Cigarette smoking poses serious health risks to anybody who uses them and is a leading contributor to preventable illness or deaths in the world today. According to the American Lung Association (2015), diseases related to smoking claims 443, 000 lives of Americans each year. Some of the diseases caused by cigarette smoking include: lung, heart, and pregnancy related health problems among others.
Personally, I usually smoke two to three cigarettes every few days. This means that I am almost just like a regular smoker. I started smoking as a result of curiosity. I used to see people smoke and I wanted to experience for myself how it feels to smoke. Starting with a cigarette weekly, I found myself smoking almost regularly as days passed by. Cigarette smoking makes me feel relieved after having a long day of stress. Blowing the smoke in the air relieves my nerves and reduces stress levels. I do smoke in the house or when partying with friends. On the other hand, cigarette smoking makes me feel guilty because I am aware of the serious health risk it poses such as lung cancer. Moreover, I sometimes feel my mouth smells when talking to others after smoking and this also makes me guilty. Changing from this behavior would definitely have a positive impact on my life because I would reduce the risk of contracting smoke related diseases and save on money spent on buying these cigarettes.
The main factors that make me smoke are work and stress. After work, I always feel like smoking as a means to recollect on the duties done at the work place. In work places, people encounter various activities. For example, some work days are sometimes characterized by work overloads. Furthermore, overtime or other unavoidable circumstances such as sitting in for a sick workmate are also contributing work factors. After such encounters, I usually feel like smoking just to get my mind off work. Stress issues relate obligations that I must fulfill in my daily life. For example, ensuring my younger brother lives a good life. Other stress matters include bad encounters with work mates during working hours. For example, workmate confrontation as a result of misunderstanding causes stress. Cigarette smoking usually relieves me from such stress.
Cigars and cigarette smoking is beneficial to me in terms of relieving stress and enjoyment. As discussed above, smoking mainly relieves my nerves when I am stressed making more relaxed and calm. This means that after a long stressful day, I smoke a few cigarettes or cigars to loosen up my mind and try to forget hectic workdays. Furthermore, smoking gives a form of enjoyment when puffing with other smokers. During such experiences, I usually just feel like I am very comfortable and having pleasure when smoking with other colleges. Moreover, discussions of concerning smoking such as quitting or comparing cigarette brands usually arise. This means that such smoking sessions provide me with happiness more so when smoking in a group or with friends.
On the other hand, cigarette smoking is characterized by various health problems. According to National Cancer Institute, cigarette smoking causes cancer such as those of the lung, throat, mouth, stomach, cervix, esophagus, kidney, and pancreas among others. Smoking also causes heart diseases like stroke, hypertension, pulmonary diseases, cataracts, and hip fractures among others. This means that smokers like me are at very high risks of contracting these smoking related illnesses. Furthermore, smoking has various harmful effects on the body. Premature skin wrinkling, reduced taste and smell abilities, high risk of blindness and gum diseases. This means that an addicted cigarette smoker usually lacks taste in food. Other researches show that cigarette smoking also cause infertility in men such as erectile dysfunction (National Cancer Institute). As discussed above, smoking definitely has serious health issues on human health and has leads to the loss many human lives annually.
There are various ways that can be used to quit smoking. Use of nicotine replacement therapies, keeping the mind busy, reducing the number of cigarettes smoked gradually, and cognitive behavioral techniques are some helpful ways of quitting smoking (Robinson & Smith, 2015). Nicotine replacement therapies involve cigarette replacement with new nicotine substitutes like nicotine patch or gum. Such a measure delivers steady nicotine doses to a smoker eases withdrawal symptoms. Apart from trying the above cigarette quitting measures, I would personally keep my mind busy as an alternative behavior. This means that I will read books, magazines or play mind games such as puzzles. Additionally, playing online games, meditating and taking deep breath exercises would also be a measure in ensuring my mind is kept busy.
Factors such as coworkers, friends, family members, alcohol and cigarette availability are some of the factors that could hinder withdrawal from this behavior (Robinson & Smith, 2015). Coworkers hinder this behavior in the sense that when they smoke around me during work breaks, I will feel the urge to smoke. Similarly, the same circumstance applies to family members and friends. In most cases, people tend to smoke after taking alcohol. This could hinder my behavior because I sometimes go to party with friends. Furthermore, the presence of cigarette packets in my house and workplace would be contributing factors in hindering me from quitting cigarette smoking.
The above factors can be addressed in various ways. In relation to alcohol, switching to non-alcoholic drinks would go a long way in solving this issue. Additionally, drinking in places where cigarette smoking is prohibited would equally be important in tackling this issue. Making friends, workmates, family, or any other social circle aware that you want to quit smoking would help in moving towards a more positive behavior. For example, spending time with non-smokers in the workplace during coffee or tea breaks would address this issue. Furthermore, doing exercises such as pushups or yoga can help relieve stress and positive contribute towards embracing positive behaviors.
Some of the resources that can help in facilitating behavioral change include usage of smoke free apps, quit meter and various smoking sites such as Acufinder.com, American Cancer Society and the Maryland Medical Center among others (Robinson & Smith, 2015). Smoke-free apps enable users to download free application that contain useful tips and procedures of quitting smoking. Similarly, the smoking sites provide ways of dealing with addiction and alleviation of withdrawal symptoms. For example, the American Cancer Society provides ways of tackling physical or mental addiction.
The period for my behavior change would be one month. During this period, I would involve myself in the above-discussed measures to help me quit this behavior. I would begin by removing all tobacco products in my home and work place. This exercise would involve throwing ashtrays, lighters and any cigarette pack in the house or workplace. The subsequent weeks would involve attending counseling sessions such as those related to nicotine replacement therapies. The use of the above resources would also be incorporated within this period.
In conclusion, cigarette smoking is very harmful and poses serious health concerns as discussed above. Therefore, it is important to use any helpful resource or help to stop such negative behaviors. Motivation through reward and brushing the teeth whenever a craving is triumphed could also be additional factors in quitting smoking.
American Lung Association (2015). General Smoking Facts. Retrieved from http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/about-smoking/facts-figures/general-smoking-facts.html
National Cancer Institute. Harms of Smoking and Health Benefits of Quitting. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/causes-prevention/risk/tobacco/cessation-fact-sheet
Robinson, L., & Smith, M. (2015). How to Quit Smoking. Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/articles/addiction/how-to-quit-smoking.htm