disease and suffering; and not of glamour as portrayed by the tobacco industry. Once you are addicted to nicotine, the subconscious mind needs time to encounter, break down and extinguish all the addictive conditioning. As a result, your mind goes into overdrive to sort through the long list of lies it has invented to convince you that the next cigarette is important for survival.
Apart from the obvious effects it has on your body, smoking is a major cause of cardiovascular diseases – causing one out of three deaths. The side effects range from damaged blood vessels blocking blood flow to raised triglyceride levels. And that’s not all. Breathing secondhand smoke also harms your health by increasing the risk of a stroke by 20−30%. As a matter of fact, secondhand smoke exposure causes more than 8,000 deaths each year.
Quitting the habit can only help. For instance, when a person quits smoking, their body immediately begins to repair the damages caused by tobacco use. Within 15 years, moreover, an ex-smoker’s chances of having a stroke are reduced to that of someone who never ever started. Quitting also reduces the risk of other circulatory diseases and abdominal aortic aneurysms. It also saves you from the guilt of negatively affecting family and friends and putting them at risk of contracting diseases.
Many lives can be saved by strengthening tobacco control measures and propagating anti-smoking awareness programs, but it all boils down to individual choices. On this No Tobacco Day, let us all appeal to our near and dear ones to stop smoking and get proactive in eradicating tobacco consumption from the society.
After all, your life is worth more than a few puffs of life-threatening smoke.