The Many Causes and Effects of Smoking

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May Hampy
Frances DeMasi Middle School, Marlton, NJ
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Smoking is not a joke, although you see it on T.V., in comics, and maybe right in front of your face! You may see people holding signs saying SMOKING IS DUMB and that's the truth! Seventy-seven percent of people who smoke do it out of stress and peer pressure, but that's no excuse.

As General George Washington said, " Every puff is like a taste of death". In the first half of the twentieth century, movie stars, sports stars and even medical doctors endorsed cigarette smoking. Did you ever take a close look at the bottom of the cigarette box? Well, if you didn't this is what it says: SMOKING MAY CAUSE LUNG CANCER, HEART DISEASE AND MAY ALSO COMPLICATE PREGNANCY. Doesn't it shock you that these tobacco companies are giving you a warning!

I asked a couple of kids in sixth grade what they thought about smoking, and they all said it was stupid and it was a waste of time. But, that's not what an eighth grader said! He said, " It was cool." If he could get a chance, he would try it. Kids today need a chance to learn what smoking is all about and why they shouldn't smoke.

How To Quit

List your reasons for quitting. List personally important reasons such as bad breath, embarrassment in front of the children, and so on.

  • Emphasize immediate benefits. Focus on immediate rewards such as better breath, the morning cough, fresher clothes, and hair.
  • Study your smoking habit. Keep a smoking diary to show when and under what circumstances you smoke (waking up, with coffee, with friends).
  • Plan your quitting. Set a date several weeks in advance and plan ahead.
  • Enlist the help of friends and family. Ask friends to not smoke in your presence.
  • Get rid of all cigarettes and smoking accessories. Get rid of your favorite ashtrays at home and at work.
  • Eat a better diet. Avoid high calorie foods (they give you cravings for cigarettes).
  • Exercise more. Some people quit after they've started jogging, swimming, or any type of sport.
  • Avoid situations linked to smoking. After eating dinner, don't smoke, go for a walk
  • Reward yourself. Use the financial rewards of not spending money on smoking to buy yourself something that you've been wanting.

Information for this essay was obtained from the following books:

Know about Smoking, Hyde, M, Walker and Company, New York 1990.
A Risky Business- Smoking, Prince, Laurence, Morrow Junior Books, New York, 1996.