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Bribery: The End to Smoking Addiction?

Addiction to anything is a powerful force that often ruins lives, and in some extremes, takes lives. Smoking cigarettes is one of the worst of the type of things you can be addicted to. The reason for this is that usually when people get addicted to something, such as the television, a video game, exercise, or driving, it is purely a psychological connection to it that causes someone to feel good during those actions, and needs a strong shake in order to be broken. However, with cigarettes, there is actually an agent in their production which makes people crave more of them. That being nicotine. Since all the research done on cigarettes proving that they cause lung cancer, yellow teeth, significant reduction in performance to exercise, and the amount of money being spent adding up every year, people have been wanting to stop. Companies out there have developed products that are supposed to help smokers with their addiction, such as nicotine patches, nicotine gum, and even water vapour Cigarettes with no actual nicotine in them, with the idea being to put something in the smoker’s hand so it makes them feel like they are still smoking. There are even programs which have been developed where a group of people enter a contest and are able to win a rather large sum of money if they are able to not smoke a cigarette for a certain measured period of time. However, there is one option being introduced recently which seems to be the most effective by far in terms of getting people completely off of the dreaded cancer sticks.

This method takes the idea of the money reward for quitting smoking to another level. The way this works is that if people who enter the program to win the money if they stop smoking smoke, they not only lose the chance to win the money, but they also lose a sum of their own. So let’s say we have a group of ten people, that each put two hundred dollars into a pool, that’s a two thousand dollar prize! Whoever reaches the time they choose without smoking gets the money, and if there is more than one person who reached the time, of course the money is split evenly. However, if you smoke in this scenario, you not only lose the chance to win the two thousand dollars, but you also lose the two hundred that you put in and you do not get it back.

Studies explain that the reason why programs like these that bribe the contender to another extent versus the other type of competition are more effective because there is one thing that is almost as powerful as addiction, that being a human’s desire to not lose money precariously. Through multiple uses of programs like these, many people have since quit the habit of smoking.

I am usually not a fan of bribing people usually, as I would rather see someone do something for personal reason or because they simply want to do it, but this is an exception. I personally like the idea of bribing someone in this particular way if it means they quit smoking, because smoking is a dangerous habit that puts people in a situation where death comes closer and closer with each passing day, and if bribing someone can save their lives or make their lives more enjoyable, then I say go ahead and bribe them. Having someone take that much longer to quit a habit that brings them closer to death because they chose to do it for personal reasons and not for the sake of not losing money is not worth it to me at all. I honestly feel bad for people who got caught in the seemingly harmless trend thirty years ago and now it has become a part of their everyday lives. I also like programs like these because before these were introduced, people would act like they were helpless in terms of quitting, but the moment someone says “Well what if I gave you one thousand dollars? Or what if you were to lose one thousand dollars if you didn’t? Would you do it then?” then they immediately say yes. Well, now they have got no where to run. There are many programs out there that offer cash prizes for those who are successful, now all the smokers need are a little willpower and backbone.

About Kerry Dennison

Kerry Dennison

Kerry is a person who enjoys writing & storytelling. When he’s not writing, you can either find him playing Mario Kart wii with his friends or spending time in the gym, as gaming and powerlifting are other hobbies of his.
Contact Kerry: kerry.dennison@youthindependent.com