CHENNAI: Imagine inhaling pesticide, toilet cleaner, termite poison and paint stripper, all at once. This is exactly what many of us might be doing each time we go out for a smoke.
That was the takeaway at an exhibition organised by Brahma Kumaris at the Chennai Central Station on Sunday to mark the World Anti Tobacco Day. The exhibition had pictures, videos and activities to sensitise people on the dangers of tobacco use and practical ways to kick the butt.
“Addiction is doing the wrong things for the right reasons,” was the title of the video presentation that was screened in a makeshift room in the entrance hall of the Central Railway Station. G Ramajayam, a volunteer, explained that the most people use tobacco or do drugs because they do have some huge problem. “For instance, that may want to relieve stress or tide over a crisis. All these are valid reasons. But the solution they choose — smoking or drugs — is what gets them into trouble.”
The exhibition included several interactive activities. A drop box and blank paper chits were kept at the site. People could write down the habits they want to rid themselves of in the chit and drop it into the box.
Another exhibit was a tree with dense branches painted on the wall. Under the tree was a box filled with little green leaves, each with a quality, like benevolence and forgiveness. Interested people could take one quality that they see in themselves, write in on a leaf and stick it on the painted tree.
Exercising, being in the company of non-smokers, saving money, adopting healthy habits, meditation, using healthy food substitutes instead of tobacco when the cravings begin, were some of the suggestions put forward at the exhibition to stop tobacco abuse. Positive thinking to increase willpower and determination was one of the important steps in the tobacco abuse fight, they said.