Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Intoxication Free Campus - A Crazy Idea

Laughing at this idea is encouraged - your lungs will get some fresh air :)

It’s very clear from the studies on smoking practices that most of the people start smoking while they are living their school or college life. The easy availability of tobacco products in and near the campus increase the chances of students trying to smoke and being habituated subsequently.

A person's friends help in starting the bad habit of smoking, sometimes unknowingly. On the other side, no one can be a better help than a dedicated group of friends who are committed to help their smoker friends in the process of quitting the habit of smoking. The social support along with the alternatives to tobacco products is very much needed in effectively countering the menace of smoking in the youth.

The biggest fear for the early smokers is to get caught by their parents, partners or close friends who care for their health and well being. However it’s important that the caring person come to know about their  smoking problem before they get addicted to it and it’s too late for them to quit.

There is need for anti-smoking campaign targeted on parents as well, so that they can talk to their kids about the harms of smoking and prepare them for the unwanted habits which they might be getting in their school/colleges otherwise.

There is a need for Intoxication Free Campus Campaigns across the world. To begin with we can start the anti-smoking awareness campaign on the social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter, where most of the educated youth socialize. The online forums for helping the addicted people in quitting are also there, but they are not as effective as the regular as the personal attention by the close friends. The online pages/forums and groups can help people in smoking cessation by providing and sharing useful information, however the smokers keep avoiding these as long as they are not self driven and determined to quit. The social help can only support them, but the determination to quit has to come from the within.

Helping a friend or partner in quitting can be as much difficult as quitting your own, hence it's very important for the friends to be emotionally strong. To quit smoking is one of the hardest things to do. The importance of not nagging and making their life stress free is very important. For example a friend can join its friend to a quit class, so that the friend can understand the process of the quit and be more supportive. 

When a friend forces something on the smokers, it makes them back away from the quit and makes it much more stressful process. One thing we need to remember is that nobody is going to quit anything unless they want to. Forcing them to quit and bothering them is very different from being supportive.

Rewarding the smokers in quitting process is important. Reminding them that you are proud of them and acknowledging that it's a very hard process and it takes a very strong person to go through that process and you are always going to be with them

The institutes of higher learning and the public schools in cities, where the administration is relatively better than in schools and colleges in small towns, can kick start a campaigning for intoxication free campuses.  The strict implementation of government directives in the educational institutions is needed to stop smokers  from influencing other students who have not yet started smoking.

[ This post is based on a report submitted in Consumer Behavior Course at IIM Kozhikode - PGP/14/123 ]

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