Why do people smoke cigarettes? Smoking cigarettes has become so common now and there are various reasons for it, some feel reasonable others completely absurd.
Although everyone understands it is harmful if you go explaining to anybody why they should quit, it just feels like a wasted attempt.
And by the time it makes sense to them it usually is too late, as they’re addicted by now, and quitting becomes very difficult. Let’s understand why people start smoking and how they get addicted.
1. Peer Pressure and Smoking
This literally is the most common reason for people who start smoking, which is not even relevant to the age group.
Your peers in any place school, college, hospital, or any other workplace can be a big reason for your smoking.
Although it sounds weird but it is a kind of bonding activity, and sometimes people start smoking so that they feel a part of some group or as you call they try to fit in by smoking.
The probability of this happening to a teenager is way more than any other age group because social media and other psychological factors come into play and make smoking look like a cool activity, something which helps them to stand out from the crowd.
The problem with this is, the earlier you start the more difficult it becomes to quit smoking.
It is not entirely their fault they absorb media, television, and advertisements that glorify smoking in the sense that it makes these young adults feel like smoking will make them more popular, a better partner, and somebody who can build easy camaraderie.
2. What Role Does Parenting Play?
Parents are the most important people who shape the future of children.
Any child who grows up in a home where they watch their parents regularly smoke starts feeling that it is normal to smoke and has a high chance of starting to smoke at a very early age.
For parents who do not smoke but think that smoking is socially acceptable and makes their children feel the same, then they are exposing their children to smoking with people.
Every parent therefore needs to be strict with their children when it comes to smoking or similar activities, they should not be encouraged in any sense for smoking, even movies or any other media which show it in a positive sense should strictly be discouraged.
3. Some Other Reasons Why People Smoke Cigarettes
A large number of people start to smoke because of its calming effect, as it makes you numb and relieves stress.
The problem is that initially, the numbing effect works very efficiently but soon you get addicted to nicotine in the cigarettes, and the amount you need to consume to attain the same level of satisfaction increases.
Now whenever you are in a stressful situation your brain automatically creates a feeling of urgency and you want to smoke a cigarette, it becomes not just a psychological but also a chemical problem.
The Nicotine withdrawal cycle therefore keeps up the addiction and you can not then quit smoking.
The industry leaders in cigarette manufacturing are big companies, indeed the ones which are not at the top of the pyramid are doing very fine.
These companies spend heavily on advertising their products, they focus on targeted audiences with highly entertaining advertisements which make smoking as an activity look very appealing.
It is incorporated in not just advertisements, but in TV shows and movies, games, and others. Their target marketing strategies are very effective and very creative. According to these ads, smoke is synonymous with success and glamorous life.
People who are undergoing a difficult phase in their lives or are depressed often resort to smoking.
This is because the neurotransmitter that is basically a result of attaining pleasure is released even when the brain is stimulated by nicotine and dopamine supply, therefore, is somehow regulated by the consumption of nicotine by smoking cigarettes.
Eventually, the brain develops an addiction to nicotine, so now dopamine is no longer released with the same number of cigarettes.
So, in the long term, people actually have to increase how much they smoke, so that nicotine can stimulate enough to produce dopamine. Nicotine withdrawal is also very difficult for people who are depressed for the very same reason.
4. How Nicotine Addiction Builds as You Smoke?
Nicotine gets absorbed in the blood very quickly and spreads in the whole body. Nicotine does two things one is to create a small adrenaline rush which escalates heart rate and blood pressure.
Second is that it makes its way into the reward system, initially stimulating it with small quantities and eventually turning into addiction and increasing dependency, absence leading to ill effects on your mood.
Since it travels very fast it reaches the brain very quickly, but also leaves implying that the effect dies down in some minutes, making you moody, edgy, or irritable.
After the body has built up tolerance the amount of nicotine consumption keeps on increasing because withdrawal becomes increasingly difficult.
It not only affects their life, health, and family but also their everyday. The withdrawal symptoms make you very sleepless, restless, and insomniac. You become physically dependent along with psychological dependence.
The addiction is very strong, it becomes really difficult to stop consuming nicotine even more than opiates or alcohol.
Very few people can quit smoking without help is what research says, and even with help a lot of people just can not because their brains are wired in such a manner that makes the very thought of quitting a nightmare.
5. End Note: How can you Quit Smoking?
As we have seen the people around us are a huge influence, try to stay away from people who smoke often.
When you’re in a group of people at a party, a work break, or any other social setting inform people that you are trying to abstain from smoking and do not get allured to take ‘just one smoke’.
You will need very strong willpower to try to make it purpose-driven so that on difficult days you can reason out your behavior. Think positively about your quitting process, and appreciate small victories.
Do not feel defeated as the progress will be slow because if you ignore it and take another smoke, you will be back on square one with all your efforts wasted.