Smoking can delay bone healing, especially in older adults and women

12:41 pm Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine

Counselling can play a very important role in helping people quit this habit

New Delhi, 3rd July 2018: Smoking cigarettes can affect bone health and delay healing after injury if a recent study is to be believed. Although smoking does not increase the risk of nonunion but significantly extends the median time to union. Nonunion risk also shows a nonlinear trend with age and women in middle adulthood may be at increased risk compared with all other groups.

Statistics indicate that over 13,000 Indian men and 4,000 women die every week due to chronic tobacco use. Smoking is clearly becoming a public health emergency and there is a need for recalibrating measures to protect young boys and girls, who are particularly susceptible to the ill effects of smoking.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI), said, “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.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Vice President of CMAAO, said, “Cigarette is a lust which in Ramayana is symbolized with Kaikai initially and later on with Bali. When lust is controlled, the ten senses (Dashrath) must die and Rama, Sita and Lakshman (Soul, Body and Mind) must lose control. Later in Ramayana, lust is symbolized with Bali who can only be killed by Rama (consciousness) and not Lakshman (mind). Intellect (Sugriva) cannot kill lust (Bali). It can only be killed from behind and not from front which is based on the principle of Pratyarhara in Yoga Sutra of Patanjali. Removing tobacco products from the environment we live in is based on the above principle mentioned in Ramayana and in Patanjali Yoga.”

Some tips from HCFI

  • ·Try short-acting nicotine replacement therapies such as nicotine gum, lozenges, nasal sprays, or inhalers. These can help overcome intense cravings.
  • Identify the trigger situation, which makes you smoke. Have a plan in place to avoid these or get through them alternatively.
  • Chew on sugarless gum or hard candy, or munch raw carrots, celery, nuts or sunflower seeds instead of tobacco.
  • Get physically active. Short bursts of physical activity such as running up and down the stairs a few times can make a tobacco craving go away.

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