So what???
I just try it sporadically.
C’mon m not a chain smoker!
Stop creating havoc about tobacco; it isn’t that big a deal!

Please stop!
Stop making excuses. Whom are you fooling? Whom are you explaining?
We all are smart enough to understand the good and the bad effects of every little thing.

Let’s assume of a world full of smart, grown-up adults, who are chain smokers and tobacco addicts. How do you like that? Do you wish your kids and your loved ones to be living in that world? How would like to see your children learning the same habits from you?

Since philosophy is a science of extraordinary minds, we being people with a bit of less smartness, will talk about facts!

  1. In a 20 yrs prospective study of over 1 million people, conducted by the American Cancer Society, in 1960s, tobacco alone was found responsible for:
  • 30% of Cancer deaths;
  • 22% of deaths due to heart attacks;
  • 27% of deaths due to strokes; and
  • 72% of deaths due to COPDs (Chronic obstructive lung diseases).
  1. After 1965, with increasing awareness about its dangers, its use has decreased significantly. But still as per 2004 statistics: In men, most oral cancers.
  • 78% lung cancers;
  • 16% heart attacks;
  • 10% deaths due to brain strokes;
  • 9% of TB deaths; and
  • 49% of deaths due to COPDs (chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases – diseases resulting from damage to the internal structure of lungs).
  1. According to a 50 year follow up study on British doctors, more than half of the long term tobacco smoking doctors (>50%) died earlier than their expected life span! On an average they lost 10 years compared to non-smokers. Those who died in middle life lost around 20 years.
  2. According to a huge study, which included 1.1 million homes from different parts of India,
  • Smoking is responsible for 20% male deaths and for 5% female deaths which occur prematurely between the ages of 30 and 69 years;
  • For men, the rate of premature deaths in smokers was 1.7 times that in non-smokers of similar age, educational level and alcohol status. For women who smoked, the chances of a premature death got doubled;
  • With increasing severity of smoking, the risk of premature death also increases.

As a whole,

  • Tobacco is the largest cause of preventable premature deaths across the world!
  •  10% of premature male deaths in age bracket of 30-44 yrs and 19% of premature male deaths in age bracket of 45-59 yrs are attributable to tobacco use!   (WHO Global Report, mortality attributable to tobacco, 2012)
  • On an average, tobacco smokers end up dying around 10 years earlier than non-smokers!

Let’s now discuss the reasons why “smoking looks cool” or “smoking releases your stress” or “a cigarette in your hand enhances your personality”.
There is no addiction until you make it a habit. No peer pressure or circumstances can make you give up your life to these poisons.
We, at THATMATE, listen to you and your problem and are there to guide you. Look for a person, your THATMATE, with whom you can discuss your problems.

Problems are ephemeral, life’s not; don’t give it up to drugs or tobacco, let it be perennial!

Mansi Pareek


Smoking makes a person dumb!


Young men who smoke are likely to have lower IQs than their non-smoking peers, a new study has determined.

The study led by Prof. Mark Weiser of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Psychiatry and the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer Hospital tracked 18- to 21-year-old men enlisted in the Israeli army.

The average IQ for a non-smoker was about 101, while the smokers’ average was more than seven IQ points lower at about 94, the study determined.

Anti-smoking ads spark scandal in France

The IQs of young men who smoked more than a pack a day were lower still, at about 90. An IQ score in a healthy population of such young men, with no mental disorders, falls within the range of 84 to 116.

“In the health profession, we’ve generally thought that smokers are most likely the kind of people to have grown up in difficult neighborhoods, or who’ve been given less education at good schools,” says Prof. Weiser, whose study was reported in a recent version of the journal Addiction. “But because our study included subjects with diverse socio-economic backgrounds, we’ve been able to rule out socio-economics as a major factor.”

The study also measured effects in twin brothers. In the case where one twin smoked, the non-smoking twin registered a higher IQ on average.

Could Hong Kong teach China to quit smoking?

Although a lower IQ may suggest a greater risk for smoking addiction, the cross-sectional data on IQ and smoking found that most of the smokers investigated in the study had IQs within the average range nevertheless.

In the study, the researchers took data from more than 20,000 men before, during and after their time in the military. All men in the study were considered in good health, since pre-screening measures for suitability in the army had already been taken. The researchers found that around 28 percent of their sample smoked one or more cigarettes a day, 3 percent considered themselves ex-smokers, and 68 percent said they never smoked.

“People on the lower end of the average IQ tend to display poorer overall decision-making skills when it comes to their health,” says Prof. Weiser.

“People with lower IQs are not only prone to addictions such as smoking,” Prof. Weiser adds. “These same people are more likely to have obesity, nutrition and narcotics issues. Our study adds to the evidence of this growing body of research, and it may help parents and health professionals help at-risk young people make better choices.”

More details can be found at:




Why Tobacco smoking is never safe?

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Many of us are justifiably concerned about nuclear wars, weapons of mass destruction and war. Yet we tend to ignore the far more immediate and likely dangers to our lives. In fact we sometimes literally court death with the choices we make—these dangers are available to us freely and cheaply and they are addictive. Almost every person who reads this will have at least five people known to them who are using tobacco in some form. Almost every person who reads this will also know two people who have died of tobacco-related illness. Still people flock to this habit and the government does precious little to stop the sale of these weapons of mass destruction.

The stimulant effects of tobacco are temporary and illusory. The end effects over a period of time are almost always the same—illness and death.

World over daily 1 billion men and 250 million women smoke. Almost the same number chew tobacco in developing countries, especially in Southeast Asia. In India, almost 35% of the adult population uses tobacco in some form—a large majority use it in chewable form while the rest smoke it.

 A wolf in sheep’s clothing

Tobacco can be found in various items, some that seem innocuous. For example, “masheri” is traditionally used as a substitute for toothpaste and it contains tobacco. The “friendly” paan we have at many weddings contains tobacco. Then of course there are obvious sources of tobacco such as cigarettes, bidis, gutkha, pan masala. The new fads of hookah and vaping (e-cigarettes) are also just ways to consume nicotine and harmful to us. Thus, tobacco can be accessed in various ways and knowingly or unknowingly harms your body.

Health Hazards


Smoked tobacco contains nicotine. Nicotine is a drug which causes physical dependence. Hence, once a person develops the habit, it’s difficult to quit. It also leads to tolerance—the need to increase the dose to achieve the same effect. This is often the cause behind chain smoking.

Nicotine is an alkaloid poison which affects the heart and blood vessels. Hence chronic smokers can develop gangrene (blackening of fingers and toes) which can actually cause their digits to drop off! They are also at a high risk of heart attack because of this.

Smoking is also harmful in women in specific ways. Women on oral contraceptive pills who smoke are at double the risk of heart attacks. Smoking in pregnancy can cause intrauterine growth retardation and even death off the foetus.

Cigarettes are harmful not just because of nicotine. They also contain tar which has many chemicals which damage your heart and lungs. Hence many smokers suffer from lung diseases like bronchitis and emphysema.

Tobacco smoke contains 61 known carcinogens. Tobacco has been implicated in almost 14 cancers. These include lung, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, pancreas, bladder, nasal cavity, stomach, liver, kidneys, ureter, cervix and myeloid leukemias.

Vaping and hookahs

The new fad of using e-cigarettes and hookah is equally dangerous. E-cigarettes are known to contain particulate matter (in addition to tobacco), which is implicated in causing asthma, coronary artery disease along with lung cancer. They come in interesting flavours to entice young people. In kids consuming these can lead to asthma and poor lung development.

Hookahs, though they contain less tobacco, are traditionally smoked for a much longer time than cigarettes. An average person takes around 50-200 puffs over an hour as compared to 8-12 per cigarette, which becomes the equivalent of smoking 100 cigarettes at one go.

Smokeless tobacco

In India, especially in the hinterlands, this is a bigger menace. Children as young as 12 years old, start chewing some form of tobacco. Most of the smokeless forms of tobacco also contain areca nuts which contain the chemical arecholine. Arecholine is also a certified carcinogen and along with tobacco increases the risk of cancer. Smokeless tobacco is implicated in the development of cancers of the oral cavity, pancreas and oesophagus. Other than that, they also cause a condition called sub-mucous fibrosis where the mouth opening becomes progressively smaller and in due course totally closed. It can also give rise to leukoplakia, which are white patches in the oral cavity. These two conditions are also pre-cancerous.

Thus tobacco, in whatever form consumed, damages the body. The stimulant effects are temporary and illusory. The end effects over a period of time are almost always the same—illness and death. Be smart. Quit tobacco.


‘प्रेम’ की कोई सीमा नहीं।

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प्राकृतिक सेक्स और अप्राकृतिक सेक्स। मूलत: समस्या इस नाम से ही शुरू होती है। प्राकृतिक क्या है? एक डॉक्टर की नजर में प्राकृतिक ‘सेक्स’ पुरूष और नारी के मध्य ही संभव है। शरीर की संरचना, हॉर्मोन, और सेक्स से जुड़े प्राकृतिक स्नाव (सीक्रीशन) उसी हिसाब से बने हैं। हाँ! अगर ‘सेक्स’ की जगह ‘प्रेम’ डाल दें, तो ऐसी कोई सीमा नहीं। कोई भी प्रेम अप्राकृतिक नहीं कहा जा सकता। प्रेम में पुरूष, नारी, पशु-पक्षी सब आ जाएँगें।

लोग अपना जीवन बस एक तोते के साथ भी गुजार लेते हैं, उससे बातें करते हैं, उसी से मोहब्बत करते हैं। और यह मैं व्यंग्य की तरह नहीं कह रहा। प्रेम और ‘सेक्स’ का मौलिक विभाजन आवश्यक है। अब तकनीकी संरचना पर आता हूँ। मान लें कि पुरूष-पुरूष में प्रेम हो जाए, नारी-नारी में प्रेम हो जाए, और अब वो ‘सेक्स’ करना चाहें तो प्राकृतिक रूप से ये कैसे संभव है? अप्राकृतिक रूप से करने से कई चिकित्सकीय समस्याएँ हैं, और जब हल है, तो ऐसा करना क्यों? इस तरह के किसी भी संबंध में ‘ऐक्टिव’ और ‘पैसिव’, दो तरह के लोग होते हैं। ‘ऐक्टिव’ पुरूष की भूमिका में, ‘पैसिव’ नारी की भूमिका में। हालांकि अदला-बदली भी संभव है, पर अमूमन मनोवैज्ञानिक रूप से नहीं होता। एक व्यक्ति आज मानसिक तौर पर पुरूष है, कल नारी बन जाए, वापस परसों पुरूष बन जाए, यह कठिन है। इसी तर्क से निर्णय आसान है।

मेरे एक परिचित के मित्र नॉर्वे में ‘सेक्स-चेंज’ करवा कर प्रसन्न हैं। अब काफी कुछ प्राकृतिक ‘सेक्स’ संभव है। अब पूरी की पूरी योनि की रचना ‘प्लास्टिक सर्जरी’ के द्वारा की जा सकती है। हॉरमोन में बदलाव किए जा सकते हैं। यह सुलभ है। चूँकि ‘सेक्स-लाइफ’ मनुष्य के जीवन में कम से कम तीन-चार दशक का मामला है, आवश्यक है कि वह प्राकृतिक रूप से ही हो। पर प्रश्न यह उठ सकता है कि गर पुरूष को नारी ही बना कर प्रेम करना था, तो सीधे नारी से ही प्रेम क्यों नहीं? उत्तर बहुत ही स्पष्ट है। प्रेम शरीर से नहीं, मन से होता है। हृदय से होता है। वो डॉक्टर नहीं बदल सकते। वो ‘सेक्स-चेंज’ के बाद भी यथावत है। तो एक लेस्बियन युगल भले ही शारीरिक संरचना से पुरूष-नारी बन गए हों, मन से दोनों आजीवन नारी ही रहेंगें। और स्वस्थ रहेंगें। किसी भी ऐसी बीमारी से ग्रसित नहीं होंगें, जो समलैंगिक संबंध से जुड़ी है। हालांकि कई बीमारियाँ ‘मल्टीपल पार्टनर’ से जुड़ी हैं, पर उसके लिए समलैंगिक होना आवश्यक नहीं। इसका अर्थ समस्या प्रेम नहीं व्यभिचार है, विश्वास की कमी है। वो इन संबंधों में भी उतनी ही आवश्यक है जितनी पुरूष-नारी के संबंध में।


Dr. Praveen Jha

Let’s talk about LGBT!

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Don’t be ashamed!
They aren’t aliens.
They are humans too, they too feel.
You all must have heard these statements, in fact many of you must have said them too but did any of us ever tried to stand up and implement this????
C’mon it is not the time when people weren’t aware of equality. We have reached moon but still think about society while stepping out of house. We know and even respect people but refuse to accept or even talk to people who seem event a bit different from us. Considering them aberrant, disingenuous and disrespectful makes us proud about our sexuality and morals. But do they really prove our morality!!!
Think before you answer.

We, The ThatMate organisation has hailed the stepping stone to change the perspectives, opinions and insecurities concerning countless issues. After a detailed analysis of OCD and answering to various doubts, myths and question, we are back here before you with something you know but fail to understand. We decide to take up sex determination and acceptance as a result of human behavior and not out of responsibility or obligation.

We are taking up LGBT this month for awareness and discussion and we expect from you all an active participation and help us bring the change we expect to see. This isn’t a big deal!
After all being educated youth you all know what equality is and we don’t learning about this but we do need action and we need that to be implemented now.
So let’s begin this trial and work till we win.

Mansi Pareek

Some Common Questions & Answers related to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in Children



Question1. For our readers will you tell, what does childhood OCD mean? And how is it different from OCD in adults? 
To start with, OCD is the commonly used abbreviation for Obsessive – Compulsive Disorder. It is a disorder of brain that is widely prevalent in all age groups. The manifestations in children & adults are similar in many ways but they also share important differences. The hallmark of OCD are unwanted repetitive thoughts & fears which compels an individual to perform compulsive behaviours across ages. As these rituals are continual, easily noticeable and highly upsetting, they are brought to attention by adults themselves or their family members. But children are more secretive about the nature of their problems. They try to hide their behaviours and consequently remain concealed from parents for a long period of time.

Question 2. How common is OCD in children? Is there any age range to be watched for? 

Initially, this disorder was considered to be infrequent in children and adolescents. However, over the years, it has been identified in younger ages as well. It is common in 2-3 % of general population. It can be recognized in children as young as 4 years but it is more usually seen in minors aged 7 – 10 years. It kicks off in males before puberty and females are naïve around puberty. Also, as much as 50% of adults have been shown to have a beginning of their problems in childhood.

Question 3. How does OCD present in children? What are the “look out” signs for parents? 

It is natural to have some ritualistic behaviours at early age. For example, a child might want the parents to behave in a particular way, insist on the same type and pattern of meals or perform some conventional behaviours before bed time. But these practices usually fade away after the age of 2-3 years and do not interfere with the daily functioning. But when OCD is expressed in children, they spend a lot of time in these behaviours which affects their day to day activities. The ‘obsessions’ are identified as constant thoughts, doubts, fear or images which are troublesome, meddling and considered silly. Though the child might want to cut off from these thoughts, he/she might not succeed in doing so. If one calculates the magnitude of time used up, it easily exceeds an hour and may even take up to 8 hours a day. As these thoughts are very nagging, he/she starts carrying out actions which are again ceaseless called as ‘compulsions’. The child now spends equal or more amount of time in these actions as they bring about a temporary relief in the uneasiness. Still as the abatement is only for a short while, the child reengages in these thoughts and actions with the cycle continuing till the day lasts.

As already mentioned, the ritualized actions are easily discernable even if the parent is unable to understand the series of thoughts leading to them. Some of the children might keep on repeating the actions till they feel ‘just right’ and in such situations the actions speak louder than thoughts as the child might find it difficult to explain the reasons behind it. The typical themes that are recognized as obsessions are concerns regarding germs, dirt and environmental toxins; fear that some dreadful event might happen (e.g. death of both parents in a car crash); fear of causing harm to self or others, doubt that things are not arranged in order or are missing. On the other hand, the compulsions are counterpart of these concerns that lead to excessive bathing or handwashing; repeating rituals to check for the dreadful event; checking repeatedly to ensure things are at place or not forgotten.

Question 4. If the parents suspect that their child has OCD, what should they do? Does any parenting mistake cause OCD in children? 

If the parents are in doubt regarding the nature of behaviour seen in the child, they should immediately consult a mental health professional. As the disorder has negative impact on the functioning of the child, they should avoid any delay in consultation if they feel that the child has any of these behaviours.

Anyhow, no parenting mistake can give rise to this disorder in children.

Question 5. Do children with OCD need treatment? Is there any need for medications? If yes, how safe are they? 

Children suffering from OCD need help from mental health professionals. It is not possible for most of them to resist and control these thoughts by themselves. The medications are not the initial choice in many cases but could be required depending upon the severity of the symptoms and the presence of co-existing psychiatric disorders. The drugs used for OCD work by increasing a chemical known as Serotonin in various parts of the brain. They are popularly known as antidepressants which have traditionally been helpful in tackling depression. Nevertheless, they form the cornerstone of treatment in OCD and are used in higher doses than used for depression. They are considered to be generally safe in children with mild side effects. Though there was a warning issued in children and adolescents for risk of increasing the suicidal tendencies, there been a steady rise in the use of these drugs as their potential in alleviating the problems exceeds far more than the risk.

Question 6. Is there any way to manage OCD other than medications? Is it better than medications? 

There are various psychological therapies that can be offered to children with OCD. The mainstay of therapy is exposure and response prevention (ERP). In this therapy, the child is gradually exposed to situations that bring about compulsive actions but is stopped from performing these actions simultaneously. Training in managing anxiety because of the situations is also imparted. It is equally effective as medications but has an edge when it is combined with medications to treat the symptoms.
Question 7. Is there any course or time duration of treatment for OCD in children? 

OCD is a longstanding disorder requiring long term treatment. Unfortunately, there is no time duration fixed for which treatment can be offered. But it is recommended that the treatment should continue for at least six months after there has been a complete improvement in symptoms.
Question 8. What is role of parents in treatment of OCD in children? 

It is a challenging task for parents to manage such children. They might themselves experience anxiety due to the repetitive rituals present in the child. This might force them to accommodate such behaviours by helping the children perform the actions. The child might show temper tantrums or bursts of anger if the parents attempt to stop their compulsive rituals. This might add to the pressure to accommodate to the faulty behavior of the child. Such conduct by families will escalate the difficulties in treating the disorder.

Notwithstanding, the involvement of family members is extremely important in the management of OCD in children & adolescents. Imparting knowledge & guidance regarding the illness will empower them to correct their flaws and enable them to learn alternative healthy behaviours.

Question 9. Does OCD in children have a barrier on their career? Do they need special school? 

OCD in children might achieve chronicity. Only 50% children show partial response to the initial treatment with medications. In spite of advances in management, at least 10 % of the children remain severely affected. These children could have difficulty in attaining their goals in their personal and professional lives due to the impairing nature of the symptoms. It could be that the nature of the symptoms are such that the choice of career is not compatible with the existing symptoms. It is only in such circumstances that OCD assumes the form of a barrier in pursuing a successful career. In any case, children with OCD do not need a special school.
Question 10. Is this genetic? Can parents do anything to prevent OCD in children? 

OCD is a highly heritable disorder when it has its onset in childhood.  In any individual suffering from OCD, the first-degree relatives are at highest risk of developing the disorder, the risk decreasing as the relatives get more distant in the blood line.  At this point of time, little is known about the role of environmental aspects contributing to the disorder, so with the restricted information it would be hard to provide any suggestions with regards to role of parents in prevention of OCD.

Dr. Varun Mehta

MD Psychiatry