For those who smoke, or for those who love someone who smokes cigarettes, this day is certainly an important one that impacts the health, quality of life, and even the duration of a person’s life. Most people know that cigarettes are highly addictive and harmful to the person who smokes them, as well as causing problems for the people around them. But that knowledge doesn’t always make it easier to stop!
National No Smoking Day aims to bring awareness to the dangers of this pervasive addiction. The day tries to spotlight resources that are available to help people decide to try and quit, trying to offer encouragement and support in a useful and non-judgmental way.
History of National No Smoking Day
National No Smoking Day started out a few decades ago, in 1984, and has grown in size and scope since that time. This day is celebrated in communities across the world, with folks trying to educate more people every year on the struggles and dangers of smoking. Each year there is a new short theme that can be used in advertising and media to help get the word out and expand the reach.
One such campaign that many people may be able to remember was used in 2010 was “Break Free”. This theme was used with images of broken cigarettes encouraging smokers to try to break the chains of tobacco addiction.
Some people might wonder why it is so important to have a day set aside for this. But, as time has passed and research has advanced over the last few decades, it has become even more clear how terribly dangerous smoking actually is. There are toxins in cigarettes that have the power to cause many different forms of cancer, from the mouth to the lungs, as well as more unexpected places such as the liver, stomach, kidneys and even urinary bladder.
What is also important to know is that, while it may be a personal choice to smoke or not to smoke, when one smokes near another person -or even a pet – the second-hand smoke is just as dangerous to them. So, in some ways, it really isn’t just a personal decision.
The protection of people who do not want to be affected by second-hand smoke has led to new laws in most communities that ban smoking in most public spaces. This is just one more reason for a person to get involved with National No Smoking Day!
How to Observe National No Smoking Day
Getting involved with this important day is a great way to make an impact on the people around you and your community. Try out some of these ideas for observing National No Smoking Day:
Get Ready to Stop Smoking
The best possible way to observe National No Smoking Day as a smoker is to seriously consider whether it is time to take the opportunity to choose to quit. It may not be easy but it is clearly worth it as there is so much hope to improve your health– within just hours and days of stopping, with even more benefits over long periods of time!
Of course, like anything having to do with health and fitness, it is wise to consult a physician for advice on the course of action that is best for each one personally. The great news is that there are many options to support a person once they have made the choice to quit smoking.
For those who aren’t ready to dive in and quit smoking for good, the organizers of National No Smoking Day encourage participants to stop using tobacco for at least 24 hours of National No Smoking Day. Even just not smoking for one day can make a big difference and lead a smoker down the road to cutting back or even quitting completely.
Learn the Facts About Smoking
Everyone knows that smoking is “bad”, but perhaps some people aren’t aware of exactly how bad or to what extent it can cause damage. While they’re not meant to be used to bash people over the head, these facts might be useful in learning a bit more about the whats and whys behind National No Smoking Day:
- Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death worldwide. Tobacco is the cause of more than 7 million deaths every single year, and it is growing so that it will probably be 8 million deaths each year by 2030 if this pattern does not change.
- On average, a person who smokes will die 10 years earlier than a person who does not smoke.
- Smoking also takes a toll on the economy of many nations. In the United States alone, the total economic cost of smoking each year is estimated to be around $300 billion, including health care, lost wages, and premature death due for smokers as well as those exposed to secondhand smoke.
Encourage a Friend or Family Member to Quit Smoking
National No Smoking Day day can be observed by those who are concerned about someone they love. It is important to not put too much pressure on them or shame them into it. It’s a difficult road and they need support and encouragement, not judgment.
Instead, it is best to try to offer them access to resources that can be helpful. There are support groups, over-the-counter cessation aids, health care programs and phone numbers for experts who can just talk them through the difficult times. Most insurance companies have programs available now as well and would be happy to help a smoker quit this habit and become a healthier person. Be supportive in offering resources and you may find that this year will be the year that your loved one is ready to quit.
Celebrate Those Who Have Already Stopped Smoking
There is another way to celebrate this day–and it is one that needs to be made a big deal of. And that is giving plenty of acknowledgment and accolades for those who have quit! It is a great time to let them know you are proud of them and their continued status as a non-smoker.