What Makes People "Light Up"

Everyone knows that addictions are hard to break. It is possible, but it's also difficult, and smoking is one of the most difficult addictions to break. It is estimated by scientists that cigarettes are even more addictive than heroin, cocaine, or alcohol and according to WHO (World Health Organization), it kills more people than any disease in the world. Since none of this information is top-secret and most people know about it - why do they still light up?

What's In It For Them?

Most of the time, people continue to smoke because they can't stop. A nicotine addiction keeps them tied to the feelings of energy and alertness they have come to depend upon when they place a match to the end of a cigarette. There's a significant rush with that first inhalation and on the flip side, there are severe and sometimes painful symptoms when they stop. Withdrawal is scary. Cravings and difficulty sleeping, anxiety and headaches are just a few of the symptoms that accompany withdrawal from cigarettes.

Promise of Goodies

Although cigarette advertising has been forced to change over the years, for many the allure and glamour that was portrayed by the cigarette companies' advertising campaigns hooked many a young man or young woman into the web. Now, instead of seeing a sexy and beautiful woman or a rugged and handsome man drawing on a cigarette, cigarette companies are providing free samples, smoking cartoons, and gifts exchanged for coupons found on cigarette packages in order to keep people buying.

The Psychology of Smoking

There is also a psychological dependency that comes along with smoking. How many times has it been said that a cigarette helps one to relax? Coping with tough situations seems easier with a smoke. Others feel more confident if they have a lit cigarette in their hand. Boredom is yet another reason people light up - they need to be doing something with their hands so they light a cigarette, pipe, or cigar.

Even though almost every person who smokes agrees that it is bad for them and those around them, they have often convinced themselves that it isn't as bad as some people profess it to be. Smoking produces a feeling of satisfaction they say, something that is hard to let go of.

It's A Social Thing

It is also a social activity. Offering someone a cigarette is an accepted opening to a new conversation. It's a lead-in to an introduction at a party or social event. Social smoking usually involves a cigarette in one hand and an alcoholic drink in the other. Along the same vein is peer pressure, which introduces many young teens to smoking. Acceptability in a group and joining the rebellion against adult and parental authority has made smoking a trademark.

People smoke for a variety of reasons, and to them, their reasons are good enough to continue on with the habit, regardless how bad it is for them.