As a growing adult, we are exposed to many new things every day. We are also easily influenced by friends and family to pick up a new hobby or so. For example, I was once affected by a bunch of formal colleagues into cigarette smoking. We would gather at the staircase to smoke together in the morning, tea time and evening. I was young at that time, and I believe what people say is that we could use tobacco to relieve stress and become a part of social situations. Little did I know, the bad habit will harm our health and eventually cause many smoking-related diseases.
In fact, many of us know that smoking is harmful. Our teachers did warn us during classes in school but not all of us know that the BIGGEST problem with smoking and cigarettes is burning. The reason why burning is the BIGGEST problem is because by burning the cigarettes and tobacco, we will be creating and releasing the smoke that contains harmful chemicals that cause smoking-related diseases such as lung cancer. Therefore, burning and releasing the smoke is the BIGGEST problem.
The fact that many adults are still confused with the misconception that the culprit of smoking-related disease is nicotine. Most of the smokers are not informed that they do have an alternative and less harmful way of consuming nicotine such as risk-reducing alternatives like e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products.
Harm reduction is fundamentally a principle in opening up avenues to alternatives and better informed choices - whether to prevent or eradicate harm inducing habits or activities. According to Harm Reduction International (hri.global), Harm Reduction should encompass a range of health and social practices. These include, but are not limited to smoking, drug consumption, dietary and much more. This is in accordance to avoid stigma and to keep people alive whilst encouraging positive change in their lives. By practicing harm reduction efforts, alternatives can be sought after rather than leaving consumers with no choice. This way, we can still maintain our lifestyle and keep ourselves harmless.
Thanks to advanced technology, we could all reduce hazards and risks in our daily lives but harm reduction nowadays. According to The Harm Awareness Association that was established as an independent association that is at the forefront of reducing harm in every aspect of life, every consumer especially in Malaysia should be able to make informed decisions that will reduce the harm that their habits and actions that are or may be harming them and their loved ones in the short and long term. Aziaan Ariffin, the President of Harm Awareness Association has aimed to ensure more Malaysians are aware of harm reducing alternatives. That is a really good initiative to all of us fellow Malaysians.
Let’s create more awareness amongst our society and join the Tobacco Harm Reduction Editorial Contest 2021 to win attractive cash prizes. Participants must share their article on their blog or website with the hashtag #TobaccoHarmReduction & introduce HAA’s website (https://haahub.com.my) in the article.
For more information, check out HAA’s website at https://haahub.com.my.