Smoking Factors

Topics: Tobacco smoking, Tobacco, Nicotine Pages: 7 (2349 words) Published: October 30, 2005
Smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco has become a very popular trend among many Americans and individuals throughout our society. Tobacco, however, dates back many centuries, since the early 1600's. In fact, tobacco was believed to have been the cure for all illnesses. Tobacco was used in those times strictly for medicinal purposes only. Overall tobacco has been proven not as a medicinal remedy, but as an addicting and extremely harmful stimulant. As stated in a book by Darryl S. Inaba, " Tobacco is a prime example of the addiction process. In fact eighty percent of cigarette smokers know tobacco causes cancer, yet they still smoke." (137) Throughout history, smoking has been associated with negative traits and has been heavily regulated against. England in the 1600's believed tobacco was as bad as drunkenness and punishable by death. In the past and even today there is so much negativity affiliated with smoking. Knowing all the negative aspects regarding tobacco use, it is difficult to understanding why so many individuals continue to smoke. Peter Jacobson, Et. al describes adolescents views toward smoking tobacco in his book Combating Teen Smoking,

Smoking is cool. Smoking is glamorous. Addicted to smoking? Not me. I can quit anytime I want. Health hazards of smoking? Not a problem, I'll quit long before it harms me. And beside I'll be so old and bald by the it won't even matter anyway.( 418) Everyday more and more people begin to smoke or become habitual smokers. Now this may very well be ignorance or avoidance, and lack of concern over the health factors associated with smoking. Psychosocial traits are the suggested reasons for the initiation of smoking. Psychosocial elements consist of many variables such as personality, gender, family and social peer influences, socioeconomic status, and mass media. The eternal question to be found by many researchers is why do people begin to smoke? This is a topic that has been widely reviewed by many with many answers and variables to consider. Therefore, given all the and known dangers of smoking and chewing tobacco, yet it has become a popular trend among many individuals around the world.

Presently, the initiation of tobacco use is believed to have many psychosocial elements. There are many theories and perspectives to consider when evaluating the psychosocial factors concerning chronic tobacco use. These reasons for tobacco use are mostly unconscious and relatively unknown to most individuals who use tobacco. As reported by Viscusi, an achieved psychologist who states that " Studying the determinants of cigarette smoking is fundamentally a problem for multivariate analysis" (138). According to Viscusi studying the use of tobacco is complex and quite difficult to pin point. Basically, he states that even though knowing the psychosocial elements that encourage one to become a smoker, there are still many variables to factor when defining the eternal question.

A major factor to consider is the influence of family and social peer pressure to smoke. Many Scholars consider this to be the single most important factor among adolescents considering that their minds are open to suggestion at that age. This statement is best supported by Jack Gottsegan in his book Tobacco, where he states that " Adolescents are most vulnerable to peer pressure by older siblings, and friends" (17). Many studies by the Surgeon General and other researchers indicate that between the ages of eleven through seventeen adolescents are most susceptible to experiment with tobacco. Peter Taylor reports that " kids of smokers (½ pack per day) were twice as likely to smoke of those of nonsmokers" (355). This statistic is very intriguing considering that it only involves parental influence. This demonstrates the correlation of family influence on adolescents and encourages them to smoke. Granted, each individual is responsible for their own decision, but if a person is continuously...

Cited: Gottsegan, Jack. Tobacco. Jacksonville: Pitman,1990.
Inaba, Darryl, Pharm. William E. Cohen. Uppers, Downers, All Arounders. 5th ed. Oregon: Ashland, 2004
Joy De Peyer, Linda Waverly. Tobacco Control Policy. Chicago: World Bank. 2003.
Jacobson, Peter. Et. al. Combating Teen Smoking. Michigan: Ann Arbor. U of Michigan P. 2001.
Krasnegor, Norman. Ph.D. The Behavioral Aspects of Smoking. Maryland: NIDA. 1979.
Matarazzo, J. Psychological and Related Characteristics of Smokers and Nonsmokers. New York: Psychology. Bulletin.1960.
Olshlshuashky, Richard. No More Butts. Indiana: U of P. 1977.
Prabhat, Jha. Frank Chaloupka. Curbing The Epidemic. Chicago: World Bank. 1999.
Taylor, Peter. The Smoke Ring. New York: Pantheon. 1984.
Viscusi, Kip. Smoking. " Making the Risky Decision." New York: Oxford. U of P. 2002.
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