An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the DrugAbuse.com Forums?Join or

Why do people smoke in the first place?

Discussion in 'Tobacco / Nicotine' started by asuewrowt, Jun 26, 2015.

  1. asuewrowt

    asuewrowt Member

    What do people obtain psychologically from smoking? What drives a person to do it?

    The effects are well-documented over the decades. But for some reason, people still do it, warnings and all.
  2. brookeemily

    brookeemily Active Contributor

    I think that people often just look at it as "I'm going to die regardless, so why not." I picked up my first cigarette while drunk and enjoyed it so I kept smoking. I knew it was bad, but I still did it. Once people smoke, they continue because it helps calm them down and makes them feel nice because their bodies need it.
  3. tarverten

    tarverten Senior Contributor

    People smoke to begin with out of curiosity and to fit in with their peers. Also you tend to feel older when you first start. Later it's only a habit you can't break. The drug owns you and your only gain is in the number of excuses you make to do it.
  4. blastguardgear

    blastguardgear Senior Contributor

    The nicotine is addictive. Also, smoking gives you a light buzz, makes you very slightly light-headed - which is pleasant - and reduces appitite. Some people smoke when dieting or when they can't snack. So, people smoke because they enjoy it, get a positive feeling/reward from it. It's not something unpleasant they force themselves to do.

    They start (often) to fit in with a peer group. It's still seen as slightly rebellious (i.e. James Dean) *especially* now - louting societies disapproval. And it looks grown up - even more so than drinking because it has the age limit AND doesn't make you act like a giggly child... and it's slightly glamourous in image too (quite apart from the whole suggestive mouth fixation thing, there's still images of Audrey Hepburn, Marlyn Monroe) so - positive image associated with smoking that many aspire to.

    Many seriously don't believe the health risks will happen to them (ask them. They've always got an Granddad who smoked fifty a day and lived to be 300 or something), or they're so far of they can ignore them (same with binge drinking, eating badly, lack of exercise). So the negative is not immediately apparent. If they suggested cigarettes made you fat, sales would half overnight.
  5. shadowsupernature

    shadowsupernature Senior Contributor

    The smoking has less to do with the drug as the ritual used in the operation. If you are fortunate enough to watch another smoke, then watch the behavior and you will see a certain idiosyncrasy appear. This same ritual will be there each time one is lit up. Smoking, taking a drug from addiction or even eating food we perform a certain characteristic which in a way enhances our socialistic attitudes in the environment. Notably most addictions would eventually terminate if there were not any society for us to compete with. In other words a hermit is lees likely to have a social disease then a public speaker
  6. thepieeatingjay

    thepieeatingjay Senior Contributor

    You get a buzz, a sort of mild euphoria. Nicotine is a "feel good" drug, and it relieves stress. There is quite the psychological benefit from smoking - psychologically, it eases symptoms of MOST mental disorders, and is a great calming agent. However, the negative physical effects are enough to keep many people from starting. Thankfully, we have enough knowledge of the cons related to smoking; if we didn't, there would be as many smokers as there were back in the 50s and 60s.
  7. Totalarmordestine

    Totalarmordestine Senior Contributor

    Smoking is a behavior that leads to an addiction. Smoking is not a habit.
    People start to smoke for a variety of reasons-social, peer pressure,stress,anxiety, behavior modeling, and the list goes on....and on.
  8. Aescopri

    Aescopri Active Contributor

    Some people think that smoking equals to being a rebel, and they might start because of mere curiously—but you know what they say, curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back. What that means is, as lots of others have mentioned previously in the post, smoking gives you this "light buzz" that is very psychedelic and satisfying.
    Overall, they start smoking to fit in and they keep the habit because nicotine is very addictive.
  9. Bonzer

    Bonzer Community Champion

    Well, the reasons are multifold: Peer pressure, stress, curiosity, carefree attitude, indifference to life, a sense of resignation and depression and so on.

    Whatever be the reason, Nicotine exerts a stranglehold on you and takes you firmly into its grip. It takes a great willpower to defeat the addiction. So, don't get into it in the first place.
  10. kkandori88

    kkandori88 Member

    Well, my parents smoked. My mom smoked while she was pregnant with me. I grew up being hot boxed in cars with both parents smoking and the windows rolled up. They seemed to get so much enjoyment out of it.

    Yet, they told me not to smoke. Did they think that would really work? I was so curious that I began stealing their cigarettes when I was 11. I would slip one or two out of the pack, and they never found out. Now it's 15 years later. My parents are dead, I'm addicted to cigs, and I seem doomed to follow in their footsteps.
  11. karmaskeeper

    karmaskeeper Community Champion

    Why???? That's the million dollar question, and can be attached to anything not just smoking. Look at the native american"s they past around a peace pipe. It's a deadly nasty habit why people do it is an individual thing. I'm just straight hooked on it.
  12. llfsa

    llfsa Member

    Good question, I get asked by my niece countless times about this and I always find it hard to answer. But usually one starts smoking just out of pure curiosity and there's always the encouragement of seeing your closest friends doing the exact same thing and you might think "hey, if they've been doing this for a while and nothing happened to them, so it's like one cigarette will kill me". And then you stay with that mindset for a while until you buy your first pack of smokes, after that it's just a matter of how many you buy each week.
  13. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    Oh, that's funny. Yes slowly killing themselves even though they know better. It is kind of like they are brainwashed jelly fish. Chris Rock said it best; "Wow that was really great sex. Now excuse me while I go slowly kill myself with a cigarette."
  14. karmaskeeper

    karmaskeeper Community Champion

    Just like stupid people playing with their cell phones, and driving. Now that is a deadly addiction as well not to defend smoking it's a killer no doubt. As I stated earlier start doing something enough it'll become a habit. I'd rather have a smoker driving me around it I didn't smoke. other then someone who can't put a stupid phone down. I just had to throw that in. Cell phones while driving really rubs me the wrong way.
  15. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    There could be various reasons why someone is smoking. That includes peer pressure, out of curiosity and wanting to belong in a certain group. Maybe those young smokers think that they are young and not to be harmed easily so they still continue smoking even they do know what could be the effects. While some just do not mind whatever happens to their body.
  16. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    My fiance has said he smokes mostly out of boredom and also because smoking is now a very strong habit for him. I am worried about him, but I am tired of him promising he will smoke and won't even try to stop smoking. I have health problems of my own, can't waste my eenrgy on something like this... if he actually tried to at least go without smoking at least one day everytime he says he wants to quit... I'd believe him he actually wants to quit.
  17. ZXD22

    ZXD22 Senior Contributor

    I know that one of my friends started smoking so he could be like his parents. I guess his role model parents were smoking in his presence when he was younger so he wanted to be like his father and also smoke to follow his foot prints and he ended up getting addicted to it. Most people want to follow their role models and end up smoking like they do when is a common thing.
  18. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    It's relaxing, and it's some kind of group activity. It also makes you look somehow sexier, and the feeling is nice. I smoked especially to relieve stress and contemplate things.
  19. Rosyrain

    Rosyrain Community Champion

    I started smoking as a teen out of pure curiosity. My friends at the time were smoking and I wanted to see what it was like. I then continued mostly just because the addiction had a hold on me, not that I particularly enjoyed doing it. I finally managed to quit a few months ago and am already breathing much better.
  20. henry

    henry Community Champion

    I've got to admit that the first time i smoked, it made me real sick. I did not enjoy it at all. But, for some reason, I just kept on doing it. It's incredible how we tend to keep doing things even if we don't like it, just because we think they're cool.