31 May: No Tobacco Day

Thousands of people today, including teenagers, are heavy smokers due to various reasons such as nervousness, pressure, frustration and stress. Smoking has claimed and continue to claim thousands of lives yearly, that it became an urgent issue to the World Health Organisation (WHO) to institute a "No Tobacco Day" on May 31, 1987, to discourage and eradicate cigarette smoking.

Despite the warning on cigarette boxes, smokers choose to satisfy their desire unconcerned. The cigarette has been known to contain eighteen different poisons. The two most destructive are tar, a carcinogenic or cancer producing substance and nicotine. Some of these attack the delicate membranes of the windpipes and those that find themselves in the bloodstream interfere with its normal circulation.

It's now like a fashion to see teenagers between the ages of 10 and 15 holding cigarettes at hideouts or in  public places. It's like a competition. When you ask any teenager the reason for smoking, they smile away. 

Those capable of giving you an answer say "They called you a baby when you don't join the group". Tobacco smoking is said to cause many ailments as emphysema, tuberculosis, night sweats, chest pains, wheezing, loss of weight, cancer and complications in pregnancy.

Since the campaign against smoking began, WHO has introduced many measures to prevent smoking in buses, aeroplanes, trains restaurants and other public places. But many see this campaign against smoking as a bother or nuisance. They only realise the mistakes they had done when a disease is diagnosed. Cigarette smoking is not an expensive luxury but a slow silent murderer.

A person that gives up smoking does something worthwhile for his health. But many smokers have a real battle to conquer when it comes to stopping the habit. Here are few recommended steps to refrain from smoking. 

Staying away from other smokers as much as possible will reduce the temptation to smoke and strengthen your resolve not to start again. Instead of smoking, a heavy smoker should rather become a vigorous campaigner against the use of tobacco in any form. This may change the attitude of friends toward smoking.

Taking plenty of exercises, including deep breathing and long walks in an open-air daily, will clean the lungs and improve one's sense of wellbeing. Eating regularly and not attempting to lose weight, will gradually break the tobacco habit. A smoker who wants to quit must avoid highly seasoned foods, alcohol, tea and coffee. These can easily influence one to crave to smoking.

Drinking enough water at least ten glasses a day, help to reduce the craving for tobacco. Many may not believe this but try and see as prayer is the answer to many problems. The power of Jesus is stronger than the hurricane. Is the same power that can change your life.

If you can try all or any of these recommendations, you will see yourself a different person. After your bitter experience in the dark, there is a bright light waiting for you at the end of the tunnel.