On World No Tobacco Day, celebs inform us say ‘no’ to tobacco


Who says quitters can’t be winners? There are many who have quit tobacco at some point of time and happy at the choice they made. As the theme for this year’s World No Tobacco Day is Commit To Quit, we talk to celebs to know about their experience of quitting and helping others to quit.

A healthy replacement

We all know smoking is bad for health and is rather addictive. Back in college, students around me used to smoke all the time. So, we made this pact—every time my friend wanted to smoke, we gave him an orange or a glass of water. We substituted the urge to smoke with something super healthy. Most people smoke out of boredom and one can control the addiction by adopting some healthy habits.

— Jasleen Royal, singer

No talk policy

Treat your body as a temple. Using tobacco or any other substance will not just harm your body but it affects your loved ones too. I have never tried tobacco in my life, even for fun. I have also tried to encourage a few people around me to quit smoking. One of my close friends used to drink and smoke a lot and I told her several times that she should quit, but she didn’t budge. So, I started giving her cold treatment and asked her to choose between me and tobacco. She chose tobacco and it made us part ways. I ignored her for a while and only used to check on her to find out if she was okay. She eventually quit smoking and adopted a healthy lifestyle. Now, her family is also happy. I think we need to be strict with our friends when they are on the wrong path. One must make a firm decision and true friends will come around.

— Prithvi Tanwar, actor

Meditation helps

While shooting for 21 Sarfarosh – Saragarhi 1897, all the cast members were staying in a secluded place in Gujarat where there was no source of entertainment. One of my co-actors, Prithvi Rajput, who was sharing a room with me, used to smoke. I said nothing as it was his personal choice. But then we got one week off from the shoot. Being a physical trainer myself, I chose to utilise that extra time doing meditation. He got curious and asked me about it and I taught him. On Diwali, a year later, when he called me, I got to know that he continued to practise mediation and had quit smoking. I think tobacco or any such substance stimulates our mind for a short period but meditation helps us reach that state for a lifetime. Focusing our energy on a new activity, which brings joy, is always better than focusing on the word ‘quit’. It only makes you want it more, which is why I never asked Prithvi to quit smoking. He made that choice unknowingly.

Balraj Singh Khehra, actor

Learn to say no

Often, smoking or any unhealthy addiction starts with a nudge from a friend, peer or a co-worker. Saying a firm but polite ‘no’ helps. In other words, nip it in the bud. I have been lucky to be surrounded by actors who are serious about their profession and know how important fitness is to survive in the industry. I do not smoke and have always discouraged people from doing so.

—Zebby Singh, actor

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