Croatian Non-smoking Day, February 14, 2018

 

With World No Tobacco Day (WHO), celebrated around the world every year on May 31, Croatia also celebrates the national Non-smoking Day. Croatian Non-smoking Day is celebrated since 2003 to remind the public of the importance to stop smoking.

Croatian Non-smoking Day, ie Croatian No Tobacco Day, is celebrated on the first day of Catholic holiday of fasting. Since this is a specific period of the year when a lot of people think about giving up of something that they enjoy during the year, a day without smoking is the day to urge smokers to quit.

As the model that is implemented in other countries all around the world, the intention is to encourage smokers not to smoke for 24 hours to see that this is not something impossible and to continue further with abstinence. It is also an opportunity for smokers to think about their addiction, about how much smoking can harm their health, the health of their families, and how they affect the environment.

The goal is to give up smoking during the entire holiday of fasting (40 days) with the goal to quit smoking forever.

Smoking is a serious addiction. Addiction syndrome is defined as a set of physiological, behavioural and cognitive phenomena in which the use of some psychoactive substance or substance group gets more important to the person than the other behavioural patterns that previously had greater value.

We differentiate the physical dependence that is manifested by withdrawal syndrome (abstinence syndrome) in which unpleasant physical changes occur, and the psychic dependence, which includes a sense of satisfaction and a desire to repeat the effect of the substance or to avoid the dissatisfaction caused by its non-taking.

The program “Non-smoking School“ implemented by experts from Andrija Stampar Teaching Institute of Public Health - Department of Mental Health and Addiction Prevention is fighting against addiction and promotes healthy lifestyles. The School is based on the application of psychotherapeutic and educational models of quitting smoking with the aim to help participants to stop smoking.

The School is being conducted continuously throughout the year in the Andrija Stampar Teaching Institute of Public Health , Mirogojska 16, City of Zagreb.

Boris Gracin, MD, psychiatrist, subspecialist of alcoholism and other addictions, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Prevention.