Why do we smoke cigarettes?

Published on May 27th, 2010 10:51

In conformity with the March CDC report, one in five Adult Americans still smoke, regardless of the fact that tobacco use may cause many severe diseases. Well, some say that current figures are a huge drop from almost 50% of smokers reported in 1950s. However, millions still smoke, and mainly due to the following reasons:

tobacco addiction


Addiction is the main reason for smoking. Scientists distinguish two kinds of addiction: physiological and psychological. The first kind is triggered by nicotine, as a chemical substance that affects the brain contributing to the production of particular hormone - dopamine.

The second type of addiction involves dependency to the way nicotine is delivered. Many smokers complain that conventional nicotine-replacement therapies do no help them, because patches, gums and sprays do not replace the hand-to-mouth habit. And probably, that is why electronic cigarettes got so hugely popular nowadays.

Desire to be cool and slim

When smoking was on its peak of popularity in the 1950s, tobacconists managed to convince people that cigarette smoking is a stylish and chic habit, only for brave men and elegant women. And though currently this myth is dethroned, many people, especially younger adults choose to smoke in order to look cool among peers.

On the other hand, many teenagers smoke to rebel against the rules set by their parents and society as a whole. In addition, female smokers admit to smoke in order to control weight and be slim. Fear of weight gain is an essential reason that keeps many women on smoking.


Prof. Bruce Rosenfeld, head of University of Pittsburgh School of Psychology, says that nicotine provides temporary relief from depression, due to its antidepressant features. So the need to enhance mood is a reason that keeps many smokers hooked on cigarettes.

The scientist admits that instead of self-medication, smokers should rather visit physicians and get approved antidepressant therapies, since nicotine gives them a temporary help in struggle with depression and they have to light up again and again.


Everyone has his simple everyday habits that make up the day, such as a cup of coffee in the mornings, or a newspaper. So is smoking for many cigarette-lovers. Many smokers admit that they just don’t imagine their day without lighting up a cigarette after waking up, or when reading a paper, mulling over a decision, etc. Therefore, habit is another strong reason that keeps smokers puffing.

Social situation, Environment and Peer Pressure

Environment and social status is a major reason of the popularity of smoking. All kinds of deprivation and social problems appear to impact on the growth in the number of smokers. Statistics show the highest smoking rates are found among those people who are in the bottom of social ladder. Immigrants, prisoners, low-income people and those on social security tend to be smokers.

John Reid, the former UK Health Minister once admitted that smoking is the only means of pleasure available for deprived people. While this statement caused a major stir, it has its sense.

By Joanna Johnson, Staff Writer. Copyright © 2010 TobaccoPub.com. All rights reserved.

Related tags: addiction | smoking habit | cigarette smoke | tobacco smoke | smoking addiction

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