Why People Start Smoking And Why It’s Hard To Stop

Smoking is a drug which has taken over the world. It is a universal language that we all know of, yet still so many people smoke. As the years have passed, we have discovered more and more about the dangers of smoking cigarettes and what it will do to out physical and mental health.

Since the turn of the century, the amount of people who smoke has reduced rapidly however that does not mean the problem is gone. Still, there are people who willingly choose to smoke cigarettes leading them into a downward spiral of addiction, and when they are hooked to smoking it feels impossible to give it up.

In this article, we will be looking into why people choose to start smoking in the first place as well as highlighting the power of cigarette addiction.

Reasons People Start Smoking

Why do people start smoking? This is a question that is asked too often. With all of the advanced research and resources, it can be easy to wonder what compels people to cigarettes.

Decades ago, there was no knowledge on how a cigarette can destroy your body but even though we know the truth there are still those who choose that path. However, there is a reason for everything.

Parental Influence

One of the major reasons people are still smoking today is because of parental influence. It has been found that when one or more parents smoke, it is more likely that the child will pick up the habit too. A smoking household is completely opposite of a non-smoking household. Parents may smoke inside around their children or take active smoke breaks outside which their children pick up on.

As well as this, the parents may not be as strict with smoking restrictions making it easier for children to start themselves. Growing up, these children will acknowledge smoking as a normal everyday activity and this is likely to be internalized. However, that is not to say that every child of a smoker will end up smoking.

Peer Pressure

Peer pressure has always been a problem in society which causes people to make mistakes or do things based on another person’s involvement. Children and teenagers are particularly susceptible to peer pressure when around friends and is the gateway to a smoking addiction. When children see their friends smoking, they want to try it too because it is “cool” to do so.

There is also a thrill of rebelling against authority figures at this age which temps them more. With this being said, peer pressure does not only involve children and teenagers. There are many adults who are affected by peer pressure who want to fit in (for example, at a new job or friendship group).

Film and TV

What we see on our screens play a big role in our lives. As technology has progressed, we can watch movies and shows from the comfort of our living room on the tv or on the train on our phones. People are mesmerized by what they watch and it is easy to get immersed into the lives of fictional characters.

Many characters are depicted as smokers and with that a desirable personality is created. This is something that can change a person’s view on smoking and encourage them to start themselves.

Emotional Support

People who smoke speak highly of how smoking is the antidote for stress and helps to calm and soothe them in time of need. Those who are emotionally vulnerable latch onto this idea and choose to start smoking.

For a person suffering with mental health, it is not easy to concern oneself with long term effects. That person is wanting a reliever and cigarettes are the answer.

Why Can’t Smokers Stop Smoking?

Many people tend to ask this question without having touched a cigarette in their lives, but only if you have smoked do you know the harsh reality of giving it up.

Cigarettes contain tobacco and in that tobacco is nicotine. Nicotine is the drug which makes people addicted and what makes it hard for smokers to stop. There is a nicotine receptor in the brain which tells the body it needs a cigarette and this, in turn, makes people smoke.

In order for a smoker to stop, they need to resist the urge for nicotine but the brain is a powerful entity – quitting is no easy task.


When someone does decide to quit smoking it is a hard process, but the hardest days are the first three. This is where the withdrawal symptoms kick in and your body starts to react to the lack of nicotine.

There are a variety of clear symptoms of withdrawal that are easy to pick out. Some include:

  • Anger
  • Frustration
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble sleeping

What Are The Long-Term Effects Of Smoking?

Decades ago, smoking was something that almost everyone did. It is the normal, casual thing to do and was trendy. Anyone who didn’t smoke would be outnumbered and sometimes encouraged to join in. This was a time, however, before research and before we acknowledged the dangers of smoking. Smoking comes with both short-term and long-term effects, but what are they?

Mood Swings

Depending on how often you smoke, it is common for a person to experience mood swings. Until they have had their scheduled cigarette, a person can become irritated and closed off. Nicotine is the tool for ridding anxiety and until they get that, they will not be themselves.

Breathing Trouble

Another long-term effect is breathing. When smoking, you are inhaling toxins which clog up the lungs and produce tar. Because of this, this weakens the lungs and makes it difficult for people to partake in exercise (simple or extreme), heavy lifting and other things alike. Smoking is also the cause for “smoker’s cough” and asthma.

Bad Teeth

It is common for those who smoke to have issues with their teeth. This can range from yellowing teeth to complete tooth loss. As well as this, smoking also raises the chances of teeth infections and inflammation.


If you have made a habit out of smoking then your possibility of having cancer is very high. A large percentage of cancer patients have had or do have a history with tobacco showing the risks of smoking. Although other cancers are a possibility, it is commonly lung cancer which is contracted.

Premature Aging

Many smokers find themselves aging quickly due to the cigarettes. A person can look ten years older because of the way smoking effects their skin. The skin dries out and becomes wrinkled.

Pregnancy Complications

If you choose to conceive and have a baby, it is very important to quit smoking. For a person to smoke with a baby inside them is very dangerous to the health and development of the fetus. There is a chance that smoking will lead to miscarriage and problems with the newborn baby such as ear infection or oxygen deprivation.

How To Quit

Although there are many people who still choose to start smoking, it is possible to stop. However, with that being said, stopping is difficult. A smoker goes through emotional turmoil during their withdrawal period and there are plenty of temptations to start the addiction all over again.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to quit smoking. Some ways include:

  • Nicotine patches
  • Vaping
  • Acupuncture
  • Meditation
  • Hypnosis
  • Going cold turkey

In order to be successful, it is important to have a support system around you to help you through the addiction. It will also help to take yourself away from temptations, for example, by not hanging out with friends who smoke too often.

Many people choose to go the “cold turkey” method (completely cutting out cigarettes with no help) but most of the time these people end up going back to smoking. If you want to do it yourself it is important to be strict.

However, if you do find you need some support, never be afraid to console your doctor. They are always available to deliver medical advice and ways you can make the quitting process easier for yourself.

Final Thoughts

Smoking is an addictive habit and although there are plenty of resources out there to encourage people not to smoke, it still happens. Every day, another person is trying their first cigarette because of peer pressure or what they see on TV; this eventually leads to years of addiction.

Once you are hooked, it is hard to stray away from the temptation of the cigarette, however it is still possible to do so. It is important to have a support system around you and to be surrounded by positivity. There are plenty of ways to quit smoking, either through medically advised tools such as the nicotine patch or through home remedies such as meditation.

But at the end of the day, what is most important is the individual. The road to success starts with you. Channel that determination and make a difference to your life.

Jonie Dean
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