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A hobby can eliminate your bad habits

Jun 20, 2017

A latest survey highlighted that most of those who managed to quit smoking did so by engaging themselves in different hobbies.

Mumbai: Fifty-two per cent of men and women, who used to smoke, said that they felt healthier after giving up the habit. Another 53 per cent, backed by a majority of females said that it was not a difficult task to quit smoking.

These were the key findings of a survey conducted on 1,500 former smokers in the week following up to ‘World No Tobacco Day’ on May 31.

Nearly 55 per cent of participants in India felt that the consumers of tobacco products should not have the freedom to get what they want, 33 per cent felt it is still their right to choose, while 12 per cent could not figure out a credible solution and hence, opted for "can’t say".

The nationwide survey, a part of ICICI Lombard’s brand campaign and wellness programme — #DoTheDifficult — revealed many interesting facts. While a mere 19 per cent of the respondents gave up smoking because of the rising costs of cigarettes and 43 per cent said they kicked the habit due to family pressures.

Among other findings, 32 per cent of the respondents managed to stay off tobacco by keeping themselves busy, including taking up new hobbies; 22 per cent avoided trigger areas that tempted them to smoke; 20 per cent started out with a ‘Quit smoking plan’, and 10 per cent used nicotine patches to give up the habit.

Most of the respondents, who began smoking 10-12 years ago, blamed hectic work schedules for smoking and consumed 10-12 cigarettes a day.

The World Health Organization (WHO) observes May 31 as ‘World No Tobacco Day’. This year, the theme is ‘Tobacco – a threat to development’ that will demonstrate the serious threat the tobacco industry poses to the sustainable development of nations and the health and economic well-being of the citizens.

The wellness campaign will aim at spreading greater awareness about the hazards of smoking, and honor those who have managed to #DoTheDiffcult by giving up smoking.

Sanjay Datta, Chief-Underwriting, Claims & Reinsurance, ICICI Lombard, said, “Smoking as a habit is not only harmful for the smoker but also for the passive smoker. Our survey highlights the serious health risks of using tobacco and urges smokers to give up the habit and lead a healthier lifestyle. We are pleased to see that more than 50 per cent of those who kicked the bud are feeling healthier than before.”

Datta further cited an interesting trend of 42 percent of respondents who had a health insurance policy and have opted for a critical illness cover to secure them from risks associated with this habit.

WHO states that the tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health issues, killing more than seven million people a year globally. Around six million deaths are a result of direct tobacco use, and rest of it comes under non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.

Around 80% of the smokers are a part of low and middle income countries, where the chances of tobacco-related illness and deaths are heaviest. Tobacco not only leads to early deaths but also affects the happiness and prosperity of the family, deprives them from income, raise the cost of health care and disturbs economic development.

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