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Smoking and specifically cigarette smoking refer to the use of tobacco substances. The presence of nicotine substance in cigarettes provides a tendency of addiction once a person starts smoking. Cigarette smoking causes a number of effects both on health, mental, and social dimensions. Despite the numerous negative effects occasioned by cigarette smoking, this issue still poses a number of challenges in trying to discourage people from using this substance. Research, for instance, reveals that in the US one out of four men smoke while one out of five women smoke. According to American Heart Association’s report of 2008, about 24.8 million men and 21.1 million women smoke cigarettes. This represents about 23.1 and 18.3 percent of the entire US population. This is despite of the numerous anti-smoking campaigns frequently conducted by different organizations. It becomes essential to establish carefully the causes of smoking so as to advance a more realistic and successful way of quitting smoking. This paper examines in detail the whole issue of smoking. The paper begins by postulating the possible causes of smoking, the effects of smoking, and dwells majorly on the approach to use in order to quit or desist from smoking.

Causes of smoking

One major reason for development of the smoking habit especially among the teenage youth is because of peer pressure. The teenage youth becomes vulnerable to succumbing to peer pressure during that period when moving from the full attention of their parents to the independent young adulthood status. Frustration, insecurity of status, and physical changes characterise this period. As a result, the young adults tend to rely heavily on their friends of equal age for affirmation and social support. It happens that friends smoke cigarettes and prompt young adult to experiment with the cigarettes in order to be part of the colleagues. This brings forth introduction and indulgence in cigarette smoking that quickly leads to addiction. Another cause for smoking is attributed to the tendency of involving in risk taking behaviour. There arises some level of thrill in going contrary to the stipulated rules among both the youths and adults. Some towns have no smoking signs all over, and in some countries, children below 18 years are not allowed to buy tobacco products. This raises curiosity among these people and hence breaking these rules by obtaining and using tobacco substances against the stipulated laws. As a result, people are ushered into the behaviour of smoking. Parental influence forms another cause of smoking. Parents, who are addicted to smoking and do it before their children, risk imparting this behaviour into the children. Usually children consider this as a lifestyle and find every reason to smoke cigarette too. Media influences also play a major role in ushering people to the habit of smoking. Nicotine adverts display smoking in a manner that tempts people to start smoking. Movies aired in which characters smoke cigarettes have a great impact on viewers as they attract them to smoking cigarettes. 

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Effects of smoking

Smoking and general use of tobacco substances pose serious effects on the health of the users. Smoking is heavily linked with causing increased risks of ailments such as lung cancer, heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure, reduced fertility, reduced ability to taste and smell among other several diseases. Smoking is believed to be number one killer in America. Smoking poses other financial impacts. In some areas, a pack of 20 cigarettes goes for $ 10. A person using a single pack each day spends about $3,650 on cigarettes every year. Smoking leads to addiction. The nicotine substance present in cigarettes is addictive in nature making it hard for one to quit smoking.

How to quit smoking

The whole matter of dealing with smoking and eventual quitting is challenging and calls for a detailed approach in order to bear fruits. This is based on the fact that nicotine is addictive and several beliefs that smokers have about this habit. Smokers believe that smoking brings about some form of psychological comfort making it difficult to change their perception about the same. It is vital to approach this matter stepwise and in skilful manner to help a smoker desist from smoking. The following approaches are recommended for adoption.

  • Make a list of things you like and dislike about smoking. This helps the smoker realize and come to terms with the importance of quitting. In addition, it prepares the smoker for the challenges likely to encounter while trying to quit. Also, consider reasons as to why quitting is difficult such as the addictive nature of nicotine and the psychological satisfaction smoking provides. Once this is done, then set a quit date.
  • Avoid buying cigarettes in bulk and instead buy them in smaller quantities. Carry only a few sticks of cigarettes. This helps in the sense that one finds he has no cigarettes to smoke when the urge comes. This helps reduce the quantity of cigarettes smoked. Then identify the times of the day when you have a serious craving for smoking and the activities carried out at this time. This helps come up with alternative activities to do at such times when a person eagers to smoke (Health). Suggest activities such as exercising, dancing, playing with kids, taking a stroll, taking a cup of tea, chewing some gum to do at such times. When the quit date arrives discard everything related to cigarettes including leftovers, lighters, cigarettes holders, and ash trays.
  • Switch to other activities during the times when you had breaks at work. These include playing computer games, taking a cup of coffee or tea to quest the stress just like nicotine. Chewing gums also keeps your mouth busy and helps uphold attention. Share with the people close to you that you are on a quit smoking program so smokers can avoid doing it in your presence. The family also plays a major role in offering the psychological support necessary for attaining this objective. Pay regular visits to health experts and counsellors to share your progress and challenges encountered during this exercise (Health). These experts provide the required advice needed to assist going through this program successfully. Finally, make a list of all the negative effects and ailments associated with smoking and place it at an open place in the house. Turn and read through this list whenever a craving for cigarette arises.

Conclusion

Smoking forms one of the most touching issue of concern that creates a moment in trying to address it. This is more so when an effected person is close to you. Smoking is caused by a number of reasons as described above. The effects of smoking are well outlined in the paper. The process of quitting smoking is detailed and takes a step by step approach. This involves the activities to do in preparation to quitting as explained above to prepare the smoker psychologically. Activities done during quitting are highlighted too as well as the activities carried out after quitting smoking. If this approach is well conducted, it will promise effectiveness in helping quit smoking. 

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