World No-Tobacco Day: Tips to manage smoking addiction amid stressful work life | Health - Hindustan Times

World No-Tobacco Day 2023: Tips to manage smoking addiction amid stressful work life

By, New Delhi
May 31, 2023 04:05 PM IST

Smoking is hard to quit and even tougher when you have a hectic schedule. Here are tips to make smoking addiction amid a busy work life.

Addictions, whether to substances like tobacco, alcohol and drugs or to behaviours like excessive internet use, are seldom healthy and are capable of altering a person's character and binding them in a detrimental cycle that doesn't let them lead a healthy and fulfilling life. What might start as a mere experiment or an attempt to alleviate negative feelings can quickly turn into a relentless craving that the brain struggles to resist. Over time, the addiction can take control over your life and despite knowing its destructive impact on well-being, one just can't break free from it. Smoking is one such addiction that is hard to quit. World No-Tobacco Day, is observed every year on May 31 to bring to focus the risks associated with tobacco use and attempts to reduce tobacco consumption across the world. (Also read: World No-Tobacco Day 2023: How smoking wreaks havoc on your skin, hair, and eye health)

World No-Tobacco Day, is observed every year on May 31 to bring to focus the risks associated with tobacco use.(Unsplash)
World No-Tobacco Day, is observed every year on May 31 to bring to focus the risks associated with tobacco use.(Unsplash)

"India is home to over 120 million smokers, accounting for nearly one-fifth of the world's smoking population. Unfortunately, smoking has become a part of many people's daily routines, especially those working in stressful jobs. Quitting smoking is a journey, and setting realistic goals for yourself is important. Focusing on your progress and using it as motivation to continue working towards your goals is also important. According to a recent survey, 71% of employees working in the corporate sector in India smoke, making it a significant concern for employers and public health officials alike. However, quitting smoking is not that easy, especially when you are facing a high-pressure work environment. But don't lose hope just as yet, as there are ways to manage your addiction to smoking while still meeting the demands of your job," says Dr. Sanjay Kumar Singh, Psychiatrist, Hayat Hospital, Guwahati in an interview with HT Digital.

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Here are some tips for managing your smoking addiction amid a stressful work life.

1. Seek help from a de-addiction expert to initiate Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)

If stress triggers smoking, consider talking to a therapist. They can help you identify stressors and develop coping mechanisms, without relying on cigarettes. Nicotine Replacement therapy can ultimately help in your journey to quit smoking. This therapy, which entails using nicotine patches or gums, can help manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings to quit smoking. Your de-addiction specialist can help you with the NRT that is suitable for you

2. Create a quitting plan that fits your work schedule

Quitting smoking can seem impossible if you have a super-busy work schedule. However, you can easily manage your addiction with a well-designed quit plan that fits your work schedule. For example, you can quit on a weekend, when you have a few days off from work, or you can plan to quit gradually, reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke every day until you can quit completely.

3. Use distraction techniques

When stress levels are high, it's easy to reach for a cigarette to calm your nerves. However, look for other ways to distract yourself that don't involve smoking. Try taking a quick walk, listening to your favourite music, or doing a short meditation exercise. These techniques can help you relax and reduce stress levels, without reaching for a cigarette

4. Engage in physical activity and practice self-care

Exercise is a great way to manage stress and reduce withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting smoking. Find time to engage in a physical activity that you enjoy, such as jogging, yoga, or swimming. This can help you reduce stress and also improve your overall health. Taking care of yourself during quitting is important. Get plenty of rest, eat a healthy diet, and practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises or meditation. Keeping your physical and mental health at priority can help you manage your addiction to smoking during a stressful work life.

5. Use a support system

Don't be afraid to ask for support from friends, family members, or co-workers. Make the aware that you are trying to quit smoking and seek their encouragement and support. Joining a support group can also be helpful, as you can connect with others who are going through the same experience

6. Keep your hands busy

If you are used to holding a cigarette during stressful situations, try keeping your hands and fingers busy with a stress ball or fidget toy. This can help you with an alternative support without reaching for a cigarette.

7. Celebrate your successes

Celebrate your wins, no matter how small they may seem; stay motivated and focused on your goal. For example, if you've gone a week without smoking, treat yourself to something you enjoy, like a movie or a nice dinner

With determination and support, you can successfully quit smoking and enjoy a healthier, smoke-free life.

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