no smoking

On World No Tobacco Day May 31, actors Somy Ali and Saahil Uppal spoke about the damaging after-effects of using tobacco. (Prashant Golecha photos)

MUMBAI — World No Tobacco Day is observed every year May 31. It is celebrated to create awareness about the damaging after-effects of using tobacco. If you ask a smoker why they smoke, the first word that comes out of their mouth is "stress." So in a bid to help them, a few non-smokers have spoken about what they do to relieve their stress, and here's what they had to say.

Somy Ali:

"Firstly, it’s insane to me that in 2021 anyone would even contemplate smoking a cigarette. As for stress-reducers, I make sure I work out at least 4-5 times a week, which we know for a fact kills anxiety and stress. Additionally, the best way to reduce stress for me is to make sure people around me are not stressing about basic needs. Thus, for me personally, my daily work with No More Tears (NMT) is perhaps the biggest stress reducer. When you see humanity struggling for things we don’t think twice about things like toothpaste, food or baby formulae, it changes your perception of stress overall. Providing these basic needs is the best stress reducer for me."

Mrunal Jain:

"Firstly, I feel smoking is not the solution one should opt for to relieve stress. As for me, working out has always helped me get rid of any sort of stress. Also, going on long drives with my family helps me in clearing my thoughts and get rid of that unwanted stress."

Meera Deosthale:

"I paint or dance or cook to relieve my stress. I am a non-smoker. I feel smoking should be banned as it is very addictive. I have seen people smoking and people standing around them get affected too indirectly, which is passive smoking. Health is wealth—we all need to understand that."

Saahil Uppal:

"I exercise and spend time with my friends and family in order to reduce stress. These things are definitely healthy and help me get better, connect with my loved ones, and most of the time I come out stress-free. Cigarettes will not reduce your stress. It will hamper your health. There are better ways to reduce stress, kindly resort to them."

Nivedita Basu:

"On a serious note, in media especially I have seen people smoking and drinking to unwind, but fortunately, I don't smoke, drink or do any hookah, not even tea or coffee, so for me to unwind is just probably do some Mandala painting or stare at my fishes, or watch some content and sometimes, when my eyes hurt, I just shut my eyes and hear some chants."

Delnaaz Irani:

"I think cigarette smoking is really bad. People who smoke must be getting some relief, but obviously it's very injurious to health, which we all know. I'm sure there are other stress relievers. For me, it's eating, which is equally bad, but yes, when I'm stressed, I tend to eat a lot. I anyways eat a lot but when I'm stressed, I eat more, so that's my stress buster. The other thing I do when I'm stressed is just listen to some soft music. I just lay down for a while with some kind of soft music, calming music on in the room, that is again my stress buster."

Rahul Bhatia:

"The lifestyle which people have today, their sleeping pattern, their eating pattern, and the pressure which they have in their work, because of all that stress is a normal thing. Stress is not as such happening to a particular person, in today's time maximum people have stress, but it doesn't mean that because of that you will spoil your health more. We all know that tobacco is injurious to health. It's also written on the packet to scare people but people don't give attention on it. If you want to relieve your stress, you can do mind activities, exercise, meditation, Yoga, stretching, or else your hobbies which make you happy. Stress harms your body and mind, and to get rid of it one shouldn't go for more injurious thing, which is smoking or chewing tobacco."

Rushad Rana:

"Yes, cigarette smoking is injurious to health. And to reduce my stress, I do meditation or chant my prayers—that's what really keeps me sane. Besides that, I have seen a change in attitude has attributed in me keeping positive. The change in attitude being that, earlier, I was a person who tried to control everything, tried to control outcomes in my life but then I realized that not everything is in your control, there are a lot of external factors that are shaping your life, career, destiny, everything, so I made peace with that. Another very big stressbuster for me is the kind of movies that I watch, the content that I watch, all the OTT content, watching movies, shows just transports me into a whole different world. Also, I love nature, and I'm fortunate enough to live in a colony that has beautiful greenery, so I make a point to go for a walk at least twice a day, and all these things really make a difference."

Hasan Zaidi:

"Physical and mental health, both are very important. A lot of times people don't realize that a lot of their physical problems are stemming from their mental health, this has been a slightly later realization in my life as well. A lot of outside factors are always there, but when we give them that attention then we give them that much power to cause stress. As far as stress-busting is a concern, if you smoke, in the worst-case scenario, it is possible that you get lung cancer, or you may reduce your stamina, but then one has to realize that in the same way anything that is stressing you out that has to be managed. You have to know the pros and cons. My daughter is a good stressbuster for me. I also do my namaz, and for me cooking, exercising, listening to good music, just make me feel better. Keep faith in humanity and in Allah."

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