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Commemorative Speech

In: English and Literature

Submitted By cheezeball
Words 889
Pages 4
Stephen Sung
Speech 100 JC

Commemorative Speech Outline
Joe, a Friend, an Inspiration, a Hero.


Have you ever done something out of peer pressure from a friend or family member?
My friend Joe has. In his case, that something was cigarettes. “According to the American Lung Association, as of 2007 20% of high school students and over forty-six million adults (18+) were current smokers” (Lung). Joe started smoking when he was 14 years old because all of his friends were doing it. He has battled with this addiction for most of his adult life.
So, why is he a hero? For starters I am a current smoker and have been smoking for the better part of eight years. Most importantly, he is an inspiration because he is the only I person I know who has successfully quit smoking. Even though we've been friends for a long time, I had never thought to ask him about why he started and how he was finally able to free himself from his nicotine addiction.

Body (Preview): It started the summer of 1999, the summer before our freshman year of high school.

Joe began smoking cigarettes when he was fourteen years old. A) He was peer pressured into smoking his first cigarette by our mutual friends. 1) He felt that if he turned down the cigarette, he would be ostracized from that group of friends and forced to go through his high school years as a loser. 2) He figured that if had to resort to smoking to survive high school then so be it. B) Through the first couple years of high school, he could get by smoking one or two cigarettes a day. 1) By senior year, smoking had become an addiction, he didn't choose when to smoke, cigarettes made that decision for him. 2)Eventually, his addiction got so bad that his weekly allowance money wasn't enough to cover cigarettes and lunch. a) So he decided to skip lunches entirely. b) When that stopped working, he resorted to stealing money from his mom's purse to feed his habit.

(Signpost): Right around this time he noticed that cigarettes were beginning to impact his health because he was getting winded more easily when we ran during P.E.

He quit for the first time in the summer right after high school and before we began leaving for college. A) For almost three months he didn't smoke a single cigarette. 1) It was a tough three months for his body craved and longed for the sweet nectar of nicotine. 2) He finally gave in mentally when he realized that while everyone he knew from high school was going off to four-year colleges, he was left here with no plan in place. 3) He turned to cigarettes for solace, it was the perfect cure to his depression. B) Just like that, he was back to smoking a pack of Marlboro reds a day again, but vowed he would quit again.

His next attempt to quit occurred in early 2006, this time he seeked professional help. A) Joe signed up for a research group based out of UCSF that provided him with a six month supply of nicotine patches and four cessation counseling sessions. B) He had a major breakthrough during this time because he had finally admitted to himself that smoking was a problem and that he was addicted. C) For the next six months he was clean and on track to a healthier life.

(Signpost): Then his girlfriend left him and he turned to the one thing that always seemed to make him feel better. Cigarettes.

He quit for good in May 2008, as he put it: “I realized it was time to grow up, I have promised I would quit for so long that its becomes a broken record, no more excuses”. (Interview)
A) No more excuses, I love that line the most. 1) Because you rationalize reasons to keep smoking even though you know the consequences of your actions. 2) When you're young, you don't think about the damage that you're causing inside 3) It takes courage to acknowledge what you're doing to yourself and stop it. B) I admire Joe's mental toughness to stave off cravings without the use of any patches or gum. 1) It takes a lot of moxie to quit cold turkey. 2)He taught me that if you stay mentally tough in your desire to quit, you can also defeat your physical cravings and withdrawals. C) He has been an inspiration to me during my efforts to stop smoking by making it seemingly possible.

The greatest advice he gave me was: “At the end of the day, no one can force you to do if you wanna quit smoking you have to do it for yourself by finding your own reasons.”(Interview). He was right, I had tried to quit so many times before, for all the wrong reasons- to please the girlfriend, to win a bet, and to appease my family. But this time, it feels different because his own personal triumph over cigarettes has ignited a spark within me that I didn't know existed and I will never smoke another cigarette again. And it's all thanks to Joe, my friend, my inspiration, my hero!

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