Bontoc, Mountain Province – Saying there is no other effective way to prevent tobacco-related deaths but to quit smoking, smokers are urged to visit the smoking cessation clinic at the Provincial Health Office (PHO) here that may help them kick the habit.
Health Education Promotions Officer (HEPO) II Prima Donna L. Te-elan said that the smoking cessation clinic offers needed support to smokers who want to quit and are experiencing difficulty quitting.
The clinic is manned by health workers who assure confidential records of their clients. Those interested to avail of the services free of charge may visit the PHO from Monday to Friday at 8:00 in the morning to 4:00 in the afternoon. For now, the clinic is serving 13 clients since its establishment in 2014.
Te-elan explained that smoking cessation refers techniques such as motivation, advice and guidance, and counselling to encourage and help smokers stop using tobacco and avoid relapse.
Health workers who offer counselling to their clients say that quitting may not be easy to smokers because of nicotine dependence, nevertheless, it is possible. Te-elan explained that symptoms of nicotine withdrawal may be experienced in the first days of quitting. These include craving, irritability, frustration or anger, anxiety, difficulty in concentrating, decreased heart rate, sleep disturbance, and increased in appetite. However, all of these symptoms will stop as the smoker continues avoiding the habit.
She also gave tips to smokers on how to quit smoking. “Throw away all cigarettes, lighters, and ashtrays in your home and car; talk to family and friends about how they can help and encourage you to quit; plan how to handle the places and events that you know will make you want to smoke; treat yourself with money you have saved from buying cigarettes; delay smoking, deep breathing, drink water, and make yourself busy with recreational activities,” Te-elan enumerated.
In relation to observance of National Lung Month and National Tuberculosis Awareness Month this August, the PHO cautioned the public especially the smokers and second hand smokers on the effect of smoking.
Among these are hair loss, wrinkling, skin cancer, lung ailments, heart disease, discoloured fingers, deformed sperm, Buerger’s disease, cataracts, hearing loss, tooth decay, osteoporosis, stomach ulcers, cervical cancer, Psoriasis, and cancer. // Alpine L. Killa