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Smoking Is Not a Compulsion, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 361

Essay

Initial smoking is voluntary but over time, the regular processes of neurotransmission within the reward system of the brain is gradually changed by the continual use of nicotine, making them nicotine addicts. However, there is a considerably large body of empirical evidence that weakens the notion and belief that smokers are physically incapable of quitting. This evidence even shows that other people find the act of quitting very simple and that relapse is purely an individual’s choice rather than compulsion. In a study by Patten and Martin (1996), out of 15 studies that looked into the relationship between the severities of withdrawal symptoms as predictors of quit outcome, only 6 were found to hold this relationship as true (Patten and J E. Martin).

A good example from one of the 9 studies that showed no validity in the relationship, quitters who showed very severe withdrawal symptoms could undergo without a smoke for weeks, while those who showed little withdrawal symptoms lapsed into smoking within hours (Patten and Martin). This only proves the fact that smoking in not a compulsion but rather a choice made by the smoker, and so is the desire and drive to quit.

Despite the known dangers of smoking, smokers still smoke

Before 1964, smoking was one of the cheapest and easiest way to get high legally. One stick could go for as little as 50 cents. Smokers could administer up to 40 fixes in a day while still maintaining a nicotine balance in their bodies that they could handle (Shiffman, Robert West and David Gilbert). In 1964, for the first time, the public was made aware of the dangers of smoking. The link to smoking and lung cancer coupled with heart complications was firmly established. Many took the path to quitting smoking, others ignored the health hazard by choice.

A good example would be the staggering fact that 6 out of 10 doctors in China smoke regularly, while 4% of physicians smoke regularly, 15% of nurses and 20% of other workers within the medical profession. This only points to the fact that despite the well-known, documented and proven dangers of smoking, even the medical practitioners themselves choose to smoke (Shiffman, Robert West and David Gilbert).

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