Environment plays a major role in your quit tobacco journey. Yes, your will power is required but along with that, a conducive environment is also necessary.
In a study at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, it was discovered that the management could instantly increase the amount of water people drank and decrease the amount of soda they drank, simply by rearranging the way drinks were displayed in the cafeteria. The soda and unhealthy foods were replaced at eye level and at easy reach with water bottles. This prompted the staff to consume water more than soda, and they were not even counselled for the same. Just replacing and changing the environment in the cafeteria made the difference.
Mr Kunal, Deputy director with GOI, was a chronic tobacco chewer. His day would start with tobacco and end with tobacco, chewing almost 15-20 times a day. His tobacco packet was available everywhere – by the bedside, in the washroom, car, office table drawer. More than that, to please their boss his subordinates would also be ready with tobacco for him. Around 4 years back, his wife and daughter, removed all the packets of tobacco. They got such a chiding that they have not dared to do it again ever. I saw him around 6 months back when he noticed some lesion in his mouth. On examination, he had restricted mouth opening and also dense leukoplakia which had to be removed surgically. Quitting tobacco was a challenge. He was put on medication for quitting tobacco and also for comorbid conditions. But more importantly the following steps helped him the most:
Replaced the places he kept tobacco with water bottles. At the bedside now stands a terracotta water bottle which is always full. When he gets up in the morning, he starts his day with water and deep breathing exercise. In the car he has placed fennel (saunf), chewing gums, mixed nuts and water. Similarly the office drawer is now replaced with healthy drinks and biscuits, peanuts etc.
Further, he has put I CAN WIN stickers at all places and a notice in his office “ANYONE OFFERING TOBACCO IS LIKELY TO BE SUSPENDED”
These measures helped him strongly in his resolution and was the part of the planning given to him.
ENVIRONMENT plays a very important role in your journey of quit process. Store yourself with healthy drinks and low calorie diets.
Mr Kunal is tobacco free and is in maintenance phase. Feels strong and energetic. The staff now looks at him as a hero. His only wish – if only he would have noticed the EARLY Changes of tobacco, he could have been saved from surgery and trismus.
Now, he is working with ICanCaRe to make his entire office tobacco free.