Why do people smoke?
Whether you’re a regular smoker or just a social one, there was a reason you took up the habit, to begin with. Do you remember your reason? For most teens, they take up the habit out of curiosity or peer pressure, but there are many other reasons people start smoking. Here are a few Choma:
Peer pressure or even just the desire to fit in and be seen as cool can influence us to do many things that may not be good for us, or that we don’t even like all that much. Is it worth damaging your lungs just because you want to be cool and fit in with your friends?
You’ve heard the term ‘social smoker’, right? These are people who only smoke when they’re out in the company of other people who smoke, as a social activity or even, again, as a way to fit in.
Hookah smoking is also a popular social activity. Some people might do it because they think it less harmful than cigarettes, but that’s not necessarily the case. Read more about the dangers of hookah smoking here.
You might have heard that smoking either helps you lose weight, or helps keep you thin, this isn’t necessarily true. So, yes, nicotine (the addictive chemical in cigarettes) has been identified as an appetite suppressant (meaning you’re less hungry), but at the same time studies have shown that smokers also crave more fatty foods than non-smokers. Smokers’ taste buds are not as sensitive as non-smokers’ so they tend to need stronger flavours or they don’t get the same level of enjoyment from subtle, less fatty desserts or treats. Do you think it’s worth it smoking to stay thin if you’re causing damage to your body in other ways?
This may sound like an odd one as most parents would lose their minds if they caught their kids smoking, but children of smokers are more likely to take up the habit because they’ve grown up in an environment where the activity is normal behaviour. Plus, if your parents are smokers, you’ve probably considered sneaking a cigarette out of curiosity. Smoking is an unhealthy habit and a habit that is costly in more ways than one - meaning that it costs money and could cost you your health and, in the long run, your life. So it’s not worth taking up smoking just because you see it around you every day.
Stress and Anxiety
When you smoke, you tend to slow down your breathing and actually take deeper breaths. This helps you calm down if you’re under a lot of stress or feeling anxious; kind of like yoga breathing BUT really bad for you. People become reliant on cigarettes to calm them down when they’re having a bad day, but what they actually need is that moment of stillness and calm they have as a product of taking a smoke break. Next time you feel awful, ditch the cigarettes and practice deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouths; you’ll feel better, Chomas, trust me.
Addiction and Enjoyment
This might seem like a given, but yes people smoke mostly because they think they enjoy the activity. In reality, they have become dependent on the chemicals in cigarettes so they tend to feel bad when they’re not smoking. So, you may think that you enjoy smoking, but what you actually enjoy is no longer feeling bad because you’re satisfying your addiction.
Addiction happens when our actions become habits and spiral out of our control. Some people are naturally weaker towards addictive substances than others. Therefore, some people can quit smoking easily while others battle for years to break the addiction. The easiest way to break it is to never start, to begin with. At the end of the day, it’s your choice, Chomas, just think about the reasons why you’re doing it and the consequences that come with it.
Do you need advice on anything? Remember that you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657)
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