Unless you fell into a cave years ago or live in outer space, you have heard the news that cigarette smoking is bad for you. This is common knowledge these days. Yet millions of people still smoke tobacco. What is the influence on my kids? And why do they start smoking?
When It Starts
It should come as no surprise that the majority of people start smoking at a young age. Young enough so it is illegal to purchase cigarettes, but they are smoking anyway.
It has been determined that approximately 2,300 kids try their first cigarette every day. Even more disturbing is the fact that about 350 of those kids end up becoming regular smokers.
A 2016 study determined that almost 30% of high school seniors have smoked at least one cigarette.
The bottom line is that it is mainly the children who start smoking. It has been estimated that 9 out of 10 adults smokers started before the age of 18. Ironically, three of four teenage smokers will become addicted to smoking regularly, even if their plan was to smoke for just a few years.
Why It Starts
Recognizing that children represent the demographics of the person most likely to start smoking, it helps to dive a little deeper and learn why children want to smoke.
The original excuse is typically a generalized phrase like “It looks cool” or “I want to see what it tastes like.” It is helpful to delve further into these surface excuses to discover what draws kids to smoking tobacco.
“It Looks Cool”
If you think about it, nothing about smoking is cool. Literally, it is hot! You need a flame to get it burning, you need to be careful where you are waving that burning stick of death about, and you need to make sure it is completely extinguished when you are done (unless you are also a budding arsonist!).
So why do kids say that smoking is cool?
What they are really saying is that they perceive the person that is smoking to be cool. They then equate the fact that this “cool” person is smoking, therefore smoking must be cool too!
What they did not see was this cool smoker behind the scenes, such as waking up in the morning hacking up dark phlegm or getting short of breath from a brisk walk to work. Nor did they notice what a nervous wreck Mr. or Ms. Cool becomes when they have been too long without a puff.
“I Want to See What It Tastes Like”
Almost equally absurd is the other popular excuse for trying a cigarette, which is wanting to discover what it tastes like.
Our olfactory senses were developed to allow us to refine our sense of taste and smell. If we cannot smell anything (like when we are stuffed up from allergies or a cold), our taste buds diminish down to a barely perceptible level of recognition.
We use our noses to determine if we like the fragrance of something. When we smell a freshly baked cookie coming out of the oven, we know that it will taste quite close to what we are smelling.
If it smells burnt, it is hard to find a curious person that will eat it to see what it tastes like! By the charred odour, that person knows the cookie will taste like the scrapings from the fireplace.
So there goes that excuse out the door!
The Real Reason We Smoke
Once you become an established smoker, the real reason you smoke is that you are now addicted. Prior to becoming a tobacco addict, our reasoning for smoking varies with our moods and our needs.
Have you noticed a person saying that they are so stressed they need a cigarette to calm down? And then later that day, the same person declares it’s so relaxing now that it is a great time to have a cigarette!
How can a cigarette be both stimulating and relaxing? How can it curb our appetite and be the perfect finish to a meal?
The truth is it can’t. That is our head desperately spinning our craving for smoking into a therapeutic activity when in reality it offers no therapy but instead opens you to greater health risks.
Quitting Smoking Now
Although we are a relatively young Australian company, Quit Stop Now is already making inroads in assisting people around the world in quitting smoking. Starting in Australia, we have already expanded into New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
With the bulk of our clients find themselves free of tobacco after only 8 days in the program, our system is already proving to be a winner and a lifesaver (literally!).
Contact us today to find out how you can finally free yourself of your tobacco addiction for good!