Kick The Butt

Avanti Sopory

If a smokers’ right lung and left lung ever had to converse with each other, they would have called each other as slimy black; just like the black charcoal used for constructing roads. Now this is a racial comment – kala kaloota bhaingan loota. But who can hold back each from such an honest comment? They are not worthy of being called scarlet red or in the pink of health. Unfortunately the owner of the two lungs did not find it worthy to leave the lungs in their original aesthetically done state.
Any ways the air we breathe is polluted enough to burden the charcoaled lungs further with generating oxygen in the body.  It’s more work pressure for the lungs. But does the owner pay any heed? Of course not!
Schools have charts displayed for good and bad habits. Bad habits are of two types – one which are done in personal space and have no influence on the people around. Habits like nose digging, nail biting, groin scratching, etc, are done in the personal space of the individual. These habits are annoying but unless we don’t catch a glimpse, they don’t affect us. However the bad habit of cigarette smoking doesn’t just harm the smoker but it even brings misery to the people around.
There is a suggestion here. Why not add “No Smoking” to the list of bad habits. It’s better showing this signage now than later. For these malleable minds it will do better now than as adolescents during watching movies at home or at the cinema.
Smoking qualifies for bad manners too.  Imagine yourself at a family or social do. You are in a conversation, when one of your company lights a cigarette and exhales smoke; some on you and some in the empty space. Room gets filled to brim with the smoke. Push for smoke was so high, that even the presence of guests was disregarded, but does the smoker care. Huh?
Bad influencer? Well, what can be said about this one? What does the smoker think about himself when he puffs the slender looking thing between his or her lips?   Definitely not cool. They look hopeless addicts.  Urge to smoke makes them oblivion to small children, pregnant women and older people around.
Passive smokers are just like chaff during the pounding of wheat.  Much against the wishes of chaff, they are battered and punched by the giant wheat pounding machines.  Non smoker friends, colleagues, relatives, wives, children, parents, neighbours are like that chaff; howsoever they might abhor smoking, but they are subjected to passive smoking.
Another, undiscovered upshot of smoking. The fine particles that each exhale of tobacco emits sit on the clothes, on the hair, on the skin of the smoker, on sofa tapestry, curtain, table cloths etc. Even after the cigarette has been extinguished, the smell of leftovers is too pungent to be ignored. And they sit permanently.  This is called third-hand smoking. These particles do not budge, unless the clothes are put to washing. It doesn’t end here. If the unwashed smoke laden clothes are hung in the almirah along with other clothes, there are chances that due to the movement of air, these particles may shift and sit on the neighbouring clothes as well.  Leaving the household in a never ending sick and nauseous feeling.
Needless to say how smoking contributes to environmental pollution. Pollutants emitted by cigarettes are ten times greater than diesel car exhaust, as reported in Tobacco Control Environment. But smokers are too selfish to think about their addiction than the environment or even worse the small kids in their own house. Even the toxic remnants of the slender piece are huge contributors to worldwide lethal waste.  Against the popular belief, cigarette butts are non-biodegradable.
What is the complete jazz about smoking? What happens when the butt hits the lips? So research say when the first puff of cigarette in inhaled, it reaches the lungs in ten seconds.  The nicotine travels through the body and produces chemicals like dopamine and adrenaline. These chemicals regulate motivation, emotion and increased energy level and alertness; respectively.  But this happens only during the maiden puff. Due to the nicotine’s effects on the brain, smokers will never experience the same high like the first puff. The first inhale of cigarette smoke had raised the bars for the smoker to a level of satisfaction, which cannot be achieved again. With the hope of reaching to the same high again the smoker is never able to kick the butt.
Which smoker can have a mind and heart to pull a cigarette from the box, which vividly shows a picture of a malignant body organ?  Besides the watchful ‘smoking is injurious to health’ written and displayed everywhere the eyes can go.
Smoking should be accepted as a mental illness. Even when the smoker has restrained himself from any physical access of cigarettes, he finds it difficult to win the battle against his own mind.  Even hours after lighting his last cigarette, the smoker is challenged by withdrawal symptoms. Anxiety and stress which go hand in hand falsely create a vicious cycle for the smoker; which makes it difficult for him to quit smoking. For heavy smokers, this withdrawal symptom can occur even earlier. For the well being of mental health, anti-smoking campaigns need severe attention and spread.
Each smoker has a distinct reason and journey.  What works for one may not work for the other. So each willing quitter should tailor his or her own withdrawal game plan.  Staying away from triggers that cause him or her to smoke can be one. Designing a physical and mental fitness regime can be another. Equally important issue is to fight the psychological effects of smoking.  During the quitting phase, when the smoker takes help from e-cigs, he is gradually training his mind to stay off the cigarettes while not harming his lungs. Important piece is to remember to kick the e-ciggy too. Respect and honour your own body.  Good health goes a long way.


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