Could UR Child Have A Birth Defect Because Of UR Alcohol Consumption?
Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a condition that results when a pregnant woman consumes alcohol. This condition causes brain damage and developmental problems and is a spectrum which may have physical, neurological, mental and learning defects. Though FAS can be prevented, it is incapacitating. But while the weaknesses vary from individual to individual, these defects can be permanent.
Types Of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
• Fetal alcohol syndrome
• Partial fetal alcohol syndrome
• Alcohol-related congenital disabilities
• Alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorders
• Neuro-behavioural disorder associated with prenatal alcohol exposure
When the mother consumes alcohol during her pregnancy, the distribution of alcohol to the baby through the umbilical cord causes FAS. There is no measure of ‘safe limit’ alcohol intake during pregnancy. Prenatal consumption of alcohol by the mother should be discouraged before conception and right through the pregnancy as alcohol can cause neurodevelopmental disorders and alcohol-related birth defects. So abstinence from alcohol should begin from the very first visit to the doctor or should be promptly treated if the mother-to-be is not able to stop drinking alcohol.
When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol during pregnancy, it crosses the placenta and reaches the developing baby. The foetus metabolises alcohol slower than an adult. The alcohol content in the blood interferes with oxygen supply and nutrition supply to the developing baby. Alcohol consumption by a pregnant mother can cause permanent brain damage in the baby.
The symptoms are a combination of physical, cognitive and mental disabilities and neurodevelopmental disorders. However, the severity and extent of symptoms for FAS can widely differ among individuals. Some individuals may also have difficulty in coping with their daily life routine.
• FAS facies
• An individual with this disorder may have distinctive facies, small eyes, thin upper lip, short nose, upturned nose and smooth skin between the nose and upper lip
• Joint and limb deformities
• Slow growth both before and after birth
• Small head circumference and head size
• Vision and hearing defects
• Cardiac, renal and bony defects
Neurological & Brain Defects
• Poor memory and coordination
• Learning disabilities
• Delayed milestones and delayed development
• Bad memory
• Rapidly changing moods
• Difficulty making decisions
• Hyperactivity and jitteriness
• Trouble processing information and analysing it
FAS is a disorder that comes under the umbrella term known as a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) which further comprises of five disorders:
• Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
• Partial fetal alcohol syndrome (pFAS)
• Alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND),
• Neurobehavioral disorder associated with prenatal alcohol exposure (ND-PAE)
• Alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD)
For diagnosis, all these disorders come into play to indicate the physical and neurological effects of prenatal alcohol consumption by the mother on the fetus. Additionally, each of the five disorders that include the FASD has particular criteria for diagnosis. But due to the extensive exhibition and immense similarity with other hereditary and environment causes, making a definitive diagnosis is not possible for FASD. Once FASD is suspected, the patient will be referred to some specialists to exclude other likely conditions for a conclusive diagnosis.
The specialist could vary depending on the patient’s age. Usually, the team of specialists for diagnosis includes a physician or paediatrician or someone with knowledge and expertise in FASD, psychologist, occupational therapist and a speech-language pathologist.
No one treatment is a comprehensive treatment as this a spectrum of disorders and every child presents differently. The child needs medical, physical, behavioural and social modalities of treatment. Initially, treatment begins with behavioural education and physiotherapy. Meanwhile, parent training with all respective medications and other medical therapy should go on simultaneously.
Social skill development, training and educational interventions should also be provided -primary care in a specialist centre with medical help and community support services.
FAS can be prevented by simply avoiding alcohol intake during pregnancy. If you are planning a pregnancy, stop drinking alcohol and continue to avoid drinking alcohol throughout UR pregnancy. If you are not able to stop drinking alcohol, get help before planning a pregnancy. Since pregnancy is not confirmed until the 4th-6th week of fetal development, couples are advised to avoid alcohol altogether, as you may expose your developing baby to alcohol without meaning to.
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Types Of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
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Know What UR Gut Says About UR Skin Health
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Are you an addict? Take the test and find out now!
The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) is a ten-item questionnaire developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to assess alcohol consumption, drinking behaviours, and alcohol-related problems. It’s a reliable, simple and effective method of screening for unhealthy alcohol use, defined as risky or hazardous consumption or any alcohol use disorder. The AUDIT can also help identify alcohol dependence and specific consequences of harmful drinking. 1. How often do you have a drink containing alcohol? 2. How many drinks containing alcohol do you have on a typical day when you are drinking? 3. How often do you have six or more drinks on one occasion? 4. How often during the last year have you found that you were not able to stop drinking once you had started? 5. How often during the last year have you failed to do what was normally expected from you because of drinking? 6. How often during the last year have you needed a first drink in the morning to get yourself going after a heavy drinking session? 7. How often during the last year have you had a feeling of guilt or remorse after drinking? 8. How often during the last year have you been unable to remember what happened the night before because you had been drinking? 9. Have you or someone else been injured as a result of your drinking? 10. Has a relative or friend or a doctor or another health worker been concerned about your drinking or suggested you cut down?
Blood Donation: Should U Do It?
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Skin Remedies For Kapha
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Could UR Child Have A Birth Defect Because Of UR Alcohol Consumption?
Could UR Child Have A Birth Defect Because Of UR Alcohol Consumption? Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a condition that results when a pregnant woman consumes alcohol. This condition causes brain damage and developmental problems and is a spectrum which may have physical, neurological, mental and learning defects. Though FAS can be prevented, it is incapacitating. But while the weaknesses vary from individual to individual, these defects can be permanent. Types Of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders • Fetal alcohol syndrome • Partial fetal alcohol syndrome • Alcohol-related congenital disabilities • Alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorders • Neuro-behavioural disorder associated with prenatal alcohol exposure Causes When the mother consumes alcohol during her pregnancy, the distribution of alcohol to the baby through the umbilical cord causes FAS. There is no measure of 'safe limit' alcohol intake during pregnancy. Prenatal consumption of alcohol by the mother should be discouraged before conception and right through the pregnancy as alcohol can cause neurodevelopmental disorders and alcohol-related birth defects. So abstinence from alcohol should begin from the very first visit to the doctor or should be promptly treated if the mother-to-be is not able to stop drinking alcohol. When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol during pregnancy, it crosses the placenta and reaches the developing baby. The foetus metabolises alcohol slower than an adult. The alcohol content in the blood interferes with oxygen supply and nutrition supply to the developing baby. Alcohol consumption by a pregnant mother can cause permanent brain damage in the baby. Symptoms The symptoms are a combination of physical, cognitive and mental disabilities and neurodevelopmental disorders. However, the severity and extent of symptoms for FAS can widely differ among individuals. Some individuals may also have difficulty in coping with their daily life routine. Physical Defects • FAS facies • An individual with this disorder may have distinctive facies, small eyes, thin upper lip, short nose, upturned nose and smooth skin between the nose and upper lip • Joint and limb deformities • Slow growth both before and after birth • Small head circumference and head size • Vision and hearing defects • Cardiac, renal and bony defects Neurological & Brain Defects • Poor memory and coordination • Learning disabilities • Delayed milestones and delayed development • Bad memory • Attention-deficit • Rapidly changing moods • Difficulty making decisions • Hyperactivity and jitteriness • Trouble processing information and analysing it Diagnosis FAS is a disorder that comes under the umbrella term known as a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) which further comprises of five disorders: • Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) • Partial fetal alcohol syndrome (pFAS) • Alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND), • Neurobehavioral disorder associated with prenatal alcohol exposure (ND-PAE) • Alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD) For diagnosis, all these disorders come into play to indicate the physical and neurological effects of prenatal alcohol consumption by the mother on the fetus. Additionally, each of the five disorders that include the FASD has particular criteria for diagnosis. But due to the extensive exhibition and immense similarity with other hereditary and environment causes, making a definitive diagnosis is not possible for FASD. Once FASD is suspected, the patient will be referred to some specialists to exclude other likely conditions for a conclusive diagnosis. The specialist could vary depending on the patient’s age. Usually, the team of specialists for diagnosis includes a physician or paediatrician or someone with knowledge and expertise in FASD, psychologist, occupational therapist and a speech-language pathologist. Treatment No one treatment is a comprehensive treatment as this a spectrum of disorders and every child presents differently. The child needs medical, physical, behavioural and social modalities of treatment. Initially, treatment begins with behavioural education and physiotherapy. Meanwhile, parent training with all respective medications and other medical therapy should go on simultaneously. Social skill development, training and educational interventions should also be provided -primary care in a specialist centre with medical help and community support services. Prevention FAS can be prevented by simply avoiding alcohol intake during pregnancy. If you are planning a pregnancy, stop drinking alcohol and continue to avoid drinking alcohol throughout UR pregnancy. If you are not able to stop drinking alcohol, get help before planning a pregnancy. Since pregnancy is not confirmed until the 4th-6th week of fetal development, couples are advised to avoid alcohol altogether, as you may expose your developing baby to alcohol without meaning to.
Sustainable Shifts UR Workplace Can Make Post COVID-19
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Did you know that according to the World Health Organization, the Body Mass Index (BMI) of a healthy person should range between 18.5 and 24.9; a person with a BMI above 25 is defined as overweight, and those with a BMI of 30 or higher are considered to be obese. How Can Workplaces Be Mindful Of Their Canteens, the Environment & Their Employees' Health? The overall aim of inculcating healthy eating practices has a deeper meaning. Along with health, we must also think about how canteen meals are more sustainable in terms of sourcing our ingredients, teaching healthy food choices, portions, while keeping sustainable living as our priority. Here are a few ways SMEs & MNC's can assess their canteen meals and protocols to become more sustainable collectively. Source locally-sourced foods. This is key to supporting our farmers, our planet, improving our food intakes, adds a range of vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains in our diet. Review food safety management system plans such as lab testing reports, training reports, cleaning and sanitation records. Food handlers medical report, raw material log report and kitchen equipment( refrigerator, cutlery, oven, blender, etc.) calibration records to determine whether all the equipment being used is sanitised and maintained properly. Sanitisation and food safety handling training sessions can help in training food handlers in MNC's & SME's by our nutritionists. Understand, study and analyse the nutritional profile of the canteen meals. This can be done with the help of our nutritional experts who can help in determining the ideal ratios and types of ingredients which can be modified according to the health requirements. This can also help employees understand where they can make sustainable shifts in their daily food choices, eating patterns and food portions not just at work, but in their homes as well. Assess which food item is being wasted on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Discontinue the same to avoid food waste. Avoid using one-time-use plastics like plates, glasses, cutlery and plastic bags that increase garbage/waste and end up in our landfills. Use any leftover fruit and vegetable peels to make compost. This can be used to grow UR own produce, eliminating any chances of consuming any contaminated (pesticides-injected) food. Guide UR workforce by setting up nutritionist seminars/virtual conferences, which helps employees become more aware of making healthier food choices. It is more important than ever to build our immune system now to withstand these uncertain times. This type of dietary change program has the potential for considerable access into communities and thereby contribute significantly to larger public health goals in reducing incidences of dietary-related diseases. Did you know that The Pasona Urban Farm in Tokyo is a nine-storey office building which allows employees to grow and harvest their food at work? All of which, is supported and made possible with the help of a team of agriculture experts. In Bangalore, The Manyata Business Park which houses over 90,000 workers across companies such as NVIDIA, Nokia, Cognizant and IBM, have been allotted small patches of land on which they can grow their crops. Now there are also hydroponic kitchen garden setups/startup kits, which give you the free will of growing UR own produce at home, at UR workplace or in your community. This is novel evidence to support further action in worksites in enabling and promoting healthy eating patterns among employees across the contexts of workplaces. Let's all work together to reinforce sustainable practices starting from the grass-root level. 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How To Make Compost At Home With Kitchen Waste ?
There are so many things that we buy and have no clue how to dispose them properly. Taking the pandemic into account, so many people are buying masks right now, but do they know how to dispose a mask properly? Unfortunately no, and all of this is going to end up in our landfills polluting our precious environment. But, what if I told you that you could make a positive impact on the planet simply by learning how to manage waste properly. From making compost from UR kitchen waste to learning how to manage waste, we have it all covered for you. So, let's work together to stop this endless cycle of garbage! The components of waste could be many things starting from dry waste, packaging, bottles, kitchen waste, hazardous waste (like broken bottles) and other plastics. These components of waste are so vast that when all these various forms of unwanted waste/garbage are combined and picked up by the municipality. With the unavailability of waste management facilities or proper protocols, this waste ends up being dumped in a landfill or in water bodies. The way I look at it is that, until we understand what these landfills can do to our environment, we will not take action to contribute to a better future for our planet. How Landfills Affect Our Environment? Compressed garbage mountains in the landfills are considered to be more harmful than carbon dioxide. It was life-changing when I visited a landfill and saw the impact myself. 60 per cent of biodegradable waste is from our kitchen. It is broken down anaerobically in the landfills, as it is constantly being compressed and this process emits methane. This is one of the deadliest gases, and is considered to be 20x worse than carbon dioxide. We contribute to the greenhouse gases once we discharge kitchen waste out of our homes. It could be in a lake, river, ocean or it's in a plastic cover and a cow could be eating it. So, we really don't know where our garbage ends up! Did you know that Bengaluru produces 4,500 tonnes of garbage/waste everyday? My waste is my responsibility. This is why I chose to live sustainably and not be a burden on the planet. I do my bit by making compost, disinfectant, stashing milk packets and much more. And it just doesn't stop here. There is a dark liquid called leachate which runs out of the landfills, contaminates our groundwater and the soil. The three things which we need to sustain on this planet are air to breath, water to drink and soil to grow our food. We have unfortunately contaminated it all by discharging biodegradable waste out of our homes unnecessarily. If you say no to a landfill, what do you do with the waste ? You can first start by understanding the categories of waste your home or household may generate. All the waste from UR kitchen is organic matter, which should essentially go back to the soil by making compost. If you have a composting facility available in your neighbourhood or city, so you can drop off your organic waste for it to be processed. Did you know that 60 per cent of biodegradable waste is from our kitchen? All the waste from your kitchen is organic matter, which should essentially go back into the soil in the form of compost. For example, the USA has many facilities for recycling and managing waste. India, is yet to introduce waste management centres and reduce its carbon footprint. We have a long way to go. Meanwhile, why don't we take the responsibility of learning the categories of waste and making compost at home? Categories Of Waste 1st category Dry waste(recyclable): Packaging, cardboard, newspapers, cinema tickets, plastic, metal cans, bus tickets and every bit of paper that can be recycled. 2nd category Kitchen/food waste: Vegetable peels, fruit peels, coffee or tea powder. 3rd category Sanitary waste: Medical waste, band-aids, sanitary pads, anything which is body contaminated. Hazardous waste: Broken items like bottles etc. In Bangalore, we have a system called 2 bin 1 bag. The green bin is for your kitchen waste and the red bin is for rejects (things which can't be recycled or composted) goes into that bin. And, the third is your bag which you can hang and collect milk sachets without the ends being snipped fully. Every bit of packaging can be collected, sent to the recycling centre or given to your kabadiwala. In Bangalore, we have recycling centres. 198 wards in total and each ward has a DWCC (Dry waste collection centre). This is one of the ways you can dispose UR dry waste correctly. By not mixing dry waste with other types of waste helps us all contribute to a better world that mitigates climate change together. Another way of making a positive impact on the planet is by making compost. Here is how I make my compost from my kitchen waste at home. How To Make Compost At Home With Kitchen Waste Ingredients Greens: Vegetable peels, fruit peels, coffee or tea powder and leftover food bits (organic matter only) - 1 large bowl Browns: Dried leaves, cardboard or sawdust - 2-3 bowls Microbes: Sour buttermilk- 1 tbsp or cow dung - 2-3 tbsp Container: Terracotta pot, a red mud pot with a lid, or a small bucket with holes (for air circulation) and a lid. Preparation Step 1: Drain out excess moisture from the vegetables and fruit peels in a colander. For example; watermelon or papaya need to be drained of moisture. Use a kitchen towel or a paper napkin to remove the moisture. Cut the large pieces of leftover veggies or fruits for them to break down easily. Step 2: Add the dried leaves in a small container or bowl. Crush the leaves and add the vegetable peels, fruit peels, coffee or tea powder. Mix everything. Now, add the buttermilk or cow dung using the mentioned quantities and mix everything well. Step 3: Transfer everything into a bucket, a pot, or a container with small holes and a lid. Repeat the same action every day. Once in 4 to 5 days turn the ingredients in the container to introduce oxygen, as this is anaerobic composting. Add vegetable peels, fruit peels and Brown's until UR container is completely full. It takes 45 days for the ingredients to break down and become compost. You can repeat the same process in another container for your next batch of compost. Note: Always keep the composter (container) away from the rain. You can use this to fertilise your soil to grow veggies at home. This is how I do my bit and so can you to break the cycle of mismanaging waste and being more mindful. For more information on waste management, log onto these websites Swachagraha or 2bin1bag to find out how you can start managing and making the most out of waste.
Say No To Tobacco
Smoking Kills," we already know that, don't we? It's repeated over and over again, it's plastered onto cigarette boxes, and it's a leading cause of cancer. This deadly habit has a chain reaction of damaging results in almost every organ of our body. Some of the effects of this habit can vary from person-to-person and are dependent on factors such as; weight, underlying health conditions and the extent of tobacco use. Let's get this straight first. Tobacco consumption, in any form, is harmful. It is the most preventable cause of death in the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in the 20th century, tobacco-caused 100 million deaths. Tobacco kills almost half its user, about eight million each year. Over seven million of these deaths are a result of direct tobacco use. At the same time, more than 1.2 million deaths are the result of people who are exposed to second-hand smoke. Tobacco contains around 7000 chemicals, including arsenic, formaldehyde, cyanide, lead, ammonia, carbon monoxide, acrolein, and other poisonous substances besides nicotine. More than 70 of these chemicals are carcinogenic or cancer forming chemicals. Nicotine in tobacco is one of the most addictive substance around, which may surprise a lot of people. Perhaps as much or more addictive than heroin. When used regularly, nicotine latches on to you like a leech and demands continuous supply, even against your will. Different Forms Of Tobacco Innumerable people are addicted to nicotine (one of the most habit-forming substances known to man) in various forms. Some smoke, others sniff or chew it. Smoking is the most common way in which people indulge and consume nicotine. But there are different forms of tobacco use: • Cigarettes • Cigars and beedi • Electronic cigarettes or vaping • Hookah • Chewing tobacco including gutka, khaini Every different form of tobacco comes with its own set of consequences on our health. Effects Of Tobacco Usage On Our Body Tobacco affects our body in many ways starting from the brain, mouth, heart, lungs, skin and our muscles. Here is how tobacco affects these different parts of our body. Brain Nicotine affects the different regions in our brain, which are responsible for attention, memory, learning and our brain's plasticity. Nicotine can reduce brain activity, affect concentration and memory. Nicotine exposure can harm brain development when exposed during adolescence. Remember, nicotine may give you a sense of relaxation but also escalate anxiety and sleep problems. Using tobacco daily can cause headaches and dizziness. Mouth Nicotine stains the teeth, damage the gums, give you bad breath and ruins the taste buds. Smoking and chewing tobacco cause mouth cancer and throat cancer. Heart Smoking tobacco increases the heart rate and blood pressure and causes heart disease and heart attacks. It reduces cardiac efficiency, thereby making it difficult to engage and keep up with physical activities such as exercise and sports. Lungs Regular smokers lung is progressively damaged, thereby making our breathing inefficient. Consequently, smokers waking moments are more miserable as much as its negative impact of breathing during sleep. If someone has Asthma, it is best not to smoke as it can precipitate asthma attacks. Don't forget the increased likelihood of chest infection across the year. Muscles Tobacco decreases the blood supply and oxygen to the muscles, making exercises more strenuous and tiring. Skin Tobacco causes the skin to become dry, yellow and age faster when compared to a non-smoker. Smokers skin is less perfused with blood; therefore, they appear tired and unhealthy. The smell of the cigarettes also tends to stick to the skin. Diseases Caused By Tobacco Usage • Lung diseases like COPD and bronchitis and Asthma • Lung cancer • Mouth and throat cancer • Colon cancer • Stomach cancer • Pancreatic cancer • Heart disease • Stroke • Reproductive effects • Diabetes • Premature births • Blindness, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration What Is Second-hand Smoke? Second-hand smoke is smoke from burning tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars, or pipes, and one that is exhaled by the person smoking. There is nothing as a risk-free level of second-hand smoke exposure, as even brief exposure is harmful both for a non-smoker as well as smokers. The only way you can protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke is to avoid smoking indoors or in enclosed spaces. Health Risks Of Second-hand Smoke While it is quite apparent that second-hand smoke is still smoke that contains deadly toxins, it is also essential to understand the hazardous effects on health. As per the CDC, second-hand smoke cause health problems in infants and children, including frequent and severe asthma attacks, ear infections, respiratory infections, and sudden infant death syndrome. Smoking during pregnancy annually results in more than 1,000 infant deaths. Heart ailments and lung cancer are more frequent in adults exposed to second-hand smoke. But there are immediate health effects as well, and that depends on the exposure time. Exposure time to second-hand smoke and effects: • 5 minutes – stiffens the main artery that supplies oxygenated blood • 20-30 minutes – causes blood clotting and the build-up of fat deposits in blood vessels, causing stroke and heart attack. • 2 hours – increases the chances of developing arrhythmias and can trigger a fatal cardiac arrest. Besides, with longer the exposure, there is a significant and higher risk of the deposit of harmful substances in various organs. This results in an increased risk of developing respiratory disorders similar to a smoker, including the risk of lung and other cancers. How To Quit Smoking And Use Of Tobacco Products? While it is conscious thought of choosing a healthy lifestyle, it could be tough when it comes to the reality of quitting smoking. Nonetheless, 'better late than never', as it's never pleasant being dependent on anything. Nicotine is very addictive; therefore withdrawing from it can be discomforting, including intense craving, restlessness and irritability. Given the addictive nature of nicotine, willpower will play a vital role in deciding to come of this terrible and deadly habit and to choose a healthier lifestyle, but it's not sufficient to stay off it. Apart from professional help and motivational counselling, here are some practical tips: • Remember, change can be hard, and motivation is dynamic and subject to significant fluctuation. So, start with 'one crave at a time' and work your way to 'one day at a time'. Build on successes of the previous day or learning from the lack of it. It is well known that the craving, when unattended, become less intense and fizzles out over time. • Write a smoking diary to identify patterns of smoking, especially the time of "critical" cigarettes (smoked after a meal, etc.). Such a journal will also help identify triggers those powerful urges to smoke. Try and cut down on non-essential cigarettes first before venturing into critical ones. As address the triggers one by one. • Choose a day to quit, and arrange a ceremonial burial of cigarette and paraphernalia. • Admitting your intention to quit in a formal announcement to your friends and family will help by forcing you to stick to it. • Designate someone (ideally spouse or partner) to remind, encourage, support and push you to achieve your goals. • Delay and distract your urges to smoke with juices, healthy snack, mint, etc. Smoker often has difficulties in discerning urge to smoke from hunger. So, consuming a small meal can remedy those rising craves. • Avoid the company of smoker and drinking environment initially. Only after you have better control over the urges, you may attempt exposing yourself to a higher risk situation for further desensitisation from urge to smoke or chew tobacco. • Take up exercise to reap the benefit of more unobstructed breathing in the aftermath of a smoke-free life. • Importantly, consider nicotine substitutes like a patch, chewing gums or e-cigarettes. Be informed that these substitutes are ideally taken under professional guidance and support. Don't just switch from one habit to another. Research suggests that majority who try to quit without specialist advice (including motivational therapy)and nicotine replacement (NRT) relapse to smoking soon afterwards. • Finally, there is medication to reduce craving and associated anxiety. These require a formal script from a practising physician or a psychiatrist. Final points to note Quitting smoking or tobacco may be the best thing you will do in your lifetime. If you don't succeed, then try again and again, do something different each time. Lack of successes in quitting and return to smoking can never be the end of the road. Instead, it must be seen as progress on the cycle of change and towards better health. So, don't quit on quitting!