How to Quit Smoking?

Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee
President, Heart Care Foundation of India

Quitting at any time reduces one’s fear of getting or dying of heart disease and lung cancer. It also reduces chances of getting osteoporosis. Quitting smoking can also help the smoker look younger and improves appearance in both men and women.

The five steps involved can be remembered with the word START where ‘S’ means setting a quitting date, ‘T’ means telling family members, friends and people around you that you plan to quit, ‘A’ means anticipating the tough time one may face while quitting smoking nicotine withdrawal and weight gain, ‘R’ stands for removing all forms of tobacco products from within our reach which includes home, car and workplace and ‘T’ stands for taking help from your doctor in terms of behavior, counseling and drugs.

Counseling helps in identifying tricks of smoking cessation and provides you alternatives. It also helps overcome craving and helps you understand what went wrong when you wanted to quit smoking.

These steps are well mentioned in Indian Mythology. Cigarette is a lust which in Ramayana is symbolized with Kekai initially and later on withBali. When lust is controlled, the ten senses (Dashrath) has to die and Rama, Sita and Lakshman (Soul, Body and Mind) have to lose control.

Later in Ramayana, lust is symbolized with Baliwho can only be killed by Rama (consciousness) and not Lakshman (mind). Intellect (Sugriva) cannot kill lust (Bali). Lust (Bali) can only be killed from behind and not from front which is based on the principle of Pratyarhara in Yoga Sutra of Patanjali under 8 limbs of Yoga (5th limb) which is creating a spiritual atmosphere free of lust for a spiritual living. Removing tobacco products from the environment we live in is based on the above principle mentioned in Ramayana and in Patanajli Yoga.