General Question

Emilyy's avatar

Tobacco Smokers: Why still smoke ?

Asked by Emilyy (2133points) October 22nd, 2008

So back 60, 50, even 20 years ago we as a society were much less aware of all the health risks associated with smoking, and you see those movies with people smoking in the waiting room of the doctor’s office and whatnot. But it just seems like in today’s day and age, don’t we know better? There are so many people (artists, actors, writers, hipsters, etc) who are still smoking, even though there’s SO much evidence that it’s just bad for you. In a lot of metropolitan cities you can’t smoke in restaurants or bars. I just heard on the news that some colleges have banned smoking on campus. A few beaches have bans as well. What’s the point? Won’t it reach a point where it’s just too much of a hassle because you won’t be able to smoke anywhere? And if you smoke now, is it because you recently took it up, or because you started 15 years ago and can’t stop? If you smoke now, do you see yourself quitting anytime soon?

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55 Answers

b's avatar

Because smoking is cool.

PIXEL's avatar

What isn’t bad for you these days?

Nimis's avatar

Because it goes too well with drinking.
If I quit drinking, I’d probably quit smoking. Not highly likely though.

ciripet's avatar

great question

jessturtle23's avatar

I enjoy it. Pretty stupid, though.

PIXEL's avatar

I think it’s basicly just once you start it’s very hard to stop. Easyer for some but still hard.

deaddolly's avatar

smoking isn’t cool, it stinks. as a person with asthma and who hates second-hand smoke, I’m amazed it’s not illegal everywhere.
I won’t go to concerts where they allow it—I can’t breathe.

Like any addiction, it’s not easy to kick. but, there are so many different options. The least of which is self-control.

AstroChuck's avatar

I, as a non-smoker, was trying to find something positive to say about smoking and I think I’ve found it: Smoking cures weight problems.


La_chica_gomela's avatar

AstroChuck is right. There’s no reason to worry about your health. It’ll go away eventually. ;-)

jsc3791's avatar

I am a social smoker and find myself often wondering why I even bother. If I am not a true, habitual smoker who is addicted, shouldn’t I just quit?

It is really hard to explain. It is a craving that I get from time to time and the feeling of release from it makes it seem worth it at the time.

The good news is, I think that with all of the no-smoking areas popping up every day, less and less people will eventually smoke. I think the reason people still start today is that because these no smoking places have not been in existence that long. With a new generation who knows no different, who hasn’t ever been somewhere where smoking was allowed, it seems that it will make less and less sense to do so.

But that is just MHO.

flameboi's avatar

o.k. I love smoking, I love the smell and taste of a good cigar, it is like a sensual woman, like a extension of your body, how it slowly consumes every time you put it in your mouth, have you ever heard a cigarette burning in your lips? How the smoke makes weird forms as it dissipates in the air of a cold night, just like the thoughts of an adolescent . You just let it burn the way you wish your problems and doubts would burn out in a perfect world. Blow the smoke in front of a window and see how it crashes, see it while you have it in your fingers, your imagination will do the rest…

scamp's avatar

Have any of you had to personally deal with serious addiction? If not, it would be difficult to understand those that do.

@flameboi , you just made me want to light one up!!

flameboi's avatar

I know!!!! Susanc told me the same thing, I just can’t help it, I love to see things (even the bad ones) in a different way, there are a thousand ways to describe a thing, I normally tend to use the one that involves my feelings towards such thing :)

scamp's avatar

You just described a bad thing in a very good way!!

cwilbur's avatar

I grew up knowing of the health risks of smoking. And yet, when I was in high school, many people my age, who also knew the health risks of smoking, took it up.

I can understand why people cannot stop smoking. What baffles me is why people start in the first place.

scamp's avatar

Let it be known that I am in the middle of trying to quit. I’ve been battling it for a couple of months now, and the best I have been able to do is cut way down.

flameboi's avatar

I quit and go back on a regular basis, is like the love of your life, once your lips touched the sweet nectar of it, there is no way back, you will keep coming, you just can’t battle such pleasure…

scamp's avatar

@flameboi Ok, that does it!! I’m taking a cig break!!

Hobbes's avatar

It’s a calculated risk, for me. I smoke about one cigarette a week, not counting second hand smoke. I know that smoking increases the chance of cancer or heart disease, but as flameboi mentioned, it’s really very pleasurable – it’s a relaxing process and a good social bonding thing. Weighing the risks (which are relatively slight – smoking once a week is about the same as going to a club on weekends) against the benefits, I see the increase in the probability of getting cancer as acceptable. Of course, were I to start smoking a pack a day, not only would the pleasure decrease, but the risk would shoot up astronomically, and it would no longer be worthwhile.

Emilyy's avatar

Yes, cwilbur, that’s sort of what my question is geared towards. I totally get that there’s a serious difficulty in kicking a major addiction. But why are people picking it up now?

@Flameboi: the point of this thread wasn’t exactly to get all the people in the midst of quitting all hot and heavy for a cigarette….But if that’s where it’s going, then okay. Everyone take a cig break.

I can’t really relate to flameboi’s love addiction with the cigs, but there are some very unhealthy things that I love every now and then. So on that level, I can relate I guess. It’s just that, if I’m having a craving for a big fat, juicy, unhealthy burger, it doesn’t negatively impact the health of the people around me. I tend to be sort of a libertarian, so if a person wants to sit in his/her house and smoke/drink/eat/drug him/herself to death, that’s one thing. But I just think about the impact that smoking has on one’s friends and family.

This question popped into my head because my ex and I recently got back together after a brief hiatus and during that time he quit smoking cold turkey. His smoking was a big factor for me, becuase my dad was a smoker and I have major hesitations about being with someone long-term who is a smoker. So hopefully he’ll stay a quitter.

even though as much as I hate to admit it, watching him smoke was sexy as hell…

Bri_L's avatar

The question is “Why still smoke” I guess somebody’s answers would be:

1. It is hard to quit
2. I like it more than my health or life at this point
3. I have the money to continue so why not.

jvgr's avatar

I started smoking when I was 12.
I was 17 when the US Surgeon General declared that there was a causal link between smoking and cancer.
I did quit for 6 months in the mid 90’s.
I could quit, but I enjoy smoking and it does have benefits.

About 10 years ago a small book was published; I think it was titled “Smoking”.
The author(s) had researched all the studies that had been done about tobacco use (the chemical effects) and summarized the findings in their book. Among the positive qualities:
It does reduce stress
It helps in focusing one’s attention (which is why baseball players were users of chewing tobacco)
My consumption peaked in university at 40+ cigarettes/day
I now smoke 8 – 10 cigarettes a day.

I live in BC and smoking has been banned in all workplaces (including construction sites), public facilities, restaurants, bars as well as outside near the entrances to the aforementioned facilities and includes entrances to multi-family residential buildings.It may even be banned in vehicles when minors are inside.

Unless the sale of tobacco becomes illegal, I don’t forsee quitting, as I find the experience pleasurable.

Bri_L's avatar

@jvgr – what were the negatives of their findings?

flameboi's avatar

There are certain things that you cannot do without a cigarrette, for example, having coffee, or wine, or scotch, or martinis lol or even reading!
I’m sorry I didn’t mean to change the direction of the thread—I’m not that addicted, I have, mmn, let’s say 4 or 6 every day, sometimes none, sometimes 20, it varies depending on my stress levels (thank you for pointing that out jvgr)...

jvgr's avatar

Bri_L: ”@jvgr – what were the negatives of their findings?”

The obvious health related issues: cancer, emphysema, 2nd hand smoke.

The book only discussed physiological issues, so didn’t branch off into smelly clothes or potential fire hazard from falling asleep while smoking.

Bri_L's avatar

@ jvgr : Ah thanks. I was just wondering if there was any debunking going on.

fireside's avatar

I’ve pretty much quit now after smoking for wow 15 years, but I still have a smoke every once in a while.

Now it is more like it was back when I started, I only want a cigarette when I am around friends who are smoking. I almost never even think about them anymore.

augustlan's avatar

I started smoking at 13, even though I knew the health risks…and was always bugging my mother to stop! I truly have no clue why people ever started smoking. When you have your first cigarette it is generally a horrible experience. You have to force yourself to continue until you get used to it. I suppose I thought it was “cool” at the time. Now, however, I’ve been smoking for almost 30 years. I can’t even contemplate quitting. I enjoy it immensely and wish I didn’t.

deaddolly's avatar

I prefer not to be around ppl who stink of smoke. I go out of my way – not to be. Anyone who’s ever seen anyone die of emphysema will not think it’s sexy or attractive to smoke. Anyone who’s been rushed to the hospital due to a major asthma attack, won’t think it’s sexy either.
Yep,addictions are a bitch to kick. But NO ONE has the right to make me inhale second hand smoke and impact my health. Ppl can smoke their brains their own homes or cars.
I’ve lost 3 ppl to emphysema…not a pretty way to die. Those who crave that cig will soon be eating thru a tube in their stomach.
Now that’s sexy.
My dad stopped after smoking 20 years. Ppl can do it. They just don’t want to.

Knotmyday's avatar

I’ve smoked cigarettes off and on, and I smoke good cigars when I have the inclination.

I enjoy them occasionally. I don’t mean to say that my clothes don’t smell disgusting after an all-nighter, but the occasional whiff of baccy- ‘tis wonderful. Partly for the reasons flameboi outlined (GA), and partly for the memories of wonderful people I miss.

Hobbes's avatar

Look, deaddolly – I understand the resentment of second hand smoke, and I agree that there are a lot of places smoking should be banned (restaurants, for example, because the people around you have no choice about inhaling your smoke). But really, since most of any given city will be non-smoking, if you heckle me for smoking in the few places where I’m allowed to and try to make me put out a cigarette when you could just as easily go to another part of the sidewalk, I’ll tell you to fuck off.

arnbev959's avatar

Smoking is enjoyable.

I’ve smoked off and on, usually after smoking pot, but a few months ago I realized that I was craving a cigarette a little too often, so I decided to stop before I ended up with a tobacco addiction.

But now the cold weather is really making me want to smoke on occasion again. What to do, what to do.

amandaafoote's avatar

At times it’s just the most relaxing thing…

flameboi's avatar

True :)

Bri_L's avatar

@ Those who smoke and find it relaxing – was it when you started or did it become so after you had done it for a long while?

I had a cigarette once to try ( I am asthmatic so it was an experiment) and it burned, burned, burned.

Is the effect of relaxation something that you find after you have gotten past things like that?

deaddolly's avatar

@hobbes What gives you the right to be on the sidewalk and not me? I’m not impacting your health.

Certain areas prohibit you from ‘moving away’, such as outdoor concerts. Ppl blowing smoke in your face there is just as bad as being stuck inside with them.

flameboi's avatar

You feel relaxed after the first blow (at leat it works that way for me)
Don’t ask me why, it just happens…

Bri_L's avatar

@ flamboi – was it that way from the start? when you first started smoking? or was that feeling developed over time as you lit up during stress or none of the above?

augustlan's avatar

@Bri: Definitely after you get used to it. At first, it’s about as relaxing as Pneumonia!

Bri_L's avatar

@augustlan – so at that specific point, with the discomfort, the cost and the health knowledge. What keeps a person doing it?

augustlan's avatar

@Bri: Sigh…I wish I knew! It’s pretty much like that first taste of hard liquor. I’m amazed that anyone drinks or smokes at all, yet I do both!

Bri_L's avatar

@ I know this is a silly comparison but I am that way with soda. If I quit I am fine. And as long as I don’t know where the soda is in the house I am ok. but if I get out of the house alone or find out where it is, I go nuts. I cannot help myself. Once I quit and lost 12 lbs.

flameboi's avatar

After a few days probably, the thing is that you start to associate the habit with other activities, such as reading, or having coffee in the afternoons… The first 2 cigarettes will make you feel dizzy, that’s for sure :)

Bri_L's avatar

Ah, I see. Sort of like sipping a really hot drink. I swear to gosh I am scalding my mouth but a few more and i am grooving.

@ auguslan and flameboi thanks for your patients. I always wanted to know those things

Hobbes's avatar

@deaddolly – I was basing my rant on a few instances in which friends of mine were smoking in legal area, and then had someone walk up to them and asked them to put out their cigarette. My point is that, while smokers should certainly be conscious of other people and not force them to inhale smoke, non-smokers shouldn’t assume that they can tell someone to put out a cigarette whenever they please.

deaddolly's avatar

@hobbes It totally depends on the place and situation…posibly someone was very, very allergic.

Hobbes's avatar

Mmm. True. I suppose it’s just more an issue of who is imposing on who. The fact remains, though, that being told to stop smoking in one of the very few places you’re allowed to is extremely irritating.

deaddolly's avatar

as id smoke blown in my face as I’m trying to walk thru a crowd. i start wheezing like a maniac.

Hobbes's avatar

Well, yes. That would be a situation where the smoker is being rude, and of course the situation changes if you’re asthmatic or allergic. I’m just saying that the smoker isn’t the rude one in every situation – often the non-smoker is the one being presumptuous.

deaddolly's avatar

@hobbes let’s agree to disagree!!! :]

Hobbes's avatar

Sounds like a plan =]

breedmitch's avatar

I quit earlier this year and I’ve got to tell you, it was really, really easy. I had it in my head that this was something that would be really hard, but it wasn’t. Maybe I got lucky.
I came down with a bad cold and couldn’t (didn’t feel like) smoke, and after four days a good friend said, “You know, your body’s already weening. Why don’t you see how long you can go.” That was it. It wasn’t like I was trying to quit; It was like I was trying to see how long I could go without.
The first few weeks were trying, but not beyond my ability. It really does become a battle of wills, but eventually it gets soooo much better. Since then I have had a few (less than 10) cigarettes, but only when I’m drunk, and I don’t beat myself up over it.
If you want to quit, you can. It’s really not that hard.

Jack79's avatar

ditto breedmitch. I quit almost 5 years ago and it was much easier than I thought. But to answer the original question: 1) yes, I was addicted and 2) I actually enjoyed the taste. Seriously. I can’t stand it now, but I remember back then the smell and taste of fresh tobacco was as good as any food. Plus it was a ritual for me, to smoke while drinking aromatic tea.

Even though I quit, I am not an anti-smoker. I remember how annoying it was to not be allowed to smoke, even in open-air places where I wouldn’t be bothering anyone. I find some of these new laws silly. It’s one thing to ban smoking in lifts and buses where non-smokers would choke to death, and another one to tell people how to run their own lives when they’re not harming anyone.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
bobocalyth's avatar

Smoking is not a crime. And everyone have the rights to smoke or not. What’s more, smoking can help us take attentions to one thing, help us to work better..

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