Every task we perform in our life has some curiosity hidden inside it, curiosity to experience something new. Unaware of its pros and cons we want to experience it. Once we get a spark of pleasure from that experience it becomes our habit and then slowly that habit becomes our addiction. Everything has developed in its own way in each and every corner of this world may it be science, business or diseases. Yes even diseases have shown development, now diseases are sold in shops, cafe, restaurants and supermarkets wrapped in some paper, packed in a packet and with a bold warning on their marketing packet itself that ‘smoking causes cancer’. Even after being warned by tobacco producing companies that their product is harmful 6.5 trillion cigarettes are being sold every year which accounts for 18 billion cigarettes per day. So the question that pops up in our mind is what could be the main reason behind so many people smoking even after being warned?
To identify different reasons for smoking a study was conducted among the students of Jordan University of Science & Technology in Irbid, Jordan. The study consisted of random 650 students. After being asked it was revealed that 28.6% of students were smoking out of which among males 50.2% were found to smoke and for females it was found to be 6.5%. On being asked friends were the main source for smoking and most of them had lighten up their first cigarette at the age of 15. For males the main reason was found to be calming down and for females it was found out to be independence. Reason given by smokers to begin smoking was pleasure which was further followed by stress. Out of the 28.6% smokers 2/3rd of them thought to quit smoking in the coming time. Rest of the smokers didn’t want to quit because of their addiction or because they had no idea how to quit smoking. Another study was conducted in metropolitan area of Darwin, Australia. It included 80 regular smokers 21 being males and rest 59 being females to write down all possible reasons they could think of for smoking. At the end 25 reasons were found that people usually have for smoking. To cross check these 25 reason another 128 regular smokers were involved 59 males and rest 69 being females and out of these 25,4 major reasons were identified that were social acceptance, addiction or habit, pleasure & boredom. Even out of these 4, addiction and pleasure were found to be more strongly supported by smoker’s themselves.
From all of these studies pleasure and addiction can be considered to be most important factors influencing tobacco use. So the question which is the need of an hour is which is the driving force for continuation of smoking, pleasure or addiction? Pleasure due to tobacco is due to a major constituent called nicotine which is known to be a major motivation for smokers to continue. Nicotine after being smoked enters brain where it stimulates nicotinic cholinergic receptor. Nicotinic cholinergic receptors after being stimulated release a well-known neurotransmitter known as Dopamine. Dopamine is generally referred as chemical for pleasure. Once people get this pleasure they light up cigarette every time they need it.
Cigarette smoking is not just a habit for smokers which they can easily quit, smoking for them is like a therapy to relieve stress or to get out of depression. According to a study smoker tries to quit for about 6-11 times before he/she successfully quits smoking. As smoking cigarette is associated with release of dopamine which induces pleasure and smokers feel relaxed. Slowly when this dopamine level starts decreasing nicotine withdrawal symptoms become to appear such as depression, irritation, mood swings and carving for nicotine which drives smoker back to cigarettes. This is an important reason why majority of smokers are not able to quit smoking.
Till now it is clear that tobacco is majorly used for pleasure or for relaxing mind but among which group of people tobacco use is more prevalent? To answer this question a study was conducted in India which involved 301984 adults age group ranging from 18 or above. Results of study highlighted the relation between socioeconomic status & tobacco consumption. People without any education were found to be smoking 2.69 times more compared to people with post-graduation. In regarding with socioeconomic status low socioeconomic status people were found to be smoking 2.54 times more than people with high socioeconomic status. According to a recent survey the total population of smokers is 1.3 billion out of which 84% of the population lives in developing and transitional economic countries. Socioeconomic status and tobacco can be studied at 2 different levels individual level and national level. If talking about individual level money spent by poor people on tobacco can cost them more they can think of because money which they have to spent on their daily requirements and education is spent on tobacco which in turn gives them serious diseases like cancers, heart attacks and respiratory diseases which again costs them a lot. Instead of spending money on basic needs of life like food, shelter and education poor people spend money on tobacco. According to study conducted in Bangladesh it was found that 10.5 million people who are suffering from malnourishment can get adequate food if they stop spending money on tobacco. Reasons why poor people spend more money on tobacco instead of spending it on basic needs of life can be they have never informed how to live a healthy life due to lack of public policies which provide information and knowing this fact that poor people do not have education and do not know about healthy lifestyle tobacco companies are successful in targeting this group of population.
But what about the case of those children who are getting education and are very well informed about negative impacts of smoking begin to smoke? To answer this question here is an example of a 12 year old child who saw her parents smoking. For her smoking was not a bad habit because her parents were very hard working and good people for her. So following her parents she started smoking at the age of 12. Even after so many programs being conducted in her school regarding adverse effects of smoking could not influence her because of the image of her parents smoking. She continued smoking after that with her friends and later with her collogues. After getting married and having kids she smoke because of being depressed and ignoring long term hazards of smoking she focused more on to pass her present day8. So according to this case child’s parents were smokers which drag the child on the path of smoking but there are other reason as well why people start smoking. Some people start smoking just to show that they have grown up and they are not any more a little kid. Other reasons for beginning of smoking can be peers or siblings. It is been observed that from the day beginner lights up his/her first cigarette within a time period of 1 year his/her brain needs desired nicotine level due to which they need to smoke in fixed regular interval of time.
According to the above example parents are the reason why child started smoking but if on one hand parent’s can be a reason for a child to start smoking on the other hand children can be the reason why most of the parents quit smoking. Some parents quit smoking for being a good examples for their child. Every year out of every 5 smokers 2 of them try to quit but success rate being only 10%. Smokers that were successful in quitting smoking were found to have some regulations regarding not to smoke within their homes & were more aware about their health issues. Study also confirmed that by involving any family member would motivate smokers to quit10. Success rate of smokers to quit smoking which is quite low could be due to addiction towards nicotine.
According to the results there can be various reasons which make people start walking on the path of smoking. Major influencing factor is pleasure that smokers get in the rear of smoking their first cigarette and during the hour they are running for pleasure they set up high nicotine levels for brain which accounts for addiction of smoking. Smokers from their very first day of smoking establish a comfort zone in which the only friend they have is a cancer stick which helps them to calm down and get over any kind of problem they are going through. But that’s not the actual friend they have because to the name of friend smoking is gifting mankind plenty of toxins and many other diseases. Considering pleasure which doesn’t lasts for long but can be experienced again and again number of cigarettes per day keeps on increasing which indeed increases dependence on smoking leading to addiction. And eventually in life of a smoker cigarette gets attached to every emotion of their life.
Smoking is injurious to health is now very well-known phrase even among people with lower education but by the time individual gets conscious of it they are already dependent on it. A fake believe among youth that they are not going to be a long term smoker brings them more close to cigarettes and within couple of years there is not a single day they can survive without a cigarette. Young individual usually begin to smoke to relieve stress or relax their mind there are plenty other methods to alleviate tension here comes the part of family tree and friends. Smokers are not alone under negative impacts of smoking person surrounding them inhaling smoke are at high increased risk of getting harmed. This is more often seen in restaurants and cafes where non-smokers are frequently surrounded by smokers and are effected due to smoke.
Guidance plays a crucial role in every person’s life to make them recognize distinctness connecting good and poor. 31.9% persons with no diploma were found to smoke compared with 6.4% individuals with graduate degree. To depart from smoking is not effortless task for a long term smoker as he/she will encounter carving for smoking due to nicotine dependency, will have depressed mood and anxiety which will drive him back to smoking. This carving for smoking is major challenge faced by smokers and most important obstacle of their path to quit smoking. Certain smokers don’t even make an effort to quit smoking as they do not consider themselves obsessed with cigarettes.
Another thing in market known as e-cigarette is often used by many smokers those who are trying to quit. Success rate for these e-cigarettes are quite impressive. According to a recent study conducted among US citizens which supported that e-cigarettes were one of the most efficient way used by smokers to quit. In contrasrt to other years 2014-2015 showed improvement in rates of smoker’s quitting. If the present trend continues in coming years cases related to smoking will begin to double compare to present ones. It is not only responsibility of normal individuals to have a control over smoking, support from government is equally important. According to a study government collects more than 200 billion $ globally out of which less than 1% of total collection is spent on tobacco control programs. The reason behind government being least interested is that huge collection of tobacco related taxes they collect worldwide and no-one in today’s time wants to kill a goose that lays golden eggs. As tobacco smoking is disaster created by humans then only humans are capable of controlling and managing this disaster or else tobacco killing will soon reach a billion.
Smoking is not only a habit nowadays, it has become the part of identity for some people and it has become a new standard for people to prove they have grown up. It is not only nicotine addiction or pleasure, people with long term history of cigarette smoking are psychological attached to cigarettes which becomes the major hurdle for them to cross and quit smoking. People begin smoking for pleasure or to relax themselves but end up being addicted to it. To escape the pool of nicotine smoker first needs to realize that he is enjoying in a wrong pool, this pool has pleasure only on its superficial layers but fatal diseases and increased expenses will continue drowning them. Poor people make up for highest percentage of smokers globally just because of inadequate public health services and lack of education. According to some people everyone has to die due to something so why they should face so much of challenges and bother themselves to quit smoking. This also is an important cause among to carry on with smoking and enjoy their pleasure until they are alive. Surprising fact is most of the smokers are aware of negative impacts of smoking but they do not have free choice to quit because they are so addicted that they need to smoke either just after waking up in the morning or within 30 minutes they get down from bed. So pleasure and addiction to cigarette are co-related to each other people begin to smoke for gaining pleasure or to relax their mind to face the problems and situations but end up being addicted to it. For relaxing mind or gaining pleasure smoking is not the only option people are left with and even the pleasure they choose is not the real pleasure it is never ending path which has hand full of problems and diseases along with fake pleasure. People now a days instead of focusing on long term destructive results of smoking tend to choose short term pleasurable moments to get a break from their daily life schedule. Regarding youngster when they observe their mom dad and grandparents smoking around them and still living a normal life do not consider smoking as a injurious human habit which is now a day’s major factor for increasing young children smokers. Every individual should has easy access to public health care programs where they get informed by harmful effects of smoking and should be helped if they take a step forward to leave smoking but before that human beings have to be influenced that smoking is not a stress reliever instead it is the major cause why they have stress related problems and there are countless other better options to make people feel better and happy.
A well-known phrase very well explains the condition of smokers who take initiate to quit smoking is “to escape from the prison you must first have to realize that you are in prison”.