Do you wonder why some people find it very easy to stop smoking while others are struggling very hard? It is because smoking is a very personal habit – its roots and causes are dependent on a person’s genes, physical health, emotional wellness, and realities in life. And that is why it is not as simple as making the decision to quit; the process of quitting requires a full understanding of what causes the habit or the addiction.
Research shows that there are common reasons why people begin to smoke; and why a lot of them continue to smoke after the initial experience.
Why do people, especially teens, start to smoke?
Studies reveal that most people start smoking as a teenager or when they are in their early 20s. The most likely reasons are:
a. Curiosity – They see people, especially their peers, smoking and they want to taste it. It is the thrill of adventure that provides the motivation.
b. Belonging – Peer pressure remains the strongest factor that drives people to start smoking. They want to be accepted by others – and if they smoke, they begin the habit as well.
c. Rebellion – For others, smoking is a personal statement. It is part of the teenage rebellion phase – the desire to simple go against the wishes of their parents. So, if parents or teachers prohibit smoking then will pick up a pack just to show that nobody can control them.
But why do people continue to smoke?
Beyond teenage curiosity, belonging and rebellion, smoking evolves into a personal habit or addiction even. And like other habits and addiction, it is a combination of physical and emotional factors that drive people to smoke despite the knowledge that it is bad for their health.
a. It has become a physical addiction – it means the body has become conditioned to seek for smoking in order to function as usual
b. It has become a coping mechanism – smoking becomes a substitute for important emotional needs. So smoking is used to deal with loneliness, anger, stress, and others.
Yes, it is a personal experience. Why did you start? What makes you continue to smoke? What happens to your body if you don’t smoke? These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself.