Special Correspondent

KOCHI: Anti-smoking day is observed worldwide on May 31 of every year. Smoking related-diseases kill one in 10 adults globally, or cause four million deaths.

Apart from the heavy toll on smokers, it is a lamentable fact that passive non-smokers ranging to 53,000 people die every year due to second hand smoke. That includes children of smoking parents as well, says Dr Saji Kuruttukulam, senior cardiologist at Medical Trust Hospital in the city.

Although Kerala happens to be one of the first States to implement smoking ban in public places, it is not a rarity to see one smoking on the roads.

The following are a set of guidelines for one to quit the habit of smoking:

Set a date for quitting. If possible. make it today and have a friend quit smoking with you.

Notice when and why you smoke. Try to find the things in your daily life that you often do while smoking (such as drinking your morning cup of coffee or driving a car).

Change routes

Change your smoking routines: Keep your cigarettes in a different place. Smoke with your other hand. Don't do anything else when smoking. Think about how you feel when you smoke.

Smoke only in certain places, such as outdoors.

When you want a cigarette, wait a few minutes. Try to think of something to do instead of smoking; you might chew gum or drink a glass of water.

Buy one pack of cigarettes at a time. Switch to a brand of cigarettes you don't like.

On the day you quit, g et rid of all your cigarettes. Put away your ashtrays.

Change your morning routine. When you eat breakfast, don't sit in the same place at the kitchen table.

Stay busy.

When you get the urge to smoke, do something else instead.

Rewarding oneself

Carry other things to put in your mouth, such as gum, hard candy, or a toothpick.

Reward yourself at the end of the day for not smoking. See a movie or go out and enjoy your favourite meal.

And above all, paste a banner on your bedroom that will remind you every morning when you wake up to keep yourself away from smoking.

The letters should read: ‘No smoking please'.