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.


OCD and its Victims


Follow the dead cacophony, sing the broken lyrics, do the work that might seem esoteric.
Can you relate it even a bit?
Can you understand the avalanche that has broken?
Can you understand the pain and the anxiety?

We whole heartedly wish you don’t but if you do, don’t worry!
We are there to help you, understand you and to listen to your heart.

OCD: All we stated above is the misery of a victim suffering from OCD. Not clinically a dangerous disease but can even lead to abnormality, anxiety and collapsing of a beautiful mind and body.
We all follow our heart as feelings don’t lie but unfortunately, if you have OCD, they do lie. OCD comes in play when the warning system of your brain stops working properly, it will warn you about a danger even when you are not near to any.
Those tortured with this disorder are desperately trying to get away from paralyzing, unending anxiety.

Let’s talk about victims of this havoc.

Considering the situations prevailing in United States, facts reveal that every 1 in 200 children and teens have OCD. No treatment can be given to them unless one analyzes and understands their situation better. Let’s put some light on some common issues of OCD in children and teens.

  • Disrupted Routines which makes their life stressful, difficult and exhausted.
  • Problems at school that include homework, attention in class and school attendance.
  • Physical complaints like stress, poor nutrition, loss of sleep which makes children physically ill.
  • The stress of hiding rituals from peers, time spend with obsessions and compulsions can affect all their social relationships.
  • Problems with self esteem which lead to embarrassment or make them feel “bizarre” or “out of control”.
  • Sometimes even when parents set reasonable limits, kids and teens with OCD can becomes anxious and angry leading to anger management problems.
  • Additional mental health problems that include depression, additional anxiety disorders, trichotillomania, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, tic disorders, disruptive behaviours, etc., results due to lack of attention with patients suffering from OCD.

Just like the way charity begins at home, first aid procedure for the victim of OCD also begins at home. There are few responsibilities as well as measures that a person might take care of if a person in his/her family is suffering from OCD.

  1. Learn about OCD
  • Read books on OCD
  • Join the International OCD Foundation
  • Attend OCD support groups
  • Research online
  1. Learn to recognize and reduce “Family Accommodation Behaviours”:
  • Participating in the behaviour
  • Assisting in avoiding
  • Helping with the behaviour
  • Making changes in family routine
  • Taking on extra responsibilities
  • Making changes in leisure activities
  • Making changes at your job
  1. Help your family member find the right treatment
  2. Learn how to respond if your family member refuses treatment:
  • Bring books, video tapes, and/or audio tapes on OCD into the house
  • Offer encouragement
  • Get support and help yourself
  • Attend a support group

Remember, when you fight against it, you are not alone. We and hundreds of people are out there who are there to help you when you need it, support you if you all and encourage you if you ever fail. Don’t give up on yourself; don’t give up on your friends or family.
Keep walking even if you  can’t see the road.
Mansi Pareek

Myths and Facts about OCD

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FACT: OCD is not a personality quirk or a character trait — it is a very real mental health condition that affects about 2 to 3 million adults, and half a million youth, in the US alone. While many people can have obsessive or compulsive traits, OCD stands for obsessive compulsive disorder, and people who are diagnosed with OCD cannot simply “turn it off.” Research has shown that their brains are wired differently than the brains of people without OCD, and as such OCD strongly influences their thoughts and actions.

FACT: Having OCD is not simply an overreaction to the stresses of life. While stressful situations can make things worse for people with OCD, they do not cause OCD. People with OCD face severe, often debilitating anxiety over any number of things, called “obsessions.” This level of extreme worry and fear can be so overwhelming that it gets in the way of their ability to function. To try to overcome this anxiety, people with OCD use “compulsions” or rituals, which are specific actions or behaviors. These compulsions are not activities a person with OCD does because they want to, but rather because they feel they have to in order to ease their fears. OCD is not about logic — it is about anxiety and trying to get relief from that anxiety.

FACT: Triggers related to cleanliness and symptoms related to washing make up only a small part of the range of OCD triggers and symptoms. People with OCD can have obsessions related to a wide variety of things, including losing control, hurting others, unwanted sexual thoughts, and many more. Similarly, the anxiety caused by these obsessions can be lessened by different compulsions, such as “checking” (e.g., re-checking door locks, repeatedly making sure the oven is off), “repeating” (e.g., doing the same action or ritual over and over to be sure it was done “correctly”), and “counting” (e.g., doing things in certain numbers, counting items to certain numbers).

FACT: With proper treatment, it is very possible for people with OCD to lead full and productive lives. Many people respond positively to behavioral therapy and/or medication. Specifically, Exposure and Response Prevention or ERP is considered the first-line treatment for OCD. Additionally, medication (such as anti-depressants like
SSRIs) may also be recommended for people with OCD. Family therapy can also be very beneficial since family members (including parents, siblings, and spouses) often play a major role in recovery. Finally, many individuals report that support groups are very helpful. Support groups provide a safe, understanding place for people with OCD to feel less alone, as well as to teach and learn from their peers. People with OCD use one or several of these options to help them manage their OCD, as well as the support and understanding of their loved ones


Excessive hand washing the commonly observed OCD symptom

Many people with OCD engage in compulsive hand washing.  This habit can become excessive, at times resulting in raw and broken skin. There are two ways that hand washing can get out of control: 1) time spent washing, and 2) frequency of washing.

Excessive hand washing may be the single most common observable symptom of OCD, and is probably the behavior most commonly associated with OCD. But how much is too much? Many people with OCD become quite comfortable washing their hands several times per day.  However, the frequency of hand washing can sometimes escalate, becoming a real impediment to living a “normal” life.  By the time someone with compulsive hand washing seeks help, they often say that they have forgotten how often a “normal” person will wash their hands.

A good guideline for typical hand washing situations is as follows: after using the restroom, before inserting contact lenses, before preparing food, after touching pets, pet food, or garbage, and before eating. (See more comprehensive list, below.) A good guideline for the typical length of time it takes to wash one’s hands is twenty seconds, including time to wet hands and apply soap. If you or someone you know is washing your hands in excess of this, it may be helpful to get a consultation with a professional. This is especially true if hand washing is getting in the way of leading your (or their) life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer some useful guidelines on hand  washing to promote healthy behaviors.  However, remember that if they recommend 20 seconds of hand washing that does not necessarily mean that 40 or 60 seconds must be better!


When should you wash your hands?

hand washing - when is it too much?

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage