When we smoke, we are putting not only our health at risk, but that of all the people around us. In addition, we expose ourselves to an addiction that can be difficult to combat.
Tobacco is one of the most important health problems today. It is estimated that there are about 1.1 billion smokers in the world. But do we ever wonder why we smoke?
There are many reasons that can lead to this. In ancient times, smoking was associated with an act of masculinity and was practically reserved only for men. However, today, the number of smokers is balanced between men and women.
When we smoke, we are submitting to an addiction that is also accepted in society. In fact, it could even be said that it is an act that allows us to feel more comfortable or integrated into certain social situations.
However, it is important to know that, today, tobacco is responsible for the death of almost 8 million people a year. It is linked to many diseases, and unfortunately almost 1 million people who suffer from it are not even direct smokers.
Therefore, in this article we are going to analyze the reasons why we smoke. In this way, we can be aware of the reasons that lead us to this toxic habit and, from there, take measures to begin to avoid it.
Why do we smoke for the first time?
As we have already mentioned, tobacco is very widespread in our society. Until relatively recently, there were many advertisements on television, on the streets, or even in newspapers, sponsoring certain brands or industries.
Today, this publicity has been decreasing. Still, it is not surprising that in series or movies there are characters who smoke constantly. In this way, what is achieved is that people, from a very young age, see it as something normalized.
The most common is that the first time to smoke is in adolescence. It is very typical in underage youth who have friends or family who smoke. When we smoke at this age, we have the feeling of being more “interesting”.
Many do it to feel more socially accepted. At those ages, the desire to challenge parents or feel good about the idea of doing something “forbidden” or risky is very typical.
Most adolescents believe that they are more adult like this. This is also associated with wanting to be more interesting to people your age. All this leads to the fact that, at this moment in life, we smoke when we are with people, but it is not usually done alone.
The electronic cigarette in adolescents
Today, tobacco fashions have changed. The use of electronic cigarettes or vapers has become very widespread. Many of the teenagers, instead of smoking cigarettes, prefer to use these devices.
The problem is that, when we smoke an electronic cigarette, we have the feeling that it is harmless. In fact, parents sometimes give these devices to their teenagers in an attempt to stop them from smoking tobacco.
However, although they can be used without nicotine, it is necessary to know that they are just as harmful as cigarettes. Although many studies are trying to demonstrate its negative effects, it is not yet known exactly how they act on our body.
What is clear is that when we smoke electronic cigarettes, even without nicotine, we are becoming addicted to this behavior. We get used to making the gesture and we prepare to end up being smokers sooner or later.
Why do we smoke the rest of our lives?
When we smoke, we are ingesting a significant amount of nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive substance that is found naturally in tobacco. It produces a pleasant sensation in the body that leads those who consume it to want to do it again and again. Nicotine acts on the brain’s reward circuitry, causing dopamine to be released. What happens, in summary, is that as you feel pleasure when ingesting it, the behavior is reinforced. It’s what keeps people smoking.
Although many people do not know it, when we do not smoke, we also experience a withdrawal syndrome. People associate this term with stronger drugs like heroin, but this is not the case.
A person who has been a regular smoker, when quitting, experiences anxiety, irritation and tension. Similarly, they may experience headaches, sleep disturbances, and weight gain.
Most of the time we smoke for a purely social reason. Most smokers begin to do so in adolescence, which is a delicate stage on a personal level.
However, it is important to be aware of the addiction to which we submit when we smoke. This occurs, among other things, because the nicotine present in tobacco acts as a highly addictive substance in the body.