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Smoking: Causes and Effects Essay

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Updated: Nov 29th, 2021

Among numerous bad habits of modern society smoking seems to be of the greatest importance. Not only does it affect the person who smokes, but also those who are around him. Many people argue about the appropriate definition of smoking, whether it is a disease or just a bad habit. Considering the peculiarities of a habit and of a disease, smoking can be considered as a habit rather than a disease. Among signifiers of a bad habit, it should be pointed out that a bad habit can be controlled by willpower, it can be prevented, and it can be cured (Gilman and Zun 33). Smoking can be fought against with the help of all the points mentioned above. Thus, it is a bad habit which can be easily refused if an individual possessing it has a strong decision to quit. Moreover, it can be cured in many different ways, and it can be prevented by education and other social norms.

Considering the first element, which one of the most important out of the three, willpower is a key to get rid of such a bad habit as smoking, which is very difficult to give up. If a person has a strong determination to quit smoking, he will have to endure considerably a short period of time of physical discomfort. One of the most important part of quitting, is that that is doesn’t require medical help, that is to say, a person is not likely to suffer a procedure that is risky to health and life. In comparison to alcoholism or drug addiction, where medical help is essential to save life of a person who needs a certain amount of an alcohol or drug substance in has blood to survive, the lack of nicotine in blood produces just a physical discomfort that is not dangerous for health and can be handled with the help of willpower. Regarding the second aspect of a bad habit, prevention, smoking can be prevented in early childhood with the help of proper education and social norms (Brinkman et al 689). Many people start smoking when they are teenagers just to prove they are adults in companies. If the society was able to produce a negative impression of this bad habit, so that it doesn’t seem to be sign of being an adult, it would be easier to prevent many children from smoking (Albaum et al 11).

The last aspect of a bad habit is a cure for it. Smoking can be cured in many different ways. There are many different techniques, starting from a nicotine plaster and ending with special clinics and communities helping people to get rid of this problem. If a person wants to quit, he or she has various options to help him or her to solve this problem. To conclude, smoking is a bad habit that can be easily quitted. Although there is an addiction to smoking, the lack of nicotine is not dangerous to the life of a smoker and can be handled without medical intervention. The most important aspect of this bad habit, which actually makes a habit, is that it can be quitted with the help of willpower. Moreover, it can be prevented with alteration of attitude towards smoking and it can be cured in many different ways (Albaum et al 23).

Despite widespread public awareness of the multiple health risks associated with smoking, one out of every four girls under age 18 is a smoker and more than 25 million American women smoke. Whereas the last two decades have seen an overall decrease in smoking prevalence, the rate of smoking has declined much more slowly among women than among men. If current trends continue, smoking rates of women will overtake those of men by the year 2000. Smoking rates are highest, approaching 30%, among women of reproductive age (18–44 years). Rates of smoking are particularly high among young White women with a high school education or less and low income. Cessation rates are lower among African American women (30% have quit) compared to White women (43% have quit). Minority and young women who have low rates of self-initiated cessation are also underrepresented in formal smoking cessation programs (Gilman and Zun 87). A greater proportion of women than men are pre-contemplators, that is, not considering quitting smoking within 6 months and have lower self-confidence that they could quit if they were to try. The debate continues regarding whether or not women are less likely to be successful at quitting when they try than men, with some evidence suggesting that women are more likely than men to relapse and others indicating no gender differences). Regardless, rates of relapse are very high, both among self-quitters and those who participate in formal cessation programs (Albaum et al 24).

Interventions specifically designed for smokers have attempted to address the role of weight concerns as an inhibitor to cessation and long-term maintenance. A randomized trial tested nicotine gum or a behavioral weight control program each alone, or in combination as adjuncts to an intensive group cessation intervention for weight concerned women smokers. The intervention integrated accepted cognitive and behavioral coping strategies for quitting smoking, changing eating behaviors, and developing a walking program.

Works Cited

Albaum, G., Baker, K.G., Hozier, G.C., Rogers, R.D. Smoking Behavior, Information Sources, and Consumption Values of Teenagers: Implications for Public Policy and Other Intervention Failures. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 36 (1), 2002: 5-55.

Brinkman, M.C., Callahan, P.J., Gordon, S.M., Kenny, D.V., Wallace, L.A. Volatile Organic Compounds as Breath Biomarkers for Active and Passive Smoking. Environmental Health Perspectives, 110 (7), 2002, p. 689.

Gilman Sander L. and Xhou Zun. Smoke: A GlobalHistory of Smoking. Reaktion Books; illustrated edition edition, 2004.

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