Mental Health and Smoking
We have come along way baby….so why is mental health and smoking still an issue?
Smoking is no longer glamourous or a pass-time of the rich and famous. It is no longer condoned in restaurants and public places.
Though it has lost its ‘public’ appeal, smoking is still a major physical and mental health issue within our families and workplaces. Smoking cessation is the focus of many workplace wellness programs because tobacco addiction has an negative impact on absenteeism, productivity and benefits usage. Mental health and smoking impacts all of us at a government, corporate and a personal level.
Wouldn’t it be great, if we could prevent the younger generations from having to face the ‘futility’ of quitting, of being a ‘slave’ to their addiction, or experiencing the devastating mental health impact of their ‘habit’.
Mental Health and Smoking: Counterbalancing Peer Pressure
My hope for my sons is that they are never tempted to ‘try’ it, feel insecure enough to use it to help them in social situations, or ever think that it will make them ‘cooler’.
As a parent, I loved when they were younger and we would walk into the arena, past the smokers, and they would blurt out something along the lines of how gross it was, how it smelled bad, or did that person know that cigarettes were killing them. I loved hearing them talk about how they want to be healthy and that good ‘athletes’ don’t smoke. And I know that the messages from their schools, their coaches and their parents are getting through, when they expressed their concern for family members and how they hope that they wouldn’t develop cancer because they were still smoking.
Mental Health and Smoking: A Hard Habit To Break
Hopefully, my sons will never start smoking, because once started, it can be excruciatingly hard to stop. Some people wrongly believe that if we continue to raise the price, add more tax or put more disgusting pictures on the packages, that people will stop smoking and choose to live a healthier life.
But tobacco is addictive, and being addicted to something, means that logic can be skewed and the addiction can always be justified or at least continued to exist. “A tobacco addiction really isn’t that harmful anyway, right? It’s not like it is a ‘street drug’. It really doesn’t hurt anyone else other than the person using it. Right?” Those that don’t smoke, know that the answer to these questions is a resounding “Wrong”.
So, if we know that smoking is harmful, why don’t we, as a society, just say no to tobacco altogether? Click to tweet
Mental Health and Smoking: Public Dependency
Unfortunately, smokers bring in millions of dollars to the government through taxes and the tobacco industry provides jobs to those that produce and sell tobacco and cigarettes. We are as dependent on the income generated as the smokers are on the tobacco that they use.
So, I go back to my original statement…we have come a long way…but the key to our success is to continue to convince the younger generation that it isn’t worth it. If they don’t start, then eventually the industry would die away.
Mental Health and Smoking: The Future
That is the hope of our future. Today is World No Tobacco Day. Today, we start with the young ones in front of us. We shape their minds and we teach them healthy strategies to cope with the world around them so that they don’t ever have to face the issues around their physical and mental health and smoking.
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If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!