Tobacco Harm Reduction for Malaysians
Growing up amongst smokers, during my younger days it was so unfortunate that I was struck with bronchitis ailment and having folks that took care of me being around smokers made a grave impact on my health from young. When I grew up, the temptation to pick up the habit was there, even more so during teenage years, university years and also at my first corporate jobs. Let me tell you a story, bear with me as we introduce the gist of today's article and how it's really important for you, my readers to learn this magic term "Tobacco Harm Reduction"
Tobacco, or smoking is generally accepted in Malaysia as a social norm, but in this day and age, more people are realizing how harmful tobacco can be to our health. It's a risk and hazard to our daily life, and this topic really ignites the passion in me to speak up against smoking.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not against the people who smoke, as I know for a fact how hard it can get to kick the habit. Case in point, during my early working years, due to peer pressure at work I did try to pick up the habit. Did you know in some companies, the only way to socialize and get noticed by your superiors would be at those smoking corners around the office space?
Adamant to "fit in", I took to inhaling and tried smoking a pack or two. Little did I know that my body would react the way it did, giving me fever, making me nauseous and literally telling me to STOP. I was glad then that this happened as it gave me no choice but to not pick up the habit.
Did you know according to WHO, tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year. More than 7 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. (Source: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/tobacco). Now these are very concerning numbers, hence we come to the topic of today's discussion, if we can't beat it, let's reduce the harm caused. How about that!
Harm Reduction and What It's All About?
It literally means what it says, to reduce harm by giving better alternatives, including giving informed choices. In fact, this is a global effort and according to Harm Reduction International (hri.global), this includes a range of health and social practises. Some of the harm it intends to reduce include, but not limited to smoking, dietary, drug consumption, and even road safety.
Sometimes being more informed on the dangers of tobacco and second-hand smoke is important to create awareness. Equally important is the availability of information on how to reduce the harm (ie: going for e-cigs, vape, and the likes). The more information we have available, the less likely it will lead to confusion and eventually misinformed decision making.
Harm Awareness Association Malaysia
The Harm Awareness Association was established as an independent association that is at the forefront of reducing harm in every aspect of life. This was sparked by the lack of locally available information on topics that are relevant to Malaysians. HAA believes having awareness on harm and how to reduce it is important. Note down this URL: www.haahub.com.my , it may just be the information hub you did not know you needed.
By practicing harm reduction efforts, alternatives can be sought after rather than leaving consumers with no choice. There's always an alternative, and not all roads lead to hard core daily tobacco consumption. Risk-Reducing Alternatives can help smokers who are unable or unwilling to quit to reduce potential harms and risks.
Again, remember to head on to www.haahub.com.my today, and learn what Harm Awareness is all about. Stay safe Malaysians, and I really hope this site can help more Malaysians make informed decisions that will reduce the harm of their habits and actions which may be harming them in the short and long term. It's all good, people. :)