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Why Are You Smoking

Smoking is killing you and the people around you. Most say that they can quit anytime, but can they? Are they addicted? The list of health risks associated with smoking goes on and on. Some say that secondhand smoke is worse than puffing on the cigarette itself. Children today watch parents indulge in the habit and see it on the big screen all the time. More so now then before, underage smoking has become a real issue.

The Addiction

Seventeen million Americans try to quit smoking each year. But more than 15,000,000 are unable to exercise that choice because they can not break their addiction (Kessler). The nicotine delivered by tobacco products is highly addictive. The pharmacoligic (chemical / physical) effects and behavioral process that contribute to tobacco addictions are very similar to those that contribute to addiction to drugs such as heroine and cocaine (Siegel). The average cigarette contains 8.4 milligrams of nicotine and 15 milligrams of tar. Tobacco smoke also has as many as 4,000 other naturally occurring gases, particles and compounds, including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen cyanide, traces of arsenic and carcinogens.

Cheap Custom Essays on Why are you smoking?

When inhaled, nicotine stimulates your central nervous system. The chemicals in a cigarette move to your brain through your bloodstream, causing a rise in blood pressure and heart rate, and reducing sensitivity to pain and stress. People begin to rely on cigarettes for what they

believe to be stimulation, relaxation or just plain old stress relief. Your body becomes chemically addicted to nicotine and the more you smoke the more difficult it is to quit.

Health Risks of Smoking

What smokers have not come to terms with is that if they continue smoking, the probability of developing one or more of the major complications is 100% (Harrison). Smoking can cause numerous diseases, such as lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and coronary heart disease. These three are the major causes of death for smokers. It also causes cancer of the lips and mouth, emphysema, cancer of the larynx, oral cavity and esophagus. Basically, every part of the human body is affected by the chemicals you take in from a cigarette.

Even with all the risks involved some people just do not care. After surgery for lung cancer, almost half of the smokers resume smoking. Among smokers who suffer a heart attack, 8% resume smoking while they are still in the hospital. Even when a smoker has his or her larynx removed, 40% try smoking again.

Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand smoke is also a serious problem. Ten years ago secondhand smoke was seen as a minor irritation that would make some people uncomfortable. Recent studies now suggest that for some people, secondhand smoke can be deadly. In 1, the Environmental Protection Agency released its long awaited report assessing the health risks of other people’s cigarette smoke � “Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS).” Their conclusion ETS causes ,000 cases of lung cancer annually in nonsmokers; it is responsible for hundreds of thousands of cases of bronchitis and pneumonia in children; and it induces or worsens asthma in up to one million young

Americans (Whelan). Passive smoking also causes a host of nonfatal health problems, such as burning eyes, hoarseness, throat irritation, sneezing, headache and nausea.

We take in the same poisons from the secondhand smoke that the smokers inhale. In fact, the smoke that is not inhaled may contain higher amounts of these poisons. This is because the inhaled smoke is burned at a higher temperature that destroys some of the toxins, and it is filtered. Fortunately, many companies are responding to the dangers of secondhand smoke. Smokers are asked to leave the building to smoke or to go to designated areas away from the workplace. Many cities have banned smoking from restaurants, workplaces and other public places.

Underage Smoking

Kids today look at smoking as the “in” thing to do. They see family, friends and even big movie stars doing it. Many young people begin smoking as an act of rebellion and independence. Many things have been done to try to prevent tobacco use by children and youths. In the United States, it is now illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18. More the 80% of the people that have ever tried a cigarette, smoked their first cigarette before the age of 18. Over half of the students in high school who currently smoke usually purchase their cigarettes from a retail store, vending machine, or through another person who purchases cigarettes for them.

The Synar Amendment is a Federal Law enacted in July 1. It requires states to enact and enforce laws restricting the sale and distribution of tobacco products to youths under the age of 18. FDA rules are designed to make it more difficult for minors to purchase tobacco products. The rule reduces youth access by requiring age verification by photo ID for anyone under the age of 7 purchasing tobacco products and banning vending machines and self service displays except

in adult only facilities where children are not allowed, such as certain nightclubs inaccessible to anyone under 18.

Time to Quit

Starting is always easy, but quitting is a whole different ball game. Many smokers need several attempts at quitting before succeeding. The American Lung Association gives seven steps to start a smoke free life

Step 1 Understanding Your Habit and Addiction

Why do you smoke?

How to identify your smoking triggers.

Step Build Your Motivation to Quit

How to gain the resolve to change your behavior.

Identify your personal reasons for quitting.

Step Develop Your Quitting Plan

How to personalize a quit program that suits your needs.

Are nicotine replacement therapies right for you?

Step 4 Prepare for Your Quit Day

How to break up habits.

Dealing with temptations.

Getting the cooperation you need.

Step 5 Quit

What a nonsmoker should anticipate.

How to successfully manage the first 4 hours.

You planned your work � now work your plan.

Step 6 Fighting Temptations � The First Two Weeks

How to stick with your plan.

Emergency treatment to recover from a relapse.

Fight your inner culprit.

Step 7 Staying Focused � The First Six Months

The difference between urges and thoughts.

Using your new coping skills.

How to deal with weight gain.

How you can reward your achievement.

The longer one smokes, the harder it gets to quit. Smoking is one to the most addictive of human habits. One has to quit every day, and there are no magic pills or crutches that make stopping easy. It is tough to do. Only those who keep trying ever quit, and even those who have smoked for only a short time or few cigarettes a day will probably find it difficult to stop. The sooner a smoker makes this self-commitment, the more probable it is that he or she will quit before having done major damage to the body.

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