The Nature of Addiction

When you started smoking you will have been lulled in to a false sense of security, thinking you can give up whenever you want until you actually try to stop and can’t.
Some people would have started smoking when they were young and most when they were teenagers.
Everyone in the world no matter who they are want to be accepted. We all fear rejection and ridicule and the majority of young adults have added pressure such as peer pressure and building there own identity.

By examining the reasons behind a young person taking up smoking it is patently obvious that for those personalities who require smoking to 'complete' their image, no amount of scare mongering/insisting/threatening is going stop them smoking. The need to become a complete personality far outweighs the best advice, and the more pressure brought to bear, the more rebellion will occur. If someone tells an adolescent they cannot do something it is like a trigger in their mind that says “we’ll see” Consider the opposites to the reasons for smoking.

Self confidence VERSUS Inadequacy, awkwardness
Accepted VERSUS Rejected
Cool VERSUS Uncool
One of the crowd VERSUS Odd one out
Curious VERSUS Boring
Impressive VERSUS Stupid
Grown-up VERSUS Childish
Occupied VERSUS Bored
In control VERSUS Mummy's boy/girl

It is not the smoking itself that is the appeal, It is the image that is perceived of being a smoker. A mere 4 cigarettes later and the immune system will have kicked in to numb the severity of the symptoms (sickness, light headed, burning throat, coughing) and also elation. It is this elation that you will try to recapture every time you light the next cigarette but it is never the same.

Although you may grow away from the approval seeking loop and remove yourself from the environment of acceptance, the smoking remains as a support or habit. Unfortunately the process of stopping awakens the memories that caused the smoking in the first place and the associated bad feelings recur with all the intensity they had at the time. There is often much low esteem around stopping smoking, with the words "weak, useless and failure" used by smokers to describe themselves. Attempting to stop smoking ceases to have that positive sense of control, pride and achievement because there comes into play a great many obsessive thoughts about the weakness that caused the habit in the first place.

Understanding that you are not the same awkward, vulnerable teenager is the first step in changing your life forever. You are a strong adult that should not need to seek approval from anyone. People will listen if you talk and they will not reject you because you may be different, different is good. Without different the world would be a very boring place.

Every smoker if asked the question "If you had your time again would you start smoking" 90% who are honest with themselves would say definitely no, so why do people carry on smoking knowing it is no good for them. The answer is the nicotine addiction that is present from the very first cigarette. At first the withdrawal symptoms and cravings are so subtle you do not even notice them. Also smoking does not come naturally to many people they have to work hard at it, they will not inhale properly or only smoke half the cigarette but they do persist until it is too late.
Most smokers are eager to admit they are addicted to smoking and use this as an excuse for carrying on, the implications of this are that there is nothing they can do about it. Then there are smokers that take a high moral stance about any drug addiction. For instance most people would be appalled to think of any one they knew being addicted to heroin, they see this as a dirty drug leading to death and destruction both of there own lives and others around them. However smoking is a drug addiction in just the same way but due to the fact that it is sold in shops with million pound advertising instead of street corners it is seen as a clean drug addiction.
An example of this was in America in the 1950's, there was a story on the radio about cigarettes being laced with cannabis and how teenagers were becoming addicted to these cigarettes. People were horrified to think of there children as drug addicts but when they found out it was a hoax it was alright again, perhaps if these parents had open there eyes to the fact that the nicotine was the real drug those teenagers would not have smoked again.
The other reason people carry on smoking, in spite of the overwhelming evidence against smoking is because they do not die after smoking one cigarette. However next time you take a cigarette out of the packet look at it and ask yourself 'Is this the one' The one that triggers the cancer, the one that blocks the artery. It will not have a big Red Cross on it. It is the equivalent to walking across the M60 blindfolded or with your eyes shut, you may be lucky enough to make it across once but would you risk trying it again. That it what you are doing every time you light a cigarette.

Once upon a time it was a 'social advantage' to smoke, you were seen as weak and outcast if you did not. This is mainly due to the most successful advertising campaign ever in the history of man. This is so because people were hooked on Nicotine from the Walter Raleigh days, There were no T.V's or radio or newspapers yet people clambered to stick burning leaves into there mouths. WHY !
Because the rich were doing it and anything the rich do must be good for you RIGHT !

The same has happened right through the 20th Century, with the invention of radio and T.V.
All the stars of the old movies always had a cigarette hanging from their mouth, Humphrey Bogart, Marlon Brando, James Dean, Bette Davis
Steve McQueen and Lana Turner to name a few. Most of whom later died of some form of Cancer or stroke.
This made it cool and OK to smoke, If they were doing it then it cannot be harmful. The BRAINWASHING had begun.

Author's Bio: 

Ian Clark, 34 from Stockport U.K. Studying for a Diploma in Smoking Cessation Therapy. Actively supporting online quitters in their attempts to stop smoking.