Do you remember your first cigarette? Chances are that you do. Was it a friend? Family member? Co-worker? Or, maybe it was just stress that drove you into the arms of one of the deadliest habits you can get into. Whatever the case may be, you’ve likely asked yourself more than once, “why do I smoke and why do I keep smoking?”
This is a natural question for anyone who’s aware of what smoking does to a person. Form heart disease to cancer to sexual dysfunction and more, the effects of smoking are widespread and heartbreaking, and they don’t just affect the smoker. Second-hand smoke has been linked to many similar cancers and ailments, which is why public smoking is banned in so many places.
Let’s look closer at why you might be smoking and why it’s so hard to stop smoking forever.
Why Did You Start?
First, let’s think about what drove you to pick up that first cigarette. For some, the answer is as simple as peer pressure. Our peers have a strange way of influencing our behaviors and encouraging us to do things we wouldn’t under normal circumstances, and many smokers start because of social pressure. In fact, peer influence can actually double the risk of developing a smoking habit in adolescents.
Some people simply start out of stress. We live in a stressful world, after all. We have so many obligations to meet, places to get to on time, bills are always piling on, and life has a way of throwing curveballs when we least expect them. Sometimes, we just need something to take the edge of. For some, that’s smoking, using CBD products, vaping, or any other vice that can take the edge off for a short period of time.
What Are Your Triggers?
For many smokers, there’s a “trigger” that occurs during the day that makes them want to smoke. Stress, unpleasant emotions, and other feelings can cause you to need a cigarette, or so it seems. What’s really causing you to want to smoke is an addiction to nicotine, which is found naturally in tobacco. Cigarettes contain about twice the normal nicotine levels thanks to clever genetic engineering on the part of tobacco companies.
With more nicotine in cigarettes, it’s easier to keep people hooked. What’s interesting is that once you start smoking, you’re actually likely to feel more anxiety due to the fact that nicotine addiction is demanding. You can’t get away from it; every few hours, you need to smoke a cigarette.
It might feel like it’s melting away your stress, but the cigarette is simply pleasing the nicotine addiction. You’re not actually helping anything by smoking.
Why Can’t I Stop?
Nicotine is an incredibly powerful chemical. It’s among the top five most addictive substances known to man, and tobacco companies work very hard to keep you smoking. With billions in profits every year, the industry wants to keep churning that hefty profit, and to do so, they must minimize the knowledge about smoking that the public has access to while making their products seem more appealing.
Once your body becomes chemically addicted to nicotine, you won’t be able to shake the addiction without some major intervention. Plenty of people have quit cold-turkey, but this is a long and difficult road. Some better options are nicotine replacement therapy, CBD products, tobaccoless products, and even nicotine gum to help you curb that addiction and get your life back.
Destructive And Deadly
Everyone knows that smoking is dangerous and can cause cancer; it even says so on the carton itself! Despite adequate warnings and ample evidence to prove beyond a doubt that smoking is a deadly habit, millions still smoke on a daily basis.
The bottom line is that smoking will kill you, given enough time. Every time you take a drag, you expose your lungs, heart, and other major organs and blood vessels to over 7,000 chemicals from the pesticides and fertilizers sprayed on tobacco products. Cigarettes even contain arsenic, which is a known deadly poison used to control pests on tobacco farms.
Not to mention, the tobacco industry itself accounts for unspeakable environmental damage every year. From extensive deforestation projects to make room for new farms to toxic waste creation to the pollution of waterways, airways, and countless ecosystems, the tobacco industry is slowly killing our planet.
It’s Never Too Late To Stop
Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually never too late to quit smoking. There are success stories in all age brackets, and you can become one, too. Put the cigarettes down forever and put your mind at ease knowing that you’re no longer risking your personal health or lining the pockets of an industry that’s slowly destroying our only home.