Why do people start smoking?

According to the American Heart Association, about 18% of the US population smokes, and this despite all the signs, public health campaigns, exposed health dangers and the fact that smoke will hang around your body, hair and clothes and give you the tell-tale discoloration of fingers, lips and teeth. Why does someone ever begin?

Here are the top reasons people start smoking:

  1. Peer Pressure - Everyone is doing it and I want to look 'cool'.
  2. Social Rewards - I am part of a group and don't we look sophisticated?
  3. Risk-taking Behavior - It's another line to cross and I don't like rules.
  4. Parents smoked - You grew up with it, it's OK for the parents, so why not?
  5. Tobacco Advertising - Light cigarettes, safer cigarettes, the women are long, lean and beautiful and the men are manly-men. Anything to sell the product.
  6. Genetic Predisposition to Addiction - Once you take your first puff, even on a dare, you're hooked.
  7. Self-medication - Nicotine addicts report the following feelings: reduced tension, reduced appetite, sense of well-being and a feeling of peace for that moment.
  8. Media Influences - Like peer pressure and advertising, someone you want to be like smokes, so it's OK because they should know.
  9. Stress Relief - You blow out the stress and see it dissipate when you blow out the smoke.

According to the American Heart Association, about 18% of the US population smokes, and this despite all the signs, public health campaigns, exposed health dangers and the fact that smoke will hang around your body, hair and clothes and give you the tell-tale discoloration of fingers, lips and teeth. Why does someone ever begin?
Here are the top reasons people start smoking:
  1. Peer Pressure - Everyone is doing it and I want to look 'cool'.
  2. Social Rewards - I am part of a group and don't we look sophisticated?
  3. Risk-taking Behavior - It's another line to cross and I don't like rules.
  4. Parents smoked - You grew up with it, it's OK for the parents, so why not?
  5. Tobacco Advertising - Light cigarettes, safer cigarettes, the women are long, lean and beautiful and the men are manly-men. Anything to sell the product.
  6. Genetic Predisposition to Addiction - Once you take your first puff, even on a dare, you're hooked.
  7. Self-medication - Nicotine addicts report the following feelings: reduced tension, reduced appetite, sense of well-being and a feeling of peace for that moment.
  8. Media Influences - Like peer pressure and advertising, someone you want to be like smokes, so it's OK because they should know.
  9. Stress Relief - You blow out the stress and see it dissipate when you blow out the smoke.