Olajide stared at his wedding picture. They looked so happy. Like they were at peace. Ironically, peace was the last thing on his mind that day, they had gotten late to church and guests started to leave. Olajide chuckled as he remembered how frantic Jite had sounded on the phone. She was so worried she would be a jilted bride. He shook his head. He was always so confused as to how Jite would have ever thought he would jilt her. She was the absolute love of his life.
As hectic as their wedding day had been, their marriage was the complete opposite. Simple. They were perfect partners. She spoke, he listened, and vice versa. Well almost listened, there was one thing Jite had asked him to do that he tried to, but failed every time.
Olajide had been smoking for 16 years before he met Jite, smoking had been his refuge. It had gotten him through the worst times, from when he filed for bankruptcy to when he lost three of his siblings in the same car crash. This was why even after he realised, he was head over heels in love with Jite, despite the ultimatum she had given him, it was hard to let go.
He tried everything. From nicotine patches, to chewing gum, to snapping rubber bands on his wrist. Nothing worked. So, he started to hide from her. He’d smoke in the bathroom before bed, have a quick one just before picking her up from work. This went on for a while until Jite noticed and asked him to stop. “I’d rather deal with your smoking than your secrets”. She said,
Now, as Olajide put down his wedding picture and adjusted his tie in the mirror, he wished he had tried harder. Or better still, that she left him. He couldn’t stand the thought that Jite had been diagnosed with stage 2 lung cancer even though she hadn’t smoked a day in her life. “Second-hand smoke” the doctor said, answering the questions on their puzzled faces. Turns out constantly being around smoke can cause cancer.
Olajide sighed. What had been his refuge, the one habit that got him through the hardest moments in his life, was the one thing that threatened to take the love of his life. Olajide didn’t know how he would live with himself, if he lost Jite, but he was going to do everything in his power to keep his promise to her. “Jite, we have three kids. I might not have long left, but they have their whole lives. PROMISE ME you’d get some help.” “I promise.” he responded. And he was going to do just that. He picked up his keys, got into his car, and drove to his weekly “Nicotine Anonymous” meeting.
Tobacco use is a major public health concern and has been linked to a variety of negative health outcomes, including cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States and is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths annually. It is estimated that more than 16 million Americans suffer from a smoking-related illness.
Tobacco use is a major risk factor for a variety of cancers, including lung, throat, mouth, and bladder cancer. Tobacco use is also associated with an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Smoking can also cause reproductive issues such as infertility, preterm delivery, and low birth weight. Additionally, smoking during pregnancy can lead to a variety of health problems for both mother and baby.
The effects of tobacco use are not limited to physical health. Smoking can also lead to a variety of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Smoking is also associated with an increased risk of developing dementia.
There are a variety of ways to reduce the risk of health problems associated with tobacco use. Quitting smoking is the most effective way to reduce the risk of developing smoking-related health problems. There are a variety of resources available to help people quit smoking, including counselling, support groups, and medications.
A lot of smokers have admitted to quitting being the hardest thing they’ve ever had to do. Here are some tips that can aid in dropping the habit:
1. Try nicotine replacement therapy – Prescription nicotine sprays, nicotine patches, and prescription non-nicotine stop-smoking drugs like bupropion are good replacements.
2. Avoid triggers – Find out your triggers and have a plan in place to avoid them or get through them without using tobacco. If you usually smoked while you talked on the phone, for instance, keep a pen and paper nearby to keep busy with doodling rather than smoking.
3. Delay – A good trick is to delay your urge. If you feel like you’re going to give in to your tobacco craving, tell yourself that you must first wait 10 more minutes. Then do something to distract yourself during that time.
4. Chew instead- Give your mouth something to do to resist a tobacco craving. Chew on sugarless gum or hard candy.
5. Get active- Physical activity can help distract you from tobacco cravings. Even short bursts of activity — such as running up and down the stairs a few times — can make a tobacco craving go away. Go for a walk or jog.
6. Try other relaxation techniques- Try other ways to relax, like deep breathing, muscle relaxation, yoga, massage or listening to calming music.
In conclusion, tobacco use is a major public health concern and can lead to a variety of serious health problems. Avoiding second hand smoke is important for reducing the risk of smoking-related health problems. Taking steps to reduce the risk of smoking-related health issues can help individuals and society as a whole to lead healthier and more productive lives.