Smoking is a hard habit to break because tobacco contains nicotine, which is highly addictive. Like heroin or other addictive drugs, the body and mind quickly become so used to the nicotine in cigarettes that a person needs to have it just to feel normal. People start smoking for a variety of different reasons. Some think it looks cool. Others start because their family members or friends smoke. Statistics show that about 9 out of 10 tobacco users’ start before they're 18 years old. Most adults who started smoking in their teens never expected to become addicted. That's why people say it's just so much easier to not start smoking at all.
Tobacco advertising also has a big influence on why people smoke. For years, the industry has focused on making smoking glamorous through advertising in movies, television, and billboards. While cigarette advertising is now controlled, its influence can still be felt in the form of free samples, smoking cartoons, and the promise of cool merchandise that can be obtained in exchange for coupons printed on cigarette packs. Many people claim that smoking keeps them thin, but the truth is that smoking reduces the sense of taste; so many people who smoke simply eat less because they don't enjoy food as much.
Smoking also produces psychological dependency. Many people smoke because it helps them relax and cope with difficult situations, or because it gives them confidence. Others smoke when they feel bored. Smoking produces a feeling of satisfaction that's difficult to give up. Finally, people who smoke are usually in denial – they know that smoking is bad, but they convince themselves it's simply "not as terrible as they make it sound."
Smoking is a social activity as well. Many people who smoke do so as a way to start conversations and interact at parties or in crowded places. This is known as "social smoking," and it usually involves alcohol as a complement.
Many teenagers start smoking due to peer pressure. They may also smoke to feel more mature or as a form of rebellion against parental authority. It has been proved that children are also more likely to smoke if their parents do.
Affects of smoking:
There are no physical reasons to start smoking. The body doesn't need tobacco the way it needs food, water, sleep, and exercise. And many of the chemicals in cigarettes, like nicotine and cyanide, are actually poisons that can kill in high enough doses.
The body is smart. It goes on the defense when it's being poisoned. First-time smokers often feel pain or burning in the throat and lungs, and some people feel sick or even throw up the first few times they try tobacco.
The consequences of this poisoning happen gradually. Over the long term, smoking leads people to develop health problems like heart disease, stroke, emphysema (breakdown of lung tissue), and many types of cancer — including lung, throat, stomach, and bladder cancer. People who smoke also have an increased risk of infections like bronchitis and pneumonia. These diseases limit a person's ability to be normally active, and they can be fatal. Each time someone lights up, that single cigarette takes about 5 to 20 minutes off the person's life.
Smokers not only develop wrinkles and yellow teeth, they also lose bone density, which increases their risk of osteoporosis (pronounced: ahs-tee-o-puh-row-sus), a condition that causes older people to become bent over and their bones to break more easily. Smokers also tend to be less active than nonsmokers because smoking affects lung power. Smoking can also cause fertility problems and can impact sexual health in both men and women. Girls who are on the pill or other hormone-based methods of birth control (like the patch or the ring) increase their risk of serious health problems, such as heart attacks, if they smoke.
The consequences of smoking may seem very far off, but long-term health problems aren't the only hazard of smoking. Nicotine and the...