Why people smoke

Yesterday, Nisakiman suggested I Google "smoking causes".

Well, to be pedantic I StartPaged it, and the screen filled to full capacity and flowed out the door into the garden.  There is enough material there to fill Trinity Library.

Trinity LibraryThe Library of Diseases Caused by Smoking

One of the links did catch my eye however as it was slightly different from the rest-

Why People Smoke.

OK, we'll skip the usual intro about addictions and habits and move on to the meaty stuff –

Three of the main reasons that young people smoke are to look mature, to be like their friends, and to experiment. Since teens see older people all around them smoking, especially their parents and relatives, they smoke to act older. If their friends or peers smoke, they may feel pressured into doing the same to be accepted. The last reason is the excitement of experimenting with something that is forbidden. In Massachusetts it is against the law for anyone under 18 years old to smoke. Usually parents do not allow their under age teens to smoke. Therefore, smoking becomes very attractive. It is exciting to get cigarettes and sneak away to smoke without being caught.

To be honest, I can't find a single flaw in that.  Forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest and all that crap.  However, I notice there is one tiny bit they left out.  Where is there mention of advertising being aimed at kids?  No mention of attractive packaging?  Not a word about seeing someone in a film smoking?

Maybe the Tobacco Industry is pro-smoking after all?  First of all they take smokers from their nice quiet offices, pubs, cafes and the like where in general cheeeldren aren't welcome, and bang them out on the street where every kid can see them having a good time?  And then of course they make smoking out to be ever more dangerous and therefore ever more alluring and tempting?  Nice one, Tobacco Control!

Then we move on to the adults –

Adults smoke for other reasons. They may have a lot of stress and pressures because of economic and personal problems. They may be unemployed or working but not making enough money to take care of themselves and their families. They may be homeless, or they may be dealing with alcohol or cocaine/heroin addictions. Some may be in bad marriages or relationships in which there is physical and/or verbal abuse. All these people may smoke to feel relaxed or to give them energy while going through a hard time.

In other words, smokers are life's failures.  We are unemployed, poor, homeless with crap marriages [and a drop of spouse-beating thrown in] who are addicted to alcohol, cocaine and heroin.  What a pretty picture?  The last sentence does almost pin the real reason though – All these people may smoke to feel relaxed or to give them energy while going through a hard time.  Indeed, Life can be a hard time at times, and a bit of relaxation is not a bad thing.  In fact Life is getting harder by the day for smokers, but we know who's to blame for that?  Tobacco Control promoting smoking again!

Whether young or old, some people smoke to control their weight. Smokers, on the average, weigh seven pounds less than non-smokers. Smoking reduces a person's appetite. It lessens his/her sense of taste and smell. This could be why ex-smokers gain weight after quitting cigarettes. Food tastes and smells so much better.

Hah!  Quit smoking and become obese?  Out of the frying pan into the fire?

Finally, there are people who say they love to smoke. Smoking gives them pleasure. It just makes them feel good.

At last we get to the point.  It took them a whole page and down to the very last [and by far the smallest] paragraph but they nail it almost in one.

Yes, smoking gives pleasure.  It is relaxing.  It aids concentration.  It smells and tastes good [speaking as a pipe smoker].  There is nothing quite like the pleasure of puffing gently on a pipe while scribbling a few idle thoughts, or sitting in the sun supping a mug of tea.

So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

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Comments

Why people smoke — 7 Comments

  1. Yes its true! People only start smoking because they want to fit in, do something taboo or look good. Then shortly thereafter, they become “hooked,” and are hopelessly addicted. The majority of smokers will tell you they wish they had never started, and they hate smoking.

    Bull-Sheet. In today’s anti-smoking society, admitting that you enjoy smoking (whether it be cigarettes, cigarillos, cigars, pipes or hookah) is asking for an atom-bomb to be dropped on you and yours. I suspect “most people” simply say they don’t like smoking to appease to the antis.

    What do I say? Admit you love smoking. Then puff right in their face with all the pleasure of the world being obvious.

    People smoke for just the same reasons as they would go to a nice restaurant, drink alcohol or even plain old tea and coffee with some chocolate. The plain and simple reason is all of these are enjoyable, pleasurable. They all release that wonderful “dopamine” stuff, as far as I know.

    Of course, it was pointless me saying, since I’m sure everybody here knew that already 😉

    • Yes, it's because smoking is now considered (thanks to the relentless propaganda over the last few decades) to be socially unacceptable that smokers regularly lie when asked questions about smoking. That's how they get the "70% of smokers want to quit" soundbite. Of course most smokers will say they want to quit when questioned – it's what they are expected to say in these oppressively PC times. According to the anti-tobacco narrative, if you don't want to quit, there must be something wrong with you.

      For the same reason, many smokers, when asked, will say they don't smoke, which is how we have the '20%' (or whatever it is) prevalence figure. I've said this before, but I live in a country where smoking really is considered quite normal, and not frowned upon at all, and is host to many British tourists in the summer. My casual observations of those Brit tourists when they are in a non-condemnatory environment is that about 40% (at least) of them are smokers.

      • Maybe there is such a high rate amongst tourists as smokers like going to Greece where they won't be treated like lepers?

        One of the reasons I dismiss "epidemiological studies" is that most are based on self-assessed questionnaires and as you say – most people lie about how much they smoke or even whether or not they smoke.  People will always tend to err towards the "politically correct" answer.

        • Yes, I've considered that, and it probably is a factor that should be taken into account; however, I don't think it would skew the numbers to the extent that I notice.

          Non-smokers for the most part wouldn't avoid coming here, because in the summer everyone lives outside anyway, and the majority of visitors come because to a greater or lesser extent they are Grecophiles and beach lovers. I think for smokers, the attitude is more a bonus than an overriding reason to come.

          My eldest daughter, if asked, would describe herself as a non-smoker, because in the UK she smokes very little – a few in the evenings, usually, which she goes outside to smoke (both because she doesn't want the boys to see her smoking too often, and because despite what I tell her, she still sort of believes the SHS rubbish. Also the punitive cost comes into it). Likewise her other half. But when they are here, they get through a pack a day, and when they leave, stuff their suitcases full of cheap(er) cigs. Anecdotal, but I think probably not an uncommon example of people who describe themselves as 'non-smokers', and are logged as one of the '80%' who 'don't smoke'.

  2. Smoke three cigarettes a day,after meals.Have a chair outside back door and love the five minutes peace.Can't afford full time habit anymore. Stopped going to pub,as it was boring standing outside to smoke.Tried e-cigs,but felt like I was in a disco every time I took a vape.All the Stop smoking aids,patches,gum etc. are more government taxed products. I think the ban was a big smokescreen, apologies couldn't resist the pun,so that they could keep taxing smokers for the good of our health,nothing to do with money for the exchequer of course.Vote Irexit and get our fishing and smoking rights back.

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