Smoking is inhaling smoke produced by a plant material burning. There is a wide variety of plant materials that are used for smoking and the most common of them are marijuana and tobacco. Of the two, the most widely used in the world is tobacco smoking because it is legal in almost all the countries in the world. Marijuana smoking is illegal in most countries and this has contributed to the fact that not as many people who smoke tobacco smoke marijuana. Tobacco smoking is very addictive because tobacco contains an alkaloid called nicotine which is very addictive. It has the effect of tranquilizing and stimulating and hence it’s one of the most addictive drugs in the world (Backinger, 2008).
The habit of smoking was started by the Native Americans or American Indians and this habit was introduced by Christopher Columbus to European society. From there it quickly spread to the world and today it is smoked all over the world. Some countries have put some restrictions on smoking by coming up with policies of no smoking in public places which have limited the freedom of smoking. Smoking is seen as a very harmful habit that affects both smokers and non-smokers. It is actually one of the leading causes of death and this is because it has many diseases attributed to it; key among them being the deadly lung cancer (Dietz, 2008).
Smoking and health implications
Smoking is one of the leading causes of death in the world today. Smoking is said to contain over four thousand chemicals which most of which pose a threat to smokers for being inductors of various ailments and a contingent of cancers. Smokers are expected to live less than non-smokers to a number of years ranging from 2.5 years to 10 years. The main ailments associated with tobacco smoking are those pertaining to the cardiovascular system and also respiratory system. Smokers are more prone to heart attacks and lung cancer in significant margins than non-smokers. Other ailments include Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), emphysema, and cancer. Cancers range from lung cancer, larynx cancer, and mouth cancer which are reported to affect smokers more than non-smokers (Dietz, 2008).
Smoking is also an indirect cause of many other ailments key among them being pancreatic cancer. Other cancers include kidney cancer, bladder, esophagus, and other cancers. Smoking is also a leading cause of impotency and erectile dysfunction and this is attributed to tobacco-containing chemicals that cause arterial narrowing. Smoking is also a leading cause of birth defects which are reported to happen to children borne of smoking expectant mothers (Abroms, 2008).
In other words, smoking can be said to be the cause of more harm than good to smokers. This is because, scientists have reported that smokers are seldom healthy because if they’re free from long-term diseases which are sometimes terminal, they are suffering from a short-term diseases like common cold and bronchitis. This turn of events has necessitated most smokers to try and quit smoking and sometimes they are unable because they have become addicted to smoking over time. This has prompted scientists to come up with new methods of helping smokers to quit smoking and they are sometimes complicated types of medication that the smokers are subjected to for a period of time before they can successful live without smoking. The key method of success in smoking cessation is through the personal will to quit smoking (Backinger, 2008).
Smoking cessation history
After the Second World War, there was an increased rate of lung cancer and this was alarming even to the medical fraternity of various worlds. Prior to the war, many doctors and physicians died without experiencing any case of lung cancer. The research conducted by scientists revealed that tobacco smoking was the leading cause of lung cancer. Apart from lung cancer, they found out that tobacco was the leading cause of various other diseases and thus in an effort to save the human race from destroying itself, there was an increased call and lobbying for smoking cessation (Kotz, 2008).
The smokers themselves found that their lives were in peril but they could not stop smoking; they were addicts and depended on tobacco to perform their daily duties in a normal way. This brought the scientists back to the task of researching methods and means by which smokers could be helped from smoking without having any side effects on them. Various methods were arrived at, but the most successful one was still through the use of personal willpower to quit smoking. Other methods were arrived at but they proved to be very costly to the individual and so some smokers continued to smoke instead of seeking treatment (Dietz, 2008).
Even today, many people start smoking being aware that they can quit if they feel like it. However, as soon as they are addicted to tobacco, they cannot easily quit and hence the reason for the increased need for medication and counseling. This has brought about the necessity for improved programs of smoking cessations which are not very costly and yet very effective. But the best way of the authorities to deter the people from smoking is coming up with policies which discourage the habit and also which heavily punish offenders of such policies. The study has shown that many countries are adopting the non-public smoking law and this has the effect that many people are limited the freedom of smoking (Abroms, 2008).
Various methods have been arrived at for smoking cessations and they have proved to be very effective although some of them do not cater for long lasting quitting. This is because many people often seek these treatments when they are facing some problems brought about by smoking and once the problems are over, they go back to their old habit of smoking. The governments of various countries have tried warning people of the dangers posed by the habit of smoking but many people do not heed these instructions. Once the people enroll in the smoking treatments or counseling, they spend their money which would have been avoided if they did not start smoking in the first place (Kotz, 2008).
Smoking cessation programs
Studies and research has shown that the most successful method of quitting smoking is through personal will to stop smoking. Other researchers have tried to look into the most effective smoking cessation programs and the came to the conclusion that specialist or counselor behavior support combined with drugs and other related medication are very effective in smoking cessation. This means that the combination of psychological support and medication have produced better results. The medications that have shown better results include replacement of nicotine by medical processes which include patches and chewing gum which have nicotine rigged in them. There is also the nortripline varenicline and bupropion which all are medical methods of replacing nicotine and reducing stress which is one of the major causes of smoking (Kotz, 2008).
Smoking cessation results in a healthier life and a prolonged life. Scientists believe that a cessation in early adulthood will culminate in ten more years of a healthy life while cessation in the sixties can prolong life by three years. Smoking cessation is related by many experts to improved mental health and also an old age with fewer diseases that are associated to old age (Backinger, 2008).
However, there are complications of smoking cessation but they are short term complications. These include anxiety, irritability, restlessness, concentration hardships, depression, infections of the respiratory tract and mouth ulcers. The good thing about these complications is that they cannot last more than four weeks and they are very minute considering the benefits that stand to be reaped by stopping to smoke. The only long-term effect which can be taken care of with ease is gaining of weight and this can be treated easily with exercise. This compared with something like cardiovascular complications and lung cancers which are terminal seems to be better than continuing to smoke, which increases the chances of contracting lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases (Dietz, 2008).
Smoking cessation information and techniques
There are various techniques and services that are offered on an individual level and on a group level. These services and techniques have recorded varied success in helping smokers quit smoking. They employ one or a combination of motivational interviewing, coaching and cognitive behavioral therapy and counseling. There is also the inclusion of pharmacological counseling which is also playing a great part in smoking cessation among smokers.
Many smokers are not successful during the first time and they have to try again for another time or even a couple of times. Sometimes, addicted smokers cannot be able to quit even when they are threatened with a serious smoking related ailment or even when their family members and friends have contracted these diseases (Kotz, 2008).
One of the biggest challenges to smoking cessation is depression and this had acted as a hindrance for many smokers who wanted to quit smoking. There is also the fear of gaining weight and this has also deterred a lot of people from quitting to smoke on the fears based on the ideology that health risks from weight gain is more deadlier than the health risk of smoking (Dietz, 2008).
Modalities of smoking cessation
There are various techniques which have higher chances of helping smokers to quit the habit of smoking. One of these techniques is the ‘Cold Turkey’ quitting which is the abrupt stoppage of the habit of tobacco smoking. This has shown that it has a higher degree of success rather than the gradual technique which is often referred to as stepped-down weaning of nicotine. A large number of people trying to quit smoking use this technique and it has the success of a long term success in smoking cessation (Backinger, 2008).
Another successful technique is the psychological help that is offered to people who are trying to quit smoking. Smoking cessation support and smoking cessation counseling have helped a lot of people who are trying to quit smoking. The providers of these services have also helped in increasing the channels in which their services can be accessed and they have included phone therapy, internet therapy and other forms of therapy offered through various medium. These medium have also helped in enhancing the privacy of the people who are trying to quit smoking and also have in ensuring the privacy is secured (Kotz, 2008).
Another technique that has helped a lot of people who are trying to quit smoking is the nicotine replacement therapy which is often applied for a period of less than eight weeks. They help in eliminating the withdrawal symptoms which include urges and cravings and also depression and stress accrued from withdrawal of the smoking habit. This smoking cessation technique is applied by the use of patches, lozenges, inhalers, sprays and chewing gum which have nicotine replacer. Some of the things used also require the controlled nicotine treatment which has received a lot of criticism and experts say that there are far better ways than using nicotine to help smokers in quitting.
Another technique is the use of the antidepressant bupropion and this is very helpful in terms of taking care of the withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms include urges and cravings and other symptoms like stress and depression which are the major symptoms in smoking cessation. The other drugs that have also been proved to be very effective are nicotinic and varenicline which are sold under the trademarks of Chantix in the United States and Champix in the United Kingdom and other parts of the world (Dietz, 2008).
There is also the introduction of an injection which is administered for several months. It has the effect of priming the immune system in the production of antibodies which prevent nicotine from reaching the brain. It has shown some improvement in some people who have been trying to quit although it is still in the experimentation stage (Kotz, 2008).
Smoking cessation can be a financially constraining practice and it needs the people who are trying to quit have extra expenses. These kinds of people have the constraints because some of the techniques and methods are very costly to be involved in. However, the necessity to quit is of major importance and hence the increased enrollment in such institutions which offer these services to smokers. The risk of contracting a smoking related disease is a threat enough to invest any amount of money in the programs (Abroms, 2008).
Some people who cannot afford these programs of medications may be forced by the need to enroll in a charity funded organization which helps people to quit smoking. The services that are rendered by these services are also costly and hence sometimes it is necessary for the organizations to be affiliated with the government which means that the government has a responsibility of funding the organization. This results from the fact that for the government to cater for the extra expenses brought about by these organizations has to increase the taxation to the citizenry. This means that the expenses incurred in smoking cessations by people who cannot afford them trickle afford them trickle down to the citizens and this is giving the citizens a heavier burden (Kotz, 2008).
Those people who are insured and they want to enroll in any smoking cessation programs also have the financial constraint that they have to pay higher insurance premiums so that the insurance can take care of their expenses when they are undergoing treatment. As a result the whole issue of smoking cessation is very expensive unless if it is through personal will and does not involve any programs which are paid for (Backinger, 2008).
Eventually its sums up to be a lot more cheaper if one did not experiment with tobacco in the first place. Many people are made smokers by the fact that they started by experimenting which is hugely due to peer pressure. After one becomes an addicted smoker, he or she starts looking for an easier way out which in the first place is very costly to quit smoking. It is the view of this study that the best way to quit smoking is not starting to smoke at all. There are a lot of dangers involved in smoking especially the various diseases and complications that are related to smoking (Kotz, 2008).
Physiological effects of smoking cessation
There are a lot of positive physiological effects derived from a smoking cessation program. One of the benefits is that the body immediately starts to get rid of the substances that are brought into the system by smoking. These substances include carbon monoxide and nicotine which are very harmful to the body and pose a threat to the health of any smoker. The lungs also get rid of particulate matters which have accumulated in the lungs. However, the smoker may start experiencing more coughs and this is good because the efficiency of the cardiovascular systems is highly improved (Dietz, 2008).
Most of the smoking cessation effects are considered as landmarks and they are often highlighted by any institution which offers smoking cessation services. These are the effects that a smoker is supposed to focus on and they will help him or her in continuing to be involved in a smoking cessation program. They are varied in nature and include the clearing of nicotine from the bloodstream in a matter of two to three days and clearing the bloodstream of cotinine in a matter of ten days to a fortnight. Other variations of the effects include the improvement of the blood circulation in the body and this cannot be given a definite timescale (Backinger, 2008).
Psychological effects of smoking cessation
Just as is the case with other addictions, smoking addiction also has a psychological effect and trying to quit also brings about other psychological effects as well. Smoking addiction is very much related to the lifestyles that people have adopted on a day to day basis. These lifestyles include eating, mental concentration and usage, alcoholism and caffeine use. The results are that a smoker may increase the chances of not smoking if he is not involved in the day to day activities that he has adopted. This may increase the inherent difficulties during an attempt to smoking cessation. There is also the effect of dopamine response being low and this may make a smoker be depressed as well as somatic response which makes the smoker feel like he or she cannot perform the daily tasks that he is able to perform while smoking (Abroms, 2008).
Another effect is stress may also be witnessed in individuals who have been smoking over a long period of time or heavy smokers. This is because they feel that a part of them have been taken away and thus the resultant stress. It may also be attributed to the feeling by smokers that they will miss the social interaction that was afforded to them by being smokers. However, with time these effects come to subsidize and eventually come to be things of the past (Dietz, 2008).
Smoking cessation is a very important practice because scientists have proved that it may prolong ones life and at the same time it reduces the chance of one being vulnerable to a contingent of health implications as well as other related complication which are brought about by smoking. The paper initially found out that smoking does not involve the tobacco smoking but it involves the inhalation of fumes from burning plant materials and the most common of these is marijuana and tobacco. Due to the legal restrictions of marijuana usage, tobacco smoking is the most common practice among smokers.
Smoking cessation are programs which help smokers to quit the habit of smoking and they involve a lot of programs and it is up to the smoker to choose the one that best fits him. These programs also have costs that accompany them and they are varied with the programs that one chooses. However, the paper found out that the cheapest way of smoking cessation is through personal will to quit the habit as it is free and very effective. It also found out that the best thing to do to avoid such needs in the future life is refraining from using tobacco and other materials that can make one addicted to smoking.
- Abroms, LC; Windsor R; Simons-Morton, B. (2008). Getting young adults to quit smoking: A formative evaluation of the X-Pack Program. Nicotine & Tobacco Research 10(1): 27-33.
- Backinger, CL; Michaels CN; Jefferson, AM; Fagan, P; Hurd, AL; Grana, R. (2008). Factors associated with recruitment and retention of youth into smoking cessation intervention studies: A review of the literature. (Review). Health Education Research 23(2): 359-368.
- Dietz, NA; Delva J; Woolley, ME; Russello, L. (2008). The reach of a youth-oriented anti-tobacco media campaign on adult smokers. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 93(1/2): 180-184.
- Kotz, D; van Litsenburg, W; van Duurling R; van Schayck, CP; Wesseling GJ. (2008). Smoking cessation treatment by Dutch respiratory nurses: Reported practice, attitudes and perceived effectiveness. Patient Education and Counseling 70(1): 40-49.