3 Reasons Why People Smoke

Because of widespread media attention, it would be safe to assume that almost all people know at least some of the adverse effects of smoking.

Smoking is responsible for about 90% of lung cancer deaths as well as being a significant and primary causative factor in many emphysema and heart disease cases. In America, it is estimated that over 400,000 deaths a year can be attributed to tobacco use. Given this alarming information, what actually causes people to smoke? Here are some common reasons why people decide to smoke.

Young People Duplicate Smoking Behavior

The smoking habit is often initiated during the teen or young adult years. Oftentimes, smoking behavior is modeled in front of children and teens by parents, relatives and other authority figures. Consequently, teens seeking to be “grown up” adopt smoking in an attempt to emulate their perception of “adult” behavior.

Stress and Anxiety

Many people blame their smoking habit on a stressful lifestyle. One reason that the act of smoking is perceived as “relaxing” is the fact that taking a smoke break, especially in the workplace, grants people a short, permissible reprieve from stressful activities. People may think they need a cigarette when in actuality they just need a break.

There is a social component to the smoke break as well. Most of the time, people are given the opportunity to laugh, talk and otherwise socialize with one another which is the real stress reliever. In reality, smoking works to increase stress in the body. Performing this simple test is proof positive:

• Take your pulse before smoking.

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Smoke a cigarette.

• Take your pulse after smoking.

Smoking increases heart rate, breathing and can cause blood pressure to spike. In addition, smoking is a cause of many sleeping complications which adds to overall stress and anxiety.

Is there a Genetic Component to Smoking?

One of the factors that may come into play where nicotine addiction is concerned is genetics. Recent studies have indicated that people who have a certain dopamine transporter gene, referred to as SLC6A3-9, have a reduced tendency to start smoking or otherwise become addicted to nicotine. In addition, having this particular gene swimming around in the proverbial gene pool may also give people an advantage when it comes to successfully quitting smoking should they start in the first place.

People start smoking for a number of reasons. Young people often see smoking as a symbolic act of reaching adulthood. Other people start smoking in an attempt to relieve stress and anxiety. Still others may have a specific genetic component that may predispose them to picking up the smoking habit. Whatever the case, people can quit and millions succeed in smoking cessation annually. Finding a program to help you quit smoking is worth doing in order to preserve your health and extend your life.

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