Why Do People Smoke?
Most people are not entirely sure exactly why they started smoking in the first place. It usually happens when the smoker is very young and susceptible to popular cultural messages and imagery, some of which are influenced by advertising. Though tobacco manufacturers and cigarette brands have done their fair share of influencing people to smoke by creating advertising messages and imagery that projected an image of glamour, sophistication, independence, rebelliousness, coolness or whatever quality or virtue appealed to their market segment at that time, some of the influences may also have been unintentional.
It is very easy for young minds to be influenced when they see a famous personality such as a sportsperson, actor, writer or a political leader smoking in public. These famous smokers may have unwittingly endorsed and enabled cigarettes to attain the status of a symbol associated with strength, intelligence or even ideology. However, once a smoker starts smoking, the initial reasons begin to fade as the addictive qualities of the nicotine in cigarette smoke start taking effect.
Cigarettes are addictive. There is no denying that. Whatever be the reason which made you a smoke that first cigarette, that is not the reason why you continue to smoke today. It’s the nicotine which has conditioned parts of your body including your brain to crave the pleasurable feeling triggered by an increase in the flow of dopamine to your brain. As a chemical neurotransmitter, dopamine affects your brain when you intake nicotine to give you that so called high. That’s one of the reasons why people find it difficult to give up smoking. When they try to quit, they will start to experience withdrawal symptoms caused by the lack of nicotine in their blood which may lead to irritation, anxiety and a craving for a smoke.
Everyone who smokes knows that cigarettes are harmful. Cigarettes contain carcinogenic and toxic elements that can lead to life threatening ailments such as heart disease and cancer. In the short run, cigarettes affects the smoker’s appetite, their sense of taste and smell, their breathing capacity, their skin texture not to mention bad breath and the way a smoker smells. Smokers also cause harm to those around them – friends, family and colleagues at work – through second hand smoke.
When there is so much evidence on the harmful effects of smoking, why do smokers still find it difficult to quit smoking? Is it because of nicotine addiction? Is it because they just chose to ignore the fact that they are willingly inhaling poison into their bodies? There is no simple answer to why it is so difficult to quit smoking. There are as many reasons why it is not easy to stop as there are many different advices on what is the most effective way to quit smoking.
Some say going cold turkey is the most tried and tested way while others recommend the use of nicotine patches to alleviate the effects of the withdrawal symptoms. There is even a theory that the urge for smoking is psychological and that through hypnosis you can overcome the habit. There are many resources available online on not only how to quit smoking but also why you should quit smoking. Since most people started smoking because of peer pressure, it is a good idea to use the same reasoning to quit smoking. Find out and join a support group near you or online where you will meet members who share a similar objective and will not only be sympathetic to your failure in trying to stop but also provide a source of encouragement to try again to quit the habit.