Smoking poses a serious environmental and health problem. It contributes to air pollution and causes respiratory problems even on non-smokers. Let us take on the advocacy against smoking, and prove our commitment towards a cleaner, safer, and healthier environment.
We all know it: “Smoking is bad”. Non-smokers know it, smokers know it very well. Yes, indeed they do. In the first place, they are the one who always get to read the warnings on cigarette boxes – from a subtle warning that says “government warning: cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health” to a subtle threat that says “smoking kills”. Smokers know about the ill-effects of smoking more than a non-smoker do, which lead us to wonder why do they keep on smoking.
A number of studies have been made in order to obtain answers that make sense. Indeed, I found various theories seeking to explain the reason why some people smoke. Let me share these things to all of you:
They say that for most teenagers smoking is, more often than not, a form of rebellion against parental authority. For some, it makes them feel mature or for some it is brought about by peer pressure. Later on, even when the juvenile impulse to rebel has faded away and peer pressure has no effect any longer; most people who have started smoking still continue because of the simple reason that they can not stop. Nicotine is a highly addictive substance that makes people feel energized and alert. Smokers get a rush after a cigarette, and giving up produces withdrawal symptoms that include difficulty in sleeping and cravings. Seventy percent of people who quit smoking eventually start again.
Smoking also produces psychological dependency. Many people smoke because it helps them relax and cope with difficult situations, or because it gives them confidence. Others smoke when they feel bored. Smoking produces a feeling of satisfaction that’s difficult to give up. Many people believe that smoking keeps them thin, but the truth is that smoking reduces the sense of taste; so many people who smoke simply eat less because they don’t enjoy food as much. Smoking is a social activity as well. Many people who smoke do so as a way to start conversations and interact at parties or in crowded places. This is known as “social smoking,” and it usually involves alcohol as a complement. Tobacco advertising also has a big influence on why people smoke. For years, the industry has focused on making smoking glamorous through advertising in movies, television, and billboards.
Why am I stating these things? Am I trying to rationalize the act of cigarette smoking? Am I trying to defend those who smoke? No. All I am trying to do is to share facts that may help us understand, somehow, the reason behind why people smoke. So we will know how to deal with them. We must know by now that condemning them and threatening them won’t help them stop.
Smoking, before it eventually become a habit, is generally brought about by personal issues. To convince a smoker to stop is to make them recognize that their choice to smoke is no longer a personal issue but a very serious environmental concern that affects smokers and especially passive smokers. Besides, smoke does not respect personal space or privacy. It does not only affect the smoker alone but even that person beside him or her who chose wisely not to smoke because they just want to live a little bit longer to see their children grow or to accomplish their dreams in life. Technically, we are all smokers – active and passive/secondhand smokers. Any reasons that any research may provide will not cover up for the serious effect of smoking to each and every person who shares just one earth. If you tell a smoker that smoking kills they will just dismiss that statement with a shrug and they would probably retort that they are ready to die anyway. But if we appeal to their conscience, they might realize that, yes they may be ready to die but is the person next to them ready as well?
We may be familiar with the old adage that says: “Smokers don’t grow old…they die young”. But the most serious thought to entertain right now, given the dangerous effect of smoking to the environment and to non-smokers; the more appropriate adage should be: “Secondhand smokers don’t grow older than smokers….they die younger”.
Just a thought…