Smoking, the Masked Addiction
The World No Tobacco Day - May 31
Tobacco has a long history originating in the early Americas. Native Americans believed that tobacco was a gift from the Creator and that the exhaled smoke would carry their prayers and thoughts to heaven. Tobacco was also used as a pain killer and medicine for colds, earache and toothache.
The Spanish brought tobacco to Europe in 1528 and so the controversy started. If some were praising tobacco claiming it could cure 36 health problems, the others draw attention upon its negative effects upon health. So was Stuart King James I who wrote 'A Counterblaste to Tobacco' (1604) claiming that the plant is: "custome lothsome to the eye, hatefull to the Nose, harmefull to the braine, dangerous to the Lungs, and in the blacke stinking fume thereof, neerest resembling the horrible Stigian smoke of the pit that is bottomelesse." (source: Wikipedia)
But tobacco found its way into the present days, making more and more people addicted to smoking. According to World Health Organization statistics, tobacco kills almost half of its users, that is almost 6 million people annually. Almost 600,000 people are killed by second-hand smoke. If urgent action is not taken the number could surpass 8 million by 2020.
In 1987 the World Health Organization created the World No Tobacco Day, celebrated on May 31, encouraging people from all over the world to abstain from tobacco use for 24 hours. The day is intended to draw attention upon the negative effects of tobacco and its widespread prevalence. Over the past two decades the day has been received both with resistance and enthusiasm from public health organizations, governments, smokers, tobacco growers and tobacco industry.
Each year the World Health Organization chooses a theme for the day to create a unified global campaign. The WHO believes that many people are confused or mislead about the nature of tobacco, an implicitly, smoking. Therefore the organization bring to the surface the ugly truth trough eye-opening themes such as "Tobacco Kills, don't be duped" (2000), "Second-hand smoke kills" (2001) or "Tobacco: deadly in any form or disguise" (2006). This year's theme is "Raise taxes on tobacco".
Why people smoke?
Advertising was found to push people into 'trying' cigarettes – everyone remembers the cool “Marlboro Man”. Nowadays, in the EU these ads have been banned from the mass media and the internet since 2005. In the US, in 1997, the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement banned outdoor, billboard, and public transportation advertising of cigarettes in 46 states. In the states which have not signed the agreement, billboards are a major venue of cigarette advertising.
Smokers and non-smokers, we are all aware of the negative health effects of tobacco. Still, many start smoking, even in early ages. There are many reasons why a person would start smoking. The most frequent ones are negative influences from family and friends, the need to be cool, to break rules and hide insecurity and frustration for young teenagers. The need to be part of a group and have that social bound is of great importance for many.
Some smoke because they simply enjoy smoking, or rather, they do not like how they feel when they do not smoke: anxious, less focused, depressed, stressed, sad, restless, jumpy, irritable, down, grouchy, having trouble sleeping, hungry (gaining weight), and the list could go on. Even if these are all temporary effects during withdrawal and detox.
Nicotine, leads to addiction!
Studies show that nicotine is more addictive than cocaine and heroin! It gets into the bloodstream and brain and calms the nerves, the body gets used to having nicotine flowing through the blood, and so people feel the need for a cigarette. Smokers crave for a cigarette one hour after smoking one.
The negative effects of smoking are countless, still many prefer to focus only on those they consider benefic. Believe it or not, smoking only one cigarette, lowers the levels of Vitamin C and other antioxidants in the body, stops the blood vessels from producing nitric oxide (substance that helps blood vessels open and relax) and it affects the lungs, which fortunately heal themselves in a day.
Methods to quit smoking
It is useless to mention the reasons to quit smoking, as everybody known what nicotine does. Still, here are some of the affections and diseases caused by smoking: various types of cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, periodontal disease, peptic ulcers, heart attack, stroke, blood clots, poor circulation in the legs, loss of sensation, respiratory infections, asthma, etc.
It is worth knowing that your body will be nicotine free in about 3-5 days and that the withdrawal symptoms will be gone in about a month. Let's focus on the methods which help in quitting smoking.
- Choose a reason you strongly believe in: longer life, protect your family, etc.
- Gradually reduce the number of cigarettes per day
- Avoid places where people smoke
- You feel the need of a smoke? Breathe deeply, drink water, do something else (chew gum)and so forget about the urge
- Try medicine which help with smoking cessation
- Alternative medicine: acupuncture, aromatherapy & hypnosis
- Smoking cessation programs and classes
- Reward yourself after a certain period (one week, two weeks, etc)
- Nicotine replacement therapy (nicotine inhaler, nicotine nasal spray)
- Resist the 'just one' temptation
Smoking Addiction and Medical Tourism
You know that smoking has become an addiction when it is a difficult habit to break. If you want to give up smoking and the family, friends, general practitioner, pharmacist and support groups are of no help for you, why not choose an addiction clinic? Medical tourism offers you the possibility to travel to another country, at the best addiction clinics in the world, which highly successful methods.
The experienced physicians at the addiction clinics will provide you a personalized treatment plan according to your needs, including psychological support and counseling, medical assessment, specialist therapies, as well as aftercare.
Here are some of the best addiction clinics in the world, with the highest long-term abstinence rates: Dr. Vorobiev Clinic (Russia, Serbia), Nuevo Ser Clinic Addiction Rehabilitation and Detox Center (Mexico), PlacidWay Moongate Alliance (Bermuda), Villa Paz Addiction Treatment Clinic (Costa Rica).
If you did not succeed the first time, do not give up! Sometimes several attempts are necessary to quit smoking forever. Smoking is a choice you make. It is your body, it is your life, it is your decision. But when your decision affects the health of the ones around you, it is time to reconsider this decision. Think wise and do not put in danger innocent people, who care about their health.
If you need help to deal with your smoking addiction, do not hesitate to contact us! We are here for you!