Smoking kills. No one disputes that fact any more. Even the cigarette companies themselves have to advertise this fact in large, graphic detail on the front of their packaging. Yet there are still in excess of one billion smokers worldwide. That is one billion people who are well aware of the fact that they are indulging in a habit that is slowly killing them, yet they persist in doing so.
The latest figures report a decline in smoking rates the wealthier first world countries – dropping from 22.6 per cent of people in 2007, to 19.6 per cent in 2019, , it is still a significant problem in poorer developing nations. Africa, the eastern Mediterranean and Western Pacific regions are still reporting a growth in smokers, both in adults and young people.
Much of this is attributed to the tobacco industry diverting their highly sophisticated marketing tactics away from the highly regulated, more informed developed countries, to the less educated, more easily swayed poorer nations.
A recent World Health Organisation report indicated that 80% of those who are still smoking and using tobacco products live in low and middle income countries.
The study showed that:
- 81 times more tobacco adverts were played to the population.
- People were 46 times more likely to hear radio adverts.
- They were 11 times more likely to see poster advertising.
- They were nine times more likely to see TV adverts.
- Two and a half more stores were selling tobacco products to the local communities.
- 64 per cent of stores visited were selling single cigarettes, which meant that more children were being deliberately targeted.
While there is little you can do individually to help reduce tobacco usage in poorer countries, as a smoker you can take it easier on yourself in you attempt to give up. We’ve put together the finest pieces of advice from the best minds in the stop smoking world to help you in your continued endeavour to join the ranks of the non-smokers.
- Take it one day at a time
Acknowledge that you will probably slip up along the way. There will be hidden crevasses and hidden ice fields. But each obstruction can be tackled one by one, and as you overcome each one, you can build strength and confidence from that.
- Substitute with a vape
Vaping is becoming a popular alternative to using tobacco products. Although the effects of vaping have yet to be understood in the long term, using popular vapes as a way of weaning people off cigarettes it is becoming extremely successful. Take some time to find the right flavour and strength that is right for you.
- Distract yourself
So much of smoking is about routine. You might need to change your routine up a bit, or failing that, distract yourself – even something as simple as getting up from your chair and walking round the office will help pass by the cravings without giving in.
- Consider yourself a non-smoker rather than an ex-smoker
An ex-smoker cannot stop thinking about smoking. A non-smoker never even considers that they might need a cigarette. Instead of aiming to be come an ex-smoker who is always gagging for that cigarette, imagine instead having the calm serenity of a non-smoker who glides through the day without a craving in sight!
- Tell yourself that giving up is easy
If you tell yourself every day that what you are doing is SO difficult, and that you’re never going to succeed, and that you might as well give up on giving up, then all you are doing is putting yourself in a position of disempowerment, and the handing all the power to the cigarette. Don’t forget – it’s an inanimate object. Change your attitude and mindset – and focus on maintaining that, not giving up. It is you in charge of smoking, not the cigarette!