To Smoke, Or Not To Smoke?

Tini K By Tini K, 6th Apr 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>News>Health

Why do people choose to smoke knowing that the cons outweigh the so-called pros? As a non smoker whose married to a smoker, it's a topic close to me. Whether you're a smoker or not.. free to share your opinions!

Why Smoke?

Smoking and tobacco kill. Everybody knows it. So why would anyone in their right mind and aware of the penalties take up this habit in the first place? Deathwish? No. Plenty of smart, intelligent people smoke.

What's the difference between smoking and setting your dollar bills alight before watching them burn?

Social Habit

Peer pressure plays a big factor: Teenagers and young people wanting to fit in with the "cool crowd" and their peers will take up smoking, rather than risk being a social outcast.

I know people who only smoke when they're in a social situation.

"When I see my friends lighting up, I'll join in," they admit. When asked why, the most common reply was, "Because it's better to suck in firsthand smoke than passively breathe in second-hand smoke."

I could scarcely believe it when I heard this line of reasoning coming from a healthcare professional (and social smoker). Was it a case of extremely twisted logic? Lack of education, perhaps? Or just an excuse to smoke?


Many tobacco-lovers will confess, "I smoke to relieve stress." It's true that high-stress professions, such as the military, have higher numbers of smokers.

But some experts argue that it's the process of inhaling deeply that relaxes a person, and not the nicotine itself. In which case, deep-breathing exercises should help to reduce one's stress, minus the cigarette in hand. Yoga, anyone?


It's a widespread, misconstrued belief that smoking somehow makes a person more glamorous, thanks to modern celebrity pop-culture, which glamorises smoking. If youngsters wanting to be seen as "cool" see their favourite big-screen movie star or pop star smoking, then why not follow their idol's example?

Some are also under the impression that because cigarettes suppress appetite, they can stay "supermodel thin" by consuming tobacco in place of proper meals - appearance being top of many people's lists, in today's beauty-conscious society. If you'd rather starve your body instead of nourishing it, then that's your right as an individual.

Fitness and Cigarettes Don't Go Together..Do They?

If the above isn't contradictory enough - what about those hardcore fitness fanatics who light up after their workouts? We all know them: They go to the gym, jog, and play sports.

One can only assume fitness and health are a priority - until they light up. I would ask: Do you want to maintain your health or ruin it? You can't have both. Eventually, the consequences of one habit will catch up with the other, right?

Why Quit?

So what motivates most people to get off the smoking bandwagon? "Family" tops the "Reason to Quit" list for many former tobacco-lovers. Many ex-smokers confess that it was their children and spouses who motivated them to drop the habit.

It can't be easy for a parent to see an asthmatic child suffer, thanks to their smoking. Unless perhaps, some aren't savvy enough to see how the two are linked. Health, or the prospect of losing it, is another powerful fear factor that prompts others to kick the habit.

Just one smoker can expose his or her entire family to second-hand smoke every day, making loved ones involuntarily passive smokers.

Third Hand Smoke

Just one smoker can expose his or her entire family to second-hand smoke every day, making loved ones involuntarily passive smokers.

There's also the much scarier "third-hand smoke". New studies say it gets trapped in curtains, clothes and carpets, posing a risk, with children being the most vulnerable.

Disease Doesn't Discriminate

My father, recently at the hospital for a check-up, sat next to a healthy-looking young man. The teen's fit and strapping appearance masked his true condition. At the tender age of 17 years, he confided that he had lung cancer contracted from his multi-pack-a-day habit, which he'd begun at 14.

An acquaintance of ours was also struck down with lung cancer, though he'd never touched a cigarette in his life. After years of exposure to smoke in his workplace, where the majority of his colleagues shared the habit, he lost his life. His family lost a husband and father.

License To Kill

Cigarette companies basically have a licence to kill. They rake in millions, and as old customers die, new ones are lining up to take up the habit.

And smokers who grumble about public smoking bans - the next time you light up, you may have the right to poison yourselves for your own pleasure - just not the people around you.


Health, Opinions, Smoking

Meet the author

author avatar Tini K
Freelancer: radio presenter, former news anchor, currently news editor and director. Love to write for my local paper.

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author avatar Retired
6th Apr 2012 (#)

nice analysis

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author avatar Buzz
7th Apr 2012 (#)

Thanks for raising awareness to the health hazards of smoking.

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