Most people start smoking when they are in their teens and are addicted by the
time they reach adulthood. Some have tried to quit but have returned to cigarettes
because smoking is such a strong addiction. It is a habit that is very difficult
to break. There are many different reasons why people smoke.
2. Three of the main reasons that young people smoke are to look mature, to be like their friends, and to experiment. Since teens see older people all around them smoking, especially their parents and relatives, they smoke to act older. If their friends or peers smoke, they may feel pressured into doing the same to be accepted. The last reason is the excitement of experimenting with something that is forbidden. In Massachusetts it is against the law for anyone under 18 years old to smoke. Usually parents do not allow their under age teens to smoke. Therefore, smoking becomes very attractive. It is exciting to get cigarettes and sneak away to smoke without being caught.
3. Adults smoke for other reasons. They may have a lot of stress and pressures because of economic and personal problems. They may be unemployed or working but not making enough money to take care of themselves and their families. They may be homeless, or they may be dealing with alcohol or cocaine/heroin addictions. Some may be in bad marriages or relationships in which there is physical and/or verbal abuse. All these people may smoke to feel relaxed or to give them energy while going through a hard time.
4. Whether young or old, some people smoke to control their weight. Smokers, on the average, weigh seven pounds less than non-smokers. Smoking reduces a person's appetite. It lessens his/her sense of taste and smell. This could be why ex-smokers gain weight after quitting cigarettes. Food tastes and smells so much better.
5. Finally, there are people who say they love to smoke. Smoking gives them pleasure. It just makes them feel good.