Human beings develop behavior in the process of socialization; sometimes what begins as a habit ends up in being an anti-social behavior and/or addiction. Some antisocial behaviors that are developed from socialization and peer pressure include smoking, alcoholism, and substance abuse. I was born and brought up in a God fearing family, where my parents were strict to instill discipline and good behavior in their children.
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However , when adolescent, I was influences by my high school peers and began smoking despite it was unacceptable in my family. In the first months I ensured that none of my family member knew my new behavior as it would have caused havoc in my life.
After two years of smoking, I had become an addict; although I hated my behavior, I never got the courage to stop it. This paper illustrates a personal quitting smoking strategy that I have adopted during the last month.
I was introduced to smoking by my friend when was in my level two secondary school, previously I had observed people in my neighborhood smoking and I always condemned them.
My first cigarette smoking occasion happened at a party with my friends who were smokers, as they shared around of smoke ( “a round of smoke according to the friends was sharing one cigarette as a group”), I was booed when I was about to let the smoke past me. With the booing, I felt as if I might not be accepted by the peers again, thus I smoked for the first time.
As time went by and we continued to engage in social activities with the smoking friends, I became used to the act to a point I would buy the cigarettes and give them. By the time I was finishing my secondary diploma, I was a chain smoker and never feared who saw me smoking. I have been arrested for smoking in public/forbidden places three times.
When smoking, someone feels a change in his mind; nicotine has the ability to get into the brain and create a pleasant feeling to the smoker. When faced with a challenging situation, smokers opt to have a sip then decide on the way forward; this shows that someone has already become controlled by the substance.
When under the influence of something, the nature of human beings is that they can hardly make sound decisions. Thus, smokers make substandard decisions; this is the risk for health associated with smoking.
Smokers are at high risk of contracting lung cancer and other related diseases. It is through wide research and appreciation of the negative effects of smoking on my health, social life, and economic status that I have decided to quit smoking. From the research I have undertaken, I have realized it might be challenging to stop the behavior at once but quite possible with some consistent actions and if I have the will.
To change behavior is not an easy task, it involve a lot of commitment, prayers, hard-work, and consistency. The first step that I have undertaken was to accept that smoking is an antisocial behavior that I could change; to change the behavior I first got into books, literature, and the internet materials that discussed various attributes of smoking.
For instance, there are numerous materials and confessions that people have posted on the internet regarding how they managed to quit smoking. From the wide literature, it has come clear that quitting smoking would be gradual and involve a lot of commitment.
With the realization, I analyzed the situation, times, and occasions that I smoke; although I am an addict, there are places that I realized I must smoke when in them. For instance, when in a party or in a club, I can hardly control myself, I find myself smoking.
The next step is to understand the kind of friends that I maintain, smoking friends are likely to have an easy solution to my thirst, they are likely to share me their cigarettes and the behavior continues.
With the realization of the friends, I seek to observe their behavior in terms of, when do they smoke, where are they likely t smoke, among others. With the above understanding of my social class and peer friends, I was able to create a plan to avoid them in the instances that they were smoking.
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To start with, I noted that I had to smoke in the morning, I smoked when resting in the bed after a long sleep. With the new efforts to change the behavior, I always ensure that when I have woken up, I don’t stay idle in the bed, I get out of the bed fast and go to my gym.
After the gym, I ensure that I have breakfast with my family so that a thought about smoking does not get into my mind. When heading to college, I ensure that I don’t get in touch with my smoking friends; mostly I switch off my phone to avoid them calling me for a meeting; I have ensured that my days are packed with activities.
During the day when I have free time, for example in break time, I get into the nearest library or a no smoking zone, when in the place, I cannot see a cigarette being sold and neither can I find someone smoking that I can get the urge to smoke. In the event from a distance smell a smoker, I change my route to avoid meeting with him.
With the efforts, I found myself reducing the number of cigarette smokes from twenty to two within duration of one month. The two smokes that I was taking were when I was getting severe head ache which I interpolated and it was caused by lack of nicotine in the brains.
I am looking forward to change the behavior completely during the next month.. Smoking is an addictive behavior that has been described as one of the challenging behaviors to quit.
From the experience that I have gotten during that one month of practicing quitting smoking, I noted numerous benefits to my health, social environment, and economic status. When talking to people I do not mind that my mouth is stinking of cigarettes. I talk confident and my self esteem has boosted. I have realized that smoking had a negative effect on my teeth, currently, my teeth becoming whiter and they feel stronger.
Although changing the habit has been challenging, I have decided to stand with my decision and make sure I remain accountable for every action that I undertake. The major challenge is how to avoid my smoking friends or how to make them appreciate and support me in my decision. When in social occasions, it has become a challenge coping with my smoking friends as they expect me to be smoking.
Cigarettes adverts are also a challenge I have to fight; they seem to know how to persuade and create the urge to smoke. Marketing and advertisements are crucial parts in selling of a company’s products; it creates awareness and are used as a tool to enlarge a company’s market base; thus cigarette manufacturing companies have created adverts that are really challenging.
In the tobacco sector, different people have their own tastes that they seem to be loyal and persuading a customer to shift to ones products needs a lot of energy and use of resources. On the other hand, it is more ethical to persuade customers leave their smoking behavior instead of persuading them to change brands.
The main challenge that I have faced in my efforts to quit smoking is the effect of addiction; there are times that I feel restless and suffer severe headache. When restless or having the headaches, I can hardly avoid smoking. My smoking friends are another challenge that I have to cope with, they have continued to discourage me; they mock me around and keep telling me it’s for a period then join them.
Changing one’s behavior is a challenging task; it calls for commitment, sacrifice, consistence, accountability, and having the will to change. Smoking is an addictive behavior that has been described as one of the challenging behaviors to quit. I have decided to change the behavior within a period of two months; I believe it will be possible with a self-drive and discipline.