I am Dr. Chinmay Kulkarni, Psychiatrist. Today I will talk about how to stop smoking. So, as we all know that smoking is a very dangerous thing and if you look at the statistics, almost 8300 people die every day in India only because of the illness due to cigarettes or tobacco. It is a very dangerous thing and even on the packets also written that smoking kills. But it is very difficult for people to stop smoking. And why is it so? So the important mechanism behind this is tobacco and the nicotine is a very addictive substance So, there are some biological reasons why people get addicted to it? Our brain has a neuron circuit which is called a reward pathway. And in that reward pathway, it releases goo substance whenever we do something good. And same with this addictive substance that people feel good after taking them. In due course of time, a person requires to smoke more and more to get the pleasure. And that is why a person gets addicted to smoking. Now tobacco is one of the most addictive substances. It is more addictive than alcohol and other substances.
Some studies have shown that 10% of the people who gets addicted to smoking, gets addicted to smoking when they smoke their first cigarette. Now there are 2 things which stops a person. Behavioral changes and medications. I first talk about some behavioral changes which a person can make his life to stop smoking. So, the first thing a person can do is not to keep the packets with themselves, office and home. 2nd thing you have to decide one shop which is 5 mins away from your place and you should smoke only 1 cigarette. In this all the unnecessary cigarettes a person would be able to stop. Another thing is you need to make a chart of cigarettes which you smoke. Suppose, you are smoking 14 cigarettes in a day, so mention the same in the chart with time and number of cigarettes and so on. 3rd thing you need to decide a quit date. So, this day also should not be very far away from the day you start the technique. It should be within 1-2 weeks. And on the final day, you have to stop smoking completely. One day before the quit date, you have to discard all the things related to smoking like litters, ashtray.
If you still have a craving after the quit date then you have to do a nicotine replacement. There are many nicotine therapies are available at the pharmacy which is available at the pharmacy or over the counter. Nicotine chewing gums and packages are there. So, you have to take these therapies rather than smoking after the quit date. A few of the people have the habits of smoking before going to the morning toilet. They feel that they won't be able to pass the motions if they don't smoke or consume tobacco. But it is a myth as tobacco has no relation with your motions. It happens because your brain has got this habit. So, now you have to replace these habits with some other habits which are a healthy habit like drinking a lukewarm glass of water.
In this way, you can replace your bad habit with a healthy habit. Now you have to figure out the things which can make you a smoker like a fight with someone. Instead of doing this, you can drink a cold glass of water, eating an ice-cream, chocolate. So, you have to anticipate relapse. Even after trying all these things, you are not able to stop smoking then you can go to a psychiatrist and talk to them about your condition. We can give you good medications which can help you in getting rid of this problem. You have to understand that it is difficult to stop smoking but millions of people have managed in stopping smoking with the help of anti-craving substance, nicotine as well as behavioral changes. I wish you all the best and good luck.