Numerous surveys and clinical studies have proven that smoking is damaging to our bodies.
The toxic chemical substances are known to mess up our body cells and organs, increasing the risk of various illnesses like cancer, autoimmune disorder, Type 2 diabetes, heart attack and stroke, etc.
Besides, growing, manufacturing and consuming tobacco products, be it cigarettes or e-cigarettes, have been causing environmental impacts like litter, water and air pollution, large scale deforestation, biodegradability, etc.
However, all the impacts mentioned above did not manage to defeat tobacco addiction over so many years.
Here are some tips you can try to help smokers around you quit and make a change. If you’re a smoker yourself and feel like you need external help quitting, show this to your friends and family.
1. Keep them occupied
If you observe, smokers often think of smoking at chillout moments like after a meal or after a long workday. When they are occupied, they smoke less.
Hence, you can start by spending time and fixing a “Quit Day” for the smoker to distract them with activities on that day. For example, you can bring them to the cinema, gym, park, hiking, or explore new hobbies.
If they still feel “empty” at times, feed them healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, air-popped popcorn, sugar-free mints or chewing gum.
Then, gradually increase such a fulfilling day from once a week to more days in a week.
2. Bring them to a doctor
Quitting tobacco is not easy physically and mentally as the toxic chemical substances have affected smokers’ neurotransmission cells. But worry not; there are always professionals out there to help.
Doctors or tobacco cessation counsellors can analyse patients case by case and find out the root of the addiction. They can also prescribe some medicine as a substitute to reduce smokers’ reliance on tobacco.
3. Give them encouragement and support
Changing a lifestyle, especially an addictive one, is a considerable challenge. Hence, smokers will need lots of moral support from people around them. Let them know they can look for you if they need reminders and encouraging words from time to time.
When they have successfully stopped it for some time, celebrate the success with them to give them a sense of achievement that will help push them further and thank their effort in making a positive change.
Besides, it is usual to receive some emotional breakdown or fuss from them, so don’t take the grumpiness personally. Remember that it’s just a typical nicotine withdrawal symptom.
This is when you need to show more care instead of judging, nagging, preaching, teasing or scolding them. You wouldn’t want them to feel sad and turn back to a cigarette to soothe hurt feelings, right?
4. Show them impactful video
Video is the best way to get people’s attention and engage them nowadays. There are plenty of videos shared online to help with the issue.
All you need to do is pick a few that can persuasively convey the message and show it to the smoker.
Here are some examples:
5. Visualise essential facts
Some people are too lazy to read long passages on how tobacco can be harmful to our bodies and the environment repeatedly to remember better.
Informative graphics visualising significant statistics and facts about smoking would ease them out. They can bring it everywhere or paste it at an easily seen spot.
Infographics designed well can be impactful. Here are some examples of tobacco-related infographics that look on point.
Design by You, Enrich for All
In conjunction with World No-Tobacco Day 2022, Sekretariat Green Lung USM, in collaboration with the Malaysian Green Lung Association (MGLA), has worked for hand in hand to organise Intervarsity Infographic Design Competition: Design by you, Enrich for all (IIDC 2022).
The competition aims to raise public awareness of the environmental impact of tobacco and spread the tobacco-free concept among youth to expand the youths’ capacity in future tobacco control activities.
Participants will be required to design infographics under the theme “Tobacco: Threat to Our Environment”.
The committee has prepared a total prize pool of RM1580 for the winners. Every participant can walk away with an e-cert, an RM10 online cash voucher by Itfer Malaysia, and a 10% discount e-voucher sponsored by GoodMorning Global Sdn. Bhd. USM students who participate will also get their MyCSD.
Can’t wait to register and create impactful infographics? Click and register now! https://rebrand.ly/GLIIDCRegistrationForm
Members of Sekretariat Green Lung USM only need to pay RM2, while students from USM who are a non-member and those from other universities in Malaysia will need to pay just RM3 to stand a chance of walking away with amazing prizes! Here’s a more detailed registration guideline:
Don’t miss out on important dates like the registration and submission deadlines!
Photo via Canva
Editor: Sarah Yeoh