Quit Smoking Term Paper

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Quitting Smoking

What obstacles do you anticipate you will encounter while making this behavioral change?

First, I will experience intense cravings. The cravings will be almost unbearable, as I know from my previous experiences with trying to quit and also from hearing about the experiences of others. I might have trouble concentrating. I might become consumed with the desire to smoke. I will feel tired and run-down and will remember how cigarettes can be a good pick-me up. Therefore, my brain will constantly trick me into thinking that quitting is a bad idea. I will hear rationalizing thoughts such as that cigarettes are necessary for stress relief, relief of boredom, or relief of hunger pains. Cravings might also manifest physically: in the form of headaches or general malaise.

Second, I will be bombarded with imagery that reminds me of smoking. Advertisements and seeing other people smoke will be the toughest, but just smelling smoke in the air will remind me of smoking and trigger a craving.

Third, I might start to eat more because of the need for oral gratification. The eating more could lead to weight gain and the weight gain might seem worse than the smoking habit. That will be a difficult obstacle to overcome, especially if I start noticing the extra pounds.

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Fourth, I may experience negative feedback from some friends, coworkers, and family members. Some people might tell me that I should just enjoy life and not worry so much about quitting. They will remind me that many people who quit end up with health problems unrelated to smoking and that I might as well enjoy life. They might also mention that some smokers live to be 100 and so might I. Other people might discourage me by saying that I'll never be able to quit, that so many people try to quit and can't and that why did I think that I was going to succeed? Other people who smoke might be jealous and therefore discourage me from quitting.

Week 2: Review ONE recent research article you did not include in your original search. Your review need to be more than 1-2 paragraphs of this week's journal entry

Term Paper on Quit Smoking Assignment

In " Intentions to quit smoking change over short periods of time," authors Hughes, Keely, Fagerstrom, & Callas studied a sample of 115 American and Swedish smokers. The participants were asked to undergo a similar program I am right now: a Stages of Change (SOC) questionnaire about where they were at mentally in terms of their desire and readiness to quit. The researchers intervened with the smokers either twice during the course of one month (after thirty days); or four times (once per week). The findings show that our motivation levels to change an undesirable behavior fluctuate greatly. It would be interesting to see what life events were causing the different attitudes toward smoking in these participants. Perhaps during increased periods of stress, the individuals felt less like quitting. Perhaps they felt more like quitting when exposed to information about smoking or after a healthy day of hiking. Regardless, I would like to read more about the reasons people fluctuate with their intention or desire to quit smoking so I can apply that information to my life.

The research article also illustrated some potential pitfalls I might notice during the course of my behavioral change program. During the planning phase, which I am in now, I do notice that some days I feel more positive than others. There are days that I either do not feel capable of quitting or simply lose my desire to quit altogether. For example, I still take some pleasure in smoking and feel anxious or negative about the behavioral change. I wonder if I will feel any better after the change and wonder how worthwhile it is. The very next day my attitude might shift so that I am feeling energized and motivated. I would like to keep a more detailed journal of my thoughts and feelings about smoking so that I notice when and why my intentions shift. The journal entries might help me during later stages of change such as during the maintenance phase when I am working more on keeping myself smoke-free.

Week 3: An analysis of how you acquired the undesired behavior and what has fostered it in your life.

A acquired my smoking habit mainly by watching others and emulating them. My friends smoked and some of my family members smoke. I watched people smoke on television shows and movies. Smoking seemed normal, and in many ways too it seemed "cool." The behavior was normalized; so many people smoked as if it were as natural as eating and so I started to believe that and adopt the behavior.

Gradually smoking became an uncontrollable habit. At first I smoked occasionally and believed that I had it under control. After many years it became apparent that it was not a controllable habit and that I was addicted. However, I still reaped pleasure from smoking. I felt good when having a smoke with friends as if it were an excuse to chat and socialize. Smoking helped break up the workday because I had an excuse to go outside. Similarly, going out for a smoke was a good way to get some "fresh air" when going out. Because so many other smokers were congregating and chatting, smoking seemed like a social activity. Smoking also fostered a sense of invincibility in me as I started to believe that I would never be one who would get sick from it. Smoking offered me temporary feelings of well-being, a pick-me-up during a busy day, a way to pass the time while waiting in a long line. Pretty soon it became apparent that smoking was fostering far more negative than positive issues in my life: including fear of illness, difficulty breathing, coughing, and increased social isolation as smoking has grown out of favor with many people and is a banned behavior in many public places. Therefore, smoking has altered my identity, led me into social situations and interactions with people who I might not have known otherwise, and has changed my standards of health. I realize now that I might have missed out on romantic relationships with people who will not date smokers. Realizations like these are impacting my desire to change.

Week 4: How has this change influenced your self-image?

The change from being a smoker to being a non-smoker will boost my self-confidence like nothing else I have done before. If I can quit and stay smoke-free the rest of my life I will feel like I can accomplish anything and therefore the change will have a positive impact on my self-image. Just the fact that I have come this far in developing my plan to quit proves to myself that I am willing and capable of positive change. I already feel better about myself.

My self-image is also changing in deeper ways as a result of visualizing myself as a non-smoker. I have spent so long seeing myself and projecting myself as a smoker that smoking has become part of my identity. Surrendering that identity will take hard work but I am already in a transitional phase that is helping me make that change easier. Progressing through the stages of change, I am coming to see at least the possibility of a new, non-smoking me. Soon, I will embrace that new me so fully that it will seem antithetical to everything I am to pick up a cigarette. At that point I will have become a non-smoker.

In the meantime, the changes are already affecting my self-image. I am smiling more and seem happier. The increased joy I feel is leading to more positive self-image in other areas of my life including work and social life. The boost in self-esteem is leading to my feeling more capable of changing and performing well in other areas of my life. I also believe I will attract new people and situations into my life that better reflect who I am as a non-smoker.

Week 5: How has this behavioral change changed your social interactions?

My social interactions have changed dramatically already, even just be being in the planning and preparation stage of the change. Some of the people who I have told about quitting are also investigating the best methods for them to eliminate smoking from their lives. I have entered into deeper conversations with people I normally might not have: discussion about health, death, and the illness of family members seems to come up a lot when telling acquaintances or total strangers about my decision to quit. We also have philosophical discussions about the nature of habits, addictions, and happiness. I have discussed more meaningful issues with people instead of stuffing my mouth with a cigarette.

With close friends and family members the effects of this change are more significant. People who were normally keeping quiet about how they felt about my addiction to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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