The substance that smokers are always tempted to smoke with is called nicotine. This is contained in tobacco. People smoke even though they know it is unhealthy. But what is behind the craving to smoke one over and over again? In fact, the addiction of smoking is one of the hardest habits to break.
Why do people smoke? Explanation, reasons, causes
There are many different reasons for people to start smoking. Apart from that, the harder it is to stop smoking. Nicotine acts very strongly as an addictive substance and quickly takes control in a person’s life. Although many smokers want to quit smoking, often only less than 10% succeed in doing so.
There is now mounting evidence that in the brain, the so-called endogenous opioid system is linked to addiction to nicotine. Various studies have shown that the consumption of nicotine even releases endorphins in the brain. These endorphins, in turn, release positive feelings in the endogenous opioid system, causing a pleasurable effect in most smokers.
One can imagine that the endogenous opioid system functions like an information network. All information is then passed on via various messenger substances – such as endorphins. These messenger substances then stick to special receptors. If one consumes a large amount of drugs, the amount of messenger substances also increases and can thus confuse the entire information network in the brain.
Reasons for smoking
Many smokers are afraid to stop smoking because they might gain weight. This is not entirely unfounded, as nicotine has been shown to inhibit appetite. People who have stopped smoking then eat more instead of smoking. In addition, nicotine boosts the metabolism and consequently a smoker also consumes more calories. Nevertheless, this is the completely wrong reason to start smoking, because very few people started smoking because of weight problems.
Those who want to stop smoking should pay more attention not to look for substitutes in food, because then there is a good chance to remain a slim non-smoker. Additional, sufficient exercise can support this process.
Other smokers report that a cigarette makes them more relaxed. Especially when stressed and nervous, people most often reach for a cigarette. They hope it will have a calming effect. It does not take long for the inhaled smoke to reach the brain and satisfy the craving. However, it is the other way around: it is not the nicotine that calms the smoker, but the absence of nicotine that triggers tension. In principle, this is nothing other than a kind of withdrawal symptom that occurs when the supply of nicotine is absent for a longer period of time. Since many smokers are given the impression that smoking could have a relaxing effect, they often reach for the cigarette, which creates a true vicious circle.
If smokers are asked why they actually consume cigarettes, the most common reason given is sociability. As a smoker one finds fast connection – so the train of thought. Nevertheless, one has nothing whatsoever to do with the other. After all, there are just as many non-smokers who enjoy the company of other people and like to talk to them. Who would like simply once before the door, in order to snatch fresh air or with other humans to stand together, does not have to light itself for it equal a cigarette. If you think that smoking unites people, you might as well say that not smoking unites people. The advantage with non-smokers, moreover, is that a social gathering doesn’t have to focus solely on a segregated smoking area.
Why is it difficult to quit smoking? Explanation
Basically, two components are responsible for this: the habit as well as nicotine. It occurs naturally in the tobacco plant and is considered a highly addictive substance. When nicotine is consumed, it releases the reward hormone dopamine in the brain.
Furthermore, smokers find it difficult to stop smoking because they associate certain rituals, i.e. habits, with the cigarette. This can be either the cigarette after a good meal or the cigarette with coffee. Actually, whenever a person wants to relax. Breaking these habits requires some discipline and is not always easy. Just as challenging, of course, is the physical dependence.
Conclusion: Why do people smoke? Explanation, reasons, causes
Globally, the popularity of smoking has declined in recent years. Not least, health concerns have played a large part in this. Nevertheless, there are still many people who smoke regularly. Simply put, it’s not worth it to start smoking in the first place. For those who are already heavy smokers, quitting smoking may be an option.
Smokers who have decided to stop smoking usually first try a cold turkey withdrawal, which can, however, also bring some dangers with it. As a smoker, you should realize that you are not alone and it is not impossible to quit smoking. In this day and age, there are many methods to finally become smoke-free. These include practices such as hypnosis, an injection in the ear or even nicotine replacement therapy.