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OpEd: No tobacco for a better family life

Opinion Editorial by Dr Chandrashekhar Rawal, Head of Department ENT & Head-Neck Surgery at Tree Top Hospital.

03 June 2024, MVT 14:47
Dr Chandrashekhar Rawal, Head of Department ENT & Head-Neck Surgery at Tree Top Hospital
03 June 2024, MVT 14:47

As we marked World No Tobacco Day last Friday, I am reaching out as an ENT specialist to discuss one of the most significant health decisions you can make—quitting smoking. Our clinic stands with the global health community in advocating for the cessation of tobacco use, not just for the betterment of individual health, but for the wellbeing of our entire society.

Why Quit Smoking?

Smoking tobacco is a primary cause of numerous preventable diseases, including those that affect not just the lungs but also the ear, nose, and throat regions. Here are a few sobering truths:

Cancer: Smoking significantly increases your risk of developing cancers of the mouth, throat, nose, and sinuses.

Respiratory Diseases: Conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and recurrent respiratory infections are exacerbated by smoking.

Hearing Loss: There is a strong association between smoking and a higher risk of hearing loss due to the toxins affecting the inner ear.

Voice Alteration: Smoking can lead to voice box irritation and swelling, risking long-term damage and reducing vocal quality.

Steps to Quit:

1. Set a Quit Date: Choose a day within the next two weeks to quit smoking. This gives enough time to prepare but not too much time to change your mind.

2. Tell Friends, Family, and Co-Workers: Support is crucial. Let them know your plan and how they can help you.

3. Anticipate and Plan for Challenges: The urge to smoke is strong in situations where you used to smoke or when you feel stressed.

4. Remove Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products: Make your environments free from tobacco products to avoid temptation.

5. Talk to Your Doctor: There are medications and therapies that can help you manage withdrawal symptoms and increase your chances of quitting.

Benefits of Quitting:

After you quit smoking, a lot of good things happen to your body pretty quickly. Within 20 minutes, your heart rate and blood pressure go down. In 12 hours, the carbon monoxide levels in your body go back to normal. And within a couple of weeks, your circulation improves and you're not coughing or wheezing as often, significant improvements in your blood pressure, lung function, and heart rate. Long-term benefits include a dramatic reduction in the risks of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and chronic lung disease.

Community Support:

Remember, you're not alone in this journey. Our clinic offers counseling services, resources, and support groups dedicated to individuals attempting to quit smoking. Your decision to quit today could be the most important step towards a healthier, longer life.

Let's embrace World No Tobacco Day not just as a momentary event, but as a starting point towards a healthier lifestyle free from tobacco.

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