Quitting Smoking Essay
Smoking has been proven to cause serious diseases including lung cancer; however smoking can damage a person health in many different ways many people try to quit smoking. There is a controversy on the best way to stop smoking. In this paper these different ways and solutions will be examined. Whereas there exists a large population of people that is addicted to smoking, equally a sizable chunk of that population have in one way or another contemplated quitting. While some have successfully been able to quit many more have been unable to even after having laid down an elaborate plan.
There is a reason why quitting smoking is so hard; it lies in nicotine. Cigarettes or any other form of tobacco contains nicotine, which is a highly addictive drug. The more one inhales nicotine the more the body system gets used to it; overtime becomes psychologically reliant to it. It is a depressant that produces a pleasant feeling in the body making the nervous system to depend on its usage and consequently increase the quantity of nicotine inhaled by the smoker, this level has to be maintained at all levels to ensure that all systems are functioning effectively.
It is this over reliance on nicotine that makes it hard for the body systems and mechanisms to cope with its sudden withdrawal or decrease in the body.It is the difficulties experienced after withdrawal that lead smokers to continue with the intake. The withdrawal symptoms are the natural body reaction to absence and shortage of nicotine in the body. These symptoms include headaches, unexplainable increased appetites, disturbed sleep, depression and lack of concentration especially when the task is both emotionally and though engaging. Inability of a smoker to go through these hallowing periods leads to reversion of the habit, and the vicious cycle starts. The intensity of the withdrawal symptoms has left many smokers with a notion that that quitting smoking is difficult and impossible.
Why do people want to quit smoking? Experts have associated smoking with adverse effects in the body some of which are life threatening. Smoking is astoundingly expensive too and also may lead to limitation in both formal and social interactions. Many of the non-smoking population often have an open non-preference for non-smoking and these re strict non-smoking zones campaign aimed at ridding the streets and all public places of smoking. It is these limitations that would be a major drive for smokers to contemplate quitting (Stratford D, 1998).The most important factor however would be the most talked about smoke related diseases. Smoke has been largely identified as a resulting to lung, nutrition and heart complication.
It is factual that smoke is the lead cause of living cancer. Statistics indicate that over 90% of all lung cancers are as a result of cigarette smoking either from a direct or passive smoker. Other cancers that are caused by smoking range from cancer of the pancreas, tongue, bladder, mouth, and throat among many others. The more a person smokes the more one increases the chances of getting lung cancer.A big proportion of the people who are smoking at the moment might end up dying in the coming years. Quitting however slowly and gradually decreases the chances of getting lung cancer.
Some chemicals contained in tobacco are known to destroy cells in the lungs leading to malignant tissues. After quitting these destroyed cells before they become cancerous re slow replaced normally growing cells. Hence the risk of cancer decreases as time goes by and after a period of less than ten years the risk may have decreased by 25%. Cigarette smoking has also been found to be a major contributor of cardiovascular diseases especially in the United States. In fact it is lumped alongside high blood pressure, diabetes, lack in physical excises and obesity as some of the factors contributing to heart conditions (Kevin C, 2002).
One disorder identified is a therosclerosis, which simply is an accumulation of fat and fatty elements in the arteries; this is what leads to a heart attack. On itself, cigarette smoke has an ability of causing a heart condition, but it becomes even worse when other factors are at play. It is known to increase pressure of the blood and increased cases of blood clot. Heart ailments have mostly been found prevalent as age progresses especially from the age of 50 years and above. Women to have been found to be susceptible mostly if they use contraceptives. Cigarette smoking exacerbates the situation to an extent that these women might experience cases of stroke at a rather tender age if continually exposed to cigarette smoke.
The harmful chemicals and substances in cigarette and tobacco in general have also a surprising impact on the nutrition aspect of a person. They tend to sap from the body enormous vital minerals and vitamins; furthermore, they reduce the ability of the body to take in these essential elements. Vitamins are one of the key materials required by the body to protect and fight against diseases, hence smoke can be said to reduce consequently the ability of a person to maintain his/her immunity system intact. The main vitamin targeted by smoke in this case is the vitamin C contained in cigarette smoking results to more loss from the bloodstream of these elements, causing damages.These damages require more vitamins to heal; this vitamin is not available because it has been held up by smoke. This means that the body perpetually decreases its immunity as time goes by.
To counteract this loss of immunity, a smoker would require taking loads and loads of more vitamins in additional to the non-smokers level, and addressing this shortfall. The suppression of immunity in smokers has a consequent result of making a person more prone and vulnerable to all sorts of ailments that otherwise would have been keep a bay easily, especially flu and colds.In addition to health risks, smoking causes other inhibitions in the society. Insurance costs are done subjectively and can be increased where a smoker is involved.
Employers may too have a preference for non-smokers to avoid complications and inconveniences in the work place. (Warren K, 2000) Smokes might be restricted entry to some important places, vehicles and restaurant. Mothers who smoke are at a higher risk of resulting to babies with low weight conat respiratory complications, nausea or tragically to a sudden infant death syndrome.It is rather sad that smoke related complications are very prevalent in the society and yet they are avoidable. Many people are fighting nail and tooth to get out of nicotine addiction, live healthily and decrease their risks of getting the afore mentioned diseases. But why do people smoke? There are a couple o reasons why people smoke, with or without knowing the dangers associated with the habit.
Some people especially the youngsters and the naïve smoke to look fancy and be in line with the trends. Almost everyone who smokes if frank will confirm that he/she started smoking in the belief that he will appear fancy and modern. Boys do it to be manly and be accepted in their various gangs and peer groups. Ladies do it to look sexy and appear trendy.
This is done with total ignorance of the repercussions of smoking. (Kristi J, 1992)Others do it in the name of reducing stress. This emanates from the fact that smoking is a relaxant and is known to induce positive changes in the smoker’s mood. Many people especially when faced with a hard and demanding task take to smoking to relax their minds.
This however has been strongly refuted by health experts. Apparently high dependency on nicotine is highly depressing and increases a smokers stress further. The stress being reduced in the first shall have emanated from a dependency of nicotine. The level of nicotine when it goes below the normal measure in a smoker’s body will lead to stress, an urge develops that leads to the smoker inhaling more nicotine and reduce that stress.
The belief that smoking reduces stress is a fallacy in itself. It does not alleviate the problem but rather will lead to increasing the stress level eventually as a result of the addiction (Daniel F, 1999).This is because every smoker addicted to nicotine will most often than not need to replenish the nicotine stock to maintain his usual mood that shall have fallen in between the smoke. This belief in the relaxant power of cigarettes is what leads to chain-smoking situations, as the cycle has to recur over time, to counter any withdrawal symptoms that might emerge.In today’s modern world, the society has imbedded stereotypes and beliefs in people’s minds that being slim is being cool. People are struggling with all manner of exercises and medications to shed excess weight, and be in tune with times.
One such method and habit people belief is a remedy to reducing weight is through cigarette smoking. This is common especially in women. People are smoking their way to death in the bid to conform to societal norms and beliefs.Cigarette smoking may lead to reduced weight due to one fact that it hinders and affects negatively an individual’s appetite and craving for food decreases. Excessive craving for food is suppressed by the equally competing longing for smoke and once the individual smokes there is a feeling of relieve. This is what is mistaken with the ability of cigarettes to reduce weight.
This weight loss situation is worsened by the unfounded belief that smoking cessation will immediately lead to weight gain which might result to weight-related complication. This is partly believable, as studies have found cases of weight gain upon withdrawal of smoking. However to counter this gain, effort should be channeled towards countering the resultant weight gained and should not be used as an excuse to continued smoking. A change of eating and living habit is highly encouraged (Franklin B et al, 2005).
The withdrawal symptoms are touted as the key factors that discourage quitting in smokers. Getting out of any addiction is itself a difficult and engaging experience that requires more than a strong body will. An addiction in cigarettes is likened with an addiction in hard drugs like heroin and marijuana. The best method for quitting any addiction should be one that is able to cope with the withdrawal symptoms.
In smoking, although there are stiff opposition to it’s proven functionability; the best way to quit smoking is through what many people refer to as “cold turkey”. This simply refers to abrupt quitting of smoking with no prior thoughts or any elaborate preparations. This stems from the thought that cold turkeys do not require any lengthy preparations (Fred H, 2004).Opponents of this method cite its very difficulties and challenging experiences however, they recognize its cost effectiveness and it realistic nature with no extensive side effects.
The success of this method depends on how committed and dedicated the smoker is to seeing that he/she emerges successfully. One must also be able to cope with the disturbing withdrawal symptoms. It requires an individual to take in a lot of water. These liquids are meant to help the body to remove unwanted toxic elements caused by years of cigarette smoking.An understanding of the intensity o the withdrawal symptoms is an effective requirement, these will only take a few days after they will subside to a negligible level. This method also requires an individual to be extra-ordinarily busy and not to entertain any smoking thoughts or pay attention to the withdrawal symptoms.
When the craving climbs to an unmanageable level it is advisable to hold a cigarette substitute and even go ahead and inhale fresh air deeply. It is also advisable to seek group solidarity and support. Interact with other people who have made it a resolution to quit smoking.The withdrawal symptoms will surely be there but they will be less felt as time goes by as an individual maintains a nicotine free environment.
This presents an inexpensive and side effects free method of smoke quitting as it is not wise to hop from addiction to side-effects caused by quitting. There are some however who do not agree with this method and go ahead to explore other means, regarding this method as stressful and engaging.One of the alternative methods advised on is hypnosis. This is done with the help of a hypnotherapist and done in several sessions. The aim is to focus on the mind and the sub consciousness. This is like a mind cleansing process that will instill a feeling of associating smoking and cigarettes to unpleasantness hence suppressing any sweet feelings or thoughts regarding smoking that might have been embedded in an individuals mind (www.
hypnosis.info) .It utilizes learned and natural techniques that relaxes the mind and tries to visualize quitting smoking as a workable plan. However as much as this method may be praised for its success rate, it is not meant for every individual. It is reserved for those with a high ability to concentrate and relax their minds, training it to focus on the disadvantages of smoking, completely over hauling all the prior-held notions.
It is also an expensive method that requires a person to seek for a certified hypnotherapist.Use if patches is another method smokers utilize when trying to quit smoking. This is a technique that sees nicotine doses introduced to the body through the skin. It kicks off with a high dosage equaling a smoker normal daily intake then is decreased as time goes by.
The user is finally healed off nicotine craving. There are two types of patches depending on the intensity of nicotine dependency. The 16-hour patch is for mild users while the 24-hour patch is for seasoned ones providing an all through dosage of nicotine (www.quits-smoking-support.
com).Health experts recommend that patch dosage should be taken for more than three months to ensure that the user is weaned off completely. No matter what most people would wish to say, this method is not the best. For one, the dosage lasts for a very long period of time, from over 8 weeks. It has also been found to have possible side effects that maybe a source of great discomfort to the user.
The user will experience sleep problems, hallucinations, muscle aches, dizziness and nausea (family doctor.org). The side effects of patch method pale the symptoms of withdrawal experienced by a smoker who smokes a cold turkey in comparison.Other smokers prefer the use of a nicotine gum. It is a form of a gum that is fast reacting replacing cigarettes in providing nicotine to the body.
It is chewed in a dosage that depends on a users addiction to tobacco, but it is recommend for a maximum period of up to 6 months. When a craving strikes, a user is advised to chew this gum continuously so as not to revert to smoking for nicotine replenishment. This method however has its constraints. The continued chewing of nicotine gums might in the end result to a dependence on it whenever a nicotine craving strikes. It is also associated with some side effects although mild.
The continued use of nicotine gum might eventually cause throat irritation, nausea, jaw and mouth discomfort, and a racing heartbeat. It might also at an advanced stage of usage cause teeth and stomach problems due to swallowing of nicotine.(www.lungusa.
org).ConclusionCigarette smoking is a habit that continues to thrive to almost a quarter of the world’s population. It is a habit that continues to present a myriad of problems to both the users and non-smokers. Health problems ranging from heart diseases, lung cancers and nutritional defects are experienced by the smokers and to also to a greater extent the passive smokers.
The smokers are also limited and restrained form certain premises and public places like restaurants and government offices. Faced with these problems many of them have been contemplating quitting and kick off the hard and unsociable habit. We have found that quitting smoking is a very difficult task that requires an extra ordinary sense of dedication if it is to be successful.While many smokers have been looking for the proper methods to quit, confusion arises on the most effective technique. This issue is riddled with controversy with most persons advocating for the cold turkey strategy. This remains the best method because of its low costs and the lacking in any side effects.
Some weak hearted smokers claim that they cannot cope with the withdrawal symptoms involved and opt to any of the other three alternatives ranging from hypnosis, nicotine gum and patch.My preference and opinion for the best method to aid a smoker to quit effectively remains the cold turkey. For one, it is not associated with other costs and may effectively be utilized alongside other strategies. The gum, hypnosis and the patch are very costly methods to maintain due to their lengthy and time-consuming procedure.
A smoker has invested a lot of money in his/her addiction; it is only wise that he/she is accorded with a remedy that is cost effective. The other strategies too have been associated with side effects that might result to a smoker preferring to stick to the old habit unlike the cold turkey, where the only required ingredient is the resolve of the smoker to quit smoking and be ready to face withdrawal symptoms head on for only a couple of days and then the habit is goodReferences.Daniel F. Seidman, Lirio S. Covey. Helping the Hard-Core Smoker.
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