How Smoking Affects Your Family

Abstract

Cigarettes are a form of drug that usually is made from plants like tobacco. The main content of cigarettes is nicotine like any other narcotic drug (e.g. heroin and cocaine) very addicting. This component of cigarettes has effects on the body and causes its addiction. Consumption of nicotine is harmful not only to the user, but also to the entire family and the society as a whole. Smoking cigarettes is a highly habit forming drug. Smoking involves inhalation of the tobacco smoke having direct influence on the body and, therefore, huge health complications occur. Despite this, tobacco consumption has found a great number of users across the world. It is thus of essence to look into this problem and analyze the worst case scenario of addiction to tobacco. This article establishes the problems an individual's tobacco smoking can affect the health and lives of family members.

Effect on the Family when One Parent is Addicted to Cigarettes

In the recent years nicotine addiction has become a great, unsolved problem of modern society: not only adults smoke, as it used to be in the last century, but it is also easy to meet a teenager in the street who smokes a cigarette. In the past years, more and more people died from lung cancer because they were smoking. It is not easy to give up this habit. That is why many people are using special methods of quitting: they refer to different specialists, doctors and not; they are reading books and taking pills. However, the problem remains. It is proved that smokers are those who cannot realize that they have problems. Most of them think that it is easy to give up, and they can do that every minute. On the other hand, this is one of the symptoms of the addiction refusing the problem. Undoubtedly, there are those who can give up smoking; those who are trying to do that, which visit doctors and try to cure.

This paper is devoted to the problem of smokers and cigarette addiction. As it was mentioned above, adults are those who smoke the most. It is obvious that their children see that and try to copy such behavior. Psychologists have proved that people begin to smoke because they have seen such behavior in the early childhood, and they think that smoking is nice. Some begin to smoke because they saw that their father or mother after a quarrel used to take a cigarette and it seemed that they felt better. Cigarette gives a fake feeling of security while running persons lives. The paper is devoted to the problem of parents who smoke and the influence on their children. The research will be divided into several parts: the first part will be devoted to the problem of how smoking affects the family members; the second part will address the issue of what challenges the entire family goes through when one member of the family is trying to stop smoking; and the third part of the paper will deal with the issue of withdrawal.

The influence of parental smoking on children worries many parents who smoke. The European research team has studied how smoking as a habit is transmitted in the family. According to the results of psychological research, it became clear that, in homes where both parents smoke, the effect of smoking and the possibility of transmission of smoking habits is rather high, especially among persons of the same sex. Father's smoking causes a predisposition to the sons of this pernicious habit. The same rule is true for both mothers and daughters. In an intact family, the effect of maternal smoking on a son or father's smoking on a daughter is relatively lower. In any case, it is clear that passive smoking does not benefit children. Psychological studies were conducted in families where there are both parents and single-parent families (mostly mothers). The likelihood that the son would be smoking if both parents smoke is 24%, but this probability falls to 12% if none parent smokes. The probability that a daughter would smoke if both parents smoked is 23% and it would decrease by 12% if neither of the parents smoked. It is noteworthy that, in single-parent families, maternal smoking as a habit is transmitted to children regardless of their gender. If the mother smokes in a single-parent family, the likelihood that the child will smoke is 32%, and for the daughter 28% respectfully. This study shows that passive smoking is an example of children and parents who smoke increases the likelihood of addiction of smoking in children.

Smoking of one of the parents may cause a child having different diseases. Moreover, it causes traumatization of the family members who are not on good terms with the addict (Frank, 2011). It is proved that if a parent smokes, a child will have flu more often than a child from a family, where parents do not smoke. Moreover, the risk of getting meningitis will rise in several times. Parents might state that a child does not get any of harmful substances because they smoke outside. However, that is not true. There is such a term as passive smoking. Passive smoking is the inhalation of any person to indoor air (less the street), which is tobacco smoke. In this case, the person is poisoning by such substances as nitric oxide, cyanide, nicotine, benzene, carbon monoxide, etc. The harm of passive smoking occurs immediately. When a non-smoker enters a room where it is smoky, he or she immediately begins to cough, or his or her head begins to ache. It is a natural reaction of the body on the smoke. There is an interesting fact: if a person, a non-smoker, is indoors for at least 8 hours and, at the same time, inhales tobacco smoke being a passive smoker, it is equal to if he or she personally has smoked five cigarettes a day. Effects of passive smoking on non-smokers appear almost instantly: it is cough, eye irritation, headaches and dizziness. In some cases, it may be a part of onset emesis. These are all symptoms of intoxication of harmful substances contained in tobacco smoke. Scientists around the world proved that the so-called secondary cigarette smoke increases the risk of passive smokers lung cancer, as well as heart disease, and a possible development of atherosclerosis, or occurrence of asthma. It may also cause poor health to other family members, as the addicts cannot stand not smoking in the home. This causes the family members to be passive smokers and thus their health is directly affected (Henningfield, et al. 2004).

If in a family one of the parents (even worse, if two) smoke near children and ones get a dose of harmful tobacco smoke, such children suffer from colds with the possibility of complications of bronchitis more often. These children have usually lowered immunity. There are frequent complications of the disease at an early age. The children, who are passive smokers, may develop asthma. Percentage of asthmatics were brought up in a family of smokers is much greater than the number of children who grow up in non-smoking families. Just tobacco smoke affects the mental abilities of a child and his development as whole, causes allergies, and even increases the chances of tooth decay.

Another reason is that cigarette addiction is rather expensive for parents. Nowadays, the policy of the country is to fight against cigarette companies and smokers. That is why the price for cigarettes is constantly rising, which means that a child will not get a new toy, but his or her parent will buy cigarettes. It is important to understand that cigarette addiction has more disadvantages than advantages. Thus, there is no need to smoke.

Challenges that the Family Goes through to Have the Parent Stop Smoking

Although smokers state that they can give up smoking every minute they want, and they are not addicted, it is not quite true. They are addicted; however, it is easier to stop smoking than to give up drinking alcohol. In some regions the women are not allowed by society to stop their husbands from smoking, a traditional practice for male members e.g. in Asian cultures (Chaloupka, et al. 2006). Some women do not want their husband to give up smoking because they think he will become aggressive to her or their child. On the other hand, they do nothing to help him. Everybody knows about the harmfulness of smoking, but nobody is trying to help those people. For a wife, it is significant to realize that her husband will give up smoking with her help and offer him such aid. One can stop smoking at once. For some people, it will be easier if they smoke a day before larger than usual number of cigarettes, will create a feeling of safety. If a person can not stop smoking in this way, it is worth trying to do it gradually: to reduce the number of daily smoked cigarettes, the number of puffs of smoke every time, try not to smoke a cigarette or a cigarette to the end.

More than half of smokers who develop myocardial infarction have no desire to smoke at all while in the hospital. Therefore, they do not have the notorious needs. Smoking was a merely external behavioral reflex. Upon recovering and returning to a familiar environment, some, unfortunately, start smoking again in obedience to the established once reflex. Only one-third of smokers appear to have true dependence on tobacco. It is really hard for them to quit on their own. That is why people need help of others, relatives. Their opinion, authority, persuasion are sometimes critical. Sometimes it is necessary to intervening psychiatrist, neurologist, the use of individual and group psychotherapy, hypnosis, drugs.

The nicotine in tobacco is a poison that causes addiction first, and then the morbid desire substance abuse. Thus, at the end, addiction to smoking becomes a disease that manifests itself more strongly: the longer a person smokes, the more tobacco is smoked per day. Yet, even the most avid smoker can permanently give up his or her addiction on one's own or with the help of a doctor. The only important thing is to set oneself psychologically. People who are young and middle-aged can stop smoking right away even if they smoked for a long time and smoked 1-1.5 packs of cigarettes per day. It is recommended for older people to quit smoking gradually: first, cut off half a cigarette or cigarette smoke and their usual number. Next day, one ought to reduce the number of these halves for 10-15 days and bring this it up to 7-10 a day, and then stop smoking at all. It is better quit smoking during the holidays in the resort, in a hike. Everyone around him or her, both at home and at work, should fully support a person who decides to quit smoking. If in the family a few people smoke, it is advisable to stop smoking all together. If there are coworkers who are eager to quit smoking, it is better quit all together. Any attempt to re-take a cigarette, even occasionally, in case almost inevitably leads to the return of smoking in the previous volume. Often contributes to relapse drinking (in a state of intoxication renewed craving to smoke). Therefore, a person, who quits smoking, should refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages. Finally, another important question is in which cases the one who decided to quit smoking needs the doctor's help. This is necessary to be done to get rid of increased nervous irritability, sleep disturbances, anxiety, restlessness, general malaise, palpitations, sometimes arise during withdrawal from tobacco. If there were these side effects, it is time to prescribe medicines that help overcome virtually painless urge to smoke. The findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, show that people are more likely to quit smoking successfully if their friends, colleagues, brothers, sisters or wives will do the same. For example, when one of the spouses is quitting smoking, the second one at 67 percent is more likely to refuse cigarettes, as well. Also, 36 percent of a former smoker's friends, colleagues, and 34 percent of 25 percent of brothers and sisters break up the habit.

Challenges and Transformation when a Person Is Going through the Withdrawal

When a smoker is trying to quit this habit, symptoms of such withdrawal force him or her to smoke again. These manifestations are stronger if the person has being smoking for a long time. This is one of the major reasons which make it difficult for smokers to quit nicotine consuming. There are few issues that accompany this process. The first problem with which one may come across it is a bad cough. At first look, it is strange seemingly since after smoking is quitted, this phenomenon will increase. However, this is a natural way for the lungs to get rid of the toxins accumulated in them. Giving up with cigarettes, a person can also experience a constant desire to eat. This is because the denial of nicotine causes a feeling of constant hunger. That is why many smokers usually gain weight after they quit smoking. It is an advance supply of healthy snacks. Additionally, the resulting output of nicotine dependence decreases blood sugar level particularly during the first three days after the rejection of cigarettes, and then stabilizes for a week. The decrease in blood sugar has a different effect on the body. The most common symptoms are dizziness, confusion, headaches, and a distorted perception of time. When quitting smoking, many are beginning to experience strong cravings for sweets: this is due to the body tries to compensate for the drop in blood sugar. In addition to these symptoms may be such as nervousness, mood swings or depression. One who quits smoking is able to experience insomnia, as well. Sometimes persons suffer the feeling of nausea for some time after quitting this habit, until the body will get used to the new conditions. Quitter should not be concerned about these symptoms, as the body can stabilize itself naturally. The above manifestations usually disappear in no more than seven days. Seldom, they may hold up to one month.

Consequently, there are few stages of quitting smoking:

  • The person initially does not think about quitting smoking
  • Later the person decides to stop but is usually not sure if it is possible
  • With the right assistance and family support, the person decides to quit
  • This leads to them stopping their addiction
  • Most important of all is to quit completely and get over the craving.

Conclusion

The paper has researched the most significant reasons to give up smoking and how cigarette smoking affects the entire family. The point is that the analyzed harmful habit is addiction, and, as every addiction, it should be cured. However, family is the reason to give up smoking and only the family may help to quit. Every smoker is eager to get rid of such a bad habit, but he or she fears that something may go wrong. That is why family support is important in this period. The main idea of the paper was to show the harmfulness of smoking, its effect not only on a smoker, but his or her whole family. Sometimes it is important to demonstrate a smoker what might happen to his or her partner and their child in the future, than to explain him or her how smoking influences his or her own health. Smokers worry about their family; thus, they are willing to give up with cigarettes to make their beloved ones happy and help them stay healthy.