Recent draft: Research proposal on smoking cessation

Topic: Research proposal on smoking cessation


            The issue of smoking has been considered one of the many challenges affecting both the developed and developing nations. It has been ranked one of the propounding challenges affecting the economic development of countries in the 21st century (Andy et al. 10). Smoking as behaviour can be practised by people of all ages and different walks of life. However, the reason as to why it has raised international concern is the increase in number of young people engaging in smoking behaviour across the globe. Statistics indicate that smoking behaviour is prevalent among the youth who account for more than 60% of most countries population. It has been affirmed that 90% of the youths are below the age of 25 years. It is estimated that about 85% of youths in the middle and tertiary colleges started smoking before they had attained the age of 20 years. It has been established that 45% of them started smoking below the age 15 years, 35% below 13 years and 20% below 12 years respectively (Andy et al. 10). Over the years, the number of youths engaging in smoking behaviour has on the increase thus raising the concern from all involved parties to address the issue before the issue gets out of hand to contain.

            According to the recent report by the National Survey on Drugs Use and Health affirm that more than 3800 youths start smoking before attaining the age of 18 years and this translates to 700,000 smokers per year. In 2009, the report released by National Commission on Drug Free indicated that youths in learning institutions consume more than two billion packets of cigarettes and other tobacco related products annual (Andy et al. 24). In 2010 a study by Department of Control Diseases indicated that more than 75% of smokers preferred to smoke three main brands of cigarettes. These includes; Camel, Marlboro and Newport. For the past two decades, smoking rate among the public has been decreasing steadily following massive public campaigns on the effect of smoking. These preventive initiatives have been organized by non-governmental agencies and governmental organizations thus decreasing the smoking rate by 20%. The decrease in smoking rate among the public has decreasing gradually following the implementation of various measure but it has been counteracted by an increase in smoking among students in high school and tertiary colleges(Smith 14). The trend has continued to increase until today despite the government and other agencies efforts to address the challenge of smoking.

            Smoking behaviour has great impacts on the health of an individual and society at large. This effect has promoted countries across the globe to formulate and implement policies geared towards combating the issue among the youths. Some of the adopted policies includes; enacting laws that prohibits the sale of tobacco products to children below 18 years, imposing restrictive laws on advertisements and placing health warming on packaging materials of tobacco products. These policies have worked to address this challenge to some extend but much need to be done. The main reasons as to why such measures have not effectively combated the challenge of smoking among the youth is because they are not directly linked to the factors that cause smoking and its effects on the people.

            The goal of this piece is to critical investigate the causes of smoking among the youth, its effects and more importantly provide viable recommendations to curb the vice through smoking cessation.

Causes of smoking

            Smoking is not an innate behaviour that one is born with but it is a learned behaviour from the environment. This fact has ruled out the idea that smoking is an attribute of genetics within the family. Studies have shown that there are many reasons that influence individuals to smoke, but the main reasons among youths include the following:

            Peer pressure: The behaviour people exhibit or learn is greatly influenced by their immediate environment and the people they interact with daily. Previous literature postulates that social interactions play a pivotal role in influencing behaviours individuals portray in an event or an action. The bottom line behind this predisposition is the fact that the utility an individual obtains after executing an action is measured by the response of other people in a peer group. This implies that youths engage in deviant behaviours such as smoking so that they can be accepted in peer groups. In order to be fully integrated in such groups, one is supposed to conform to norms and values of the group. It is also assumed that if a given behaviour is common among group members, there is a high probability that one will conform to the same behaviour. This articulates that most youths are influenced through peer pressure to engage in smoking and not through their own choice.

Influence of Media

Media plays a crucial role in facilitating economic development in the 21st century. It has created a conducive platform for generation of ideas, innovativeness as well as inculcates a culture of creativity among the youth. The influence of media has become prevalent with the advancement in science and technology coupled with internet availability across the board.   Companies over the years have continued to advertise their products and services with the sole aim of increasing their sales volume. Through the media they have managed to target potential consumers to their products, form alliances and partnership with other companies as well as maintain their image and reputation (Smith 8). In a similar respect, tobacco industries have involved media in marketing their products to the public especially among the youth who form a larger population in the society. Tobacco industry has also involved the use of social networking sites such as faceBook and Twitter to continue creating awareness among the consumers. The features in the advertisement are attractive to the youths in because they tend to use certain celebrities that are linked by most youth thus making them purchase the products. The youth are sensitive to any information disseminated through the media and as such they are compelled to buy cigarettes thus leading to smoking.

Depression and Stress from the environment

Youths are faced with many challenges ranging from economic, political, social and academic issues one of the issues that is contributing to high level of stress among the youth is the lack of employment. The issue of unemployment has been declared an international concern because most youths in both developed and developing nations are unemployed  (Smith 12). The main reason why unemployment rates are on the increase is because there are less jobs created by the government compared to human labour available in the market. It has been established that more than 45% of students graduating from local universities have no access to employment. The government in collaboration have escalated the issue by only hiring employees with more than five year experienced in a given discipline. This has denied youths a chance to secure employment and exploit their potentials. Based on such predisposition there is a high probability that youths develop psychological problems which later lead to stress and depression. In order to unchain themselves from such predicament, youths resort to smoking of cigarettes and abuse drugs thus affecting their normal life.

Impacts of smoking

There are effects accruing from the act of smoking. Many of the diseases killing young people are associated with the effects of smoking. Cigarettes contain a chemical substance called nicotine that is responsible for addiction (Nardini 23). This component is also responsible for causing cancer and other hearted related diseases. Prolonged use of cigarettes is harmful to the health of an individual because it affects the normal operation of the leaver thus leading to death.

Smoking affects optimal production of an individual at the work place. Many organizations have attributed low employee productivity due to smoking. To resolve this issue, organizations have adopted the use of smoking cessation strategies geared towards helping employees stop smoking.

Proposal for smoking cessation strategies/measures

The act of smoking can only be addressed through the use of effective smoking cessation measures such as the use of individual and group counselling intervention.

Individual and group counselling intervention

Health care practitioners have used counselling in treating many psychological disorders. In this case a psychologists working in collaboration with a doctor organizes for counselling sessions with client to ascertain the root cause of the problem. The counselling session will be divided in three stages namely; relationship formation stage, exploration stage and assessment stage.

Stages of implementation

  1. a) Rapport formation stage: In this stage a psychologists aims at forming mutual relationship with the client through the interaction process. Good rapport between the two parties will great trust and confidentially in the session
  2. b) Exploration stage: In this stage the psychologist will aim at establishing the main cause that compelled clients engage in smoking. Free association method is used to allow clients provide any information that they feel contribute to their current predicament. Additionally, a psychologist decides which therapeutic strategy is suitable to address addiction and smoking. The goal of the counselling is to help clients stop smoking and overcome it in the future.

Checklists are given to clients where they are supposed to record the number of cigarettes they take each day.  They are also to use observation list to countercheck their daily progress when a health care provider is not around. If they exceed a given limit, they are supposed to negatively reinforce their behaviour and vice versa. With time, the addiction level declines thus leading to normal way of living.

  1. c) Assessment stage: This aims at evaluating the outcome of the whole counselling sessions and whether a client is responding to the treatment. If the situation is not changing, new strategies are advocated to help client stop smoking. This stage also provides an opportunity to share experiences among clients if it was group counselling sessions.

Works cited

Andy McEwen, Peter Hajek, Hayden McRobbie, and Robert West. Manual of smoking cessation : a guide for counsellors and practitioners. Oxford Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub, 2006. 

Smith, Patricia. Implementing an inpatient smoking cessation program. Mahwah, N.J: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2006. 

Nardini. Smoking Cessation. Sheffield: European Respiratory Society Journals, 2008. 

Amos A, . “Scottish smoke-free legislation and trends in smoking cessation”. Addiction 103 (11): 18–95, 2008.

Marks . Overcoming your smoking habit: a self-help guide using cognitive behavioral techniques. London: Robinson,2005.

Gonzales D, Redtomahawk D, Pizacani B, Bjornson WG, Spradley J, Allen E, Lees P (2007). “Support for spirituality in smoking cessation: results of pilot survey”. Nicotine Tob Res 9 (2): 299–303.



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