We know it can kill us and yet millions still smoke cigarettes. Moreover, thousands add up to the statistics of people picking up the habit annually. Despite knowing the fact that it is the number 1 cause of preventable death for decades, don’t you wonder why people still smoke? This does not exclude the members of the health care team.
It is ironic that we educate our patients about the risks of smoking to our health and promote smoking cessation yet a study revealed that 30% of nurses smoke (UK). Are these nurses and doctors who smoke offer effective smoking cessation advice to their patients?
In the Philippines, 200 Filipinos die everyday due to smoking-related diseases as of 2016. An administrative order was issued in 2010 by the Department of Health requiring the inclusion of graphic warning labels on cigarette packs and prohibiting the use of misleading descriptions such as “mild” and “light” on tobacco packaging. In spite of the boost in anti-smoking campaign of the government, The Philippines is still among the top 20 nations with highest smoking population.
Simple reasons why people smoke cigarette
1.It relieves stress
Stress is one of the main contributing factors to nurses’ smoking. The same case might also be true to others. A survey conducted by Nursing Times found that 1 in 10 of 1300 respondents had recently started smoking or was smoking due to stress.
People who smoke think that smoking settles their nerves and manages tension. However, smoking only serves as a stress reliever on a psychological note.
One of the biggest influence that lead smoking a habit is peer pressure. Young teenagers are very susceptible to peer pressure because it is the time when they rely heavily on friends for social support and affirmation. It is more of experimenting with tobacco, the feeling of not wanting to be alone, the curiosity of trying something new or something almost everyone in the group is doing.
Smokers often say “they need a smoke” when they are anxious. They develop mental dependency on smoking to help them cope with their problems. Studies have shown that people are addicted to smoking because of psychological reasons which is more difficult to deal with than getting over nicotine addiction.
What a child sees a child does. Children of active smokers are more likely to smoke than those of non-smoker parents. If parents are committed to raising smoke-free children, they have to communicate to their kids the dangers of smoking to health so that when the child grows into teenage years, parental messages will resonate thus protecting him/her from becoming addicted to smoking.
Some people smoke to control their weight. Smoking reduces a person’s appetite which in turn does not make you much hungry. This could be the reason why ex-smokers gain weight after quitting cigarette. Food will taste and smell better.
There’s a thrill that comes from breaking the rules.Teenagers are so much into adventure and experiments particularly when it is forbidden. They love to play risky activities, dare the consequences and feel great about it especially if not caught. Smoking is one of these activities which makes it attractive and exciting to young adults. To curious cats, it makes them look badass.