Many people don’t bother to think about it, but there was a time that existed before smoking came into their lives. Maybe you’re fed up and wondering what happened? When did this start? And why is it so hard to stop? Well, there are answers to these questions that are common sense and straightforward. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why people start smoking and what continues to trigger their habit:
Some simply have an addictive personality, and when coupled with an addictive chemical like nicotine, the results are usually not beneficial. But even free from an addictive personality, nicotine so effects your body and brain that over the long-term you become dependent on it, making it hard to wean off.
How Nicotine Affects you?
In several ways, really. According to Cancer.org, a rundown is provided as to how your body is affected both in the short, and long term, by a constant stream of nicotine:
Once nicotine enters the bloodstream, it enters fast. It reaches your body through the lungs and allows for a very quick “high.”
Nicotine acts as essentially any other addictive drug: it activates a rush of dopamine to the brain, which causes a feeling of short-term, immediate pleasure and even a minor adrenaline rush. It affects the brain’s chemistry as well as the central nervous system, and as a result, leaves the smoker with an affected mood. Usually a high. All of this results in making tobacco and nicotine substances a necessity that smoker craves more of.
Constant smoking of tobacco and nicotine increases a users tolerance. This means that a user has to smoke more, and increase their nicotine intake throughout the day to achieve a similar high to when they initially started. This explains why you hear about to so many individuals going through 2 or 3 packs a day.
Maybe you remember the first time you smoked, but you don’t exactly know why you did it? Consider that you may have been pressured into it. Oftentimes, smokers start young. Whether in high school or college, you are at an impressionable age where you simply want to fit in, and this was your gateway into being accepted by a group, or an individual, that you looked up to.
Remember Joe Camel? A generation grew up thinking that the cool, sunglasses, wearing mascot that was all over billboards and TV was the definition of “in-crowd.” Years later, we’ve found out that it was simply a clever marketing ploy that created a cool, hip image to target youth. Many films employed actors smoking to create the same type of false-image in an effort to promote the propaganda of Big Tobacco.
Many continue smoking because they feel it relieves stress. Standing outside with a cigarette in hand during a hard day at work gives the effect of easing tension and takes their mind off things.
Also, the effects of nicotine as outlined above leave a smoker with an incredible dependence on the drug. This can result in withdrawal symptoms that make it very difficult to quit. Feelings of nervousness, irritability, headaches or trouble sleeping are all common.
Are you curious as to further reasons why you continue smoking, but more importantly, how you can stop? Our QSN Stop Smoking program provides the necessary encouragement, tools, motivation and support needed to get rid of your smoking habit.