Why do people smoke? (in Off-topic)

Flamey November 29 2006 4:36 AM EST

Hello, yes, I am wondering, why do so many people smoke?

I am still a child, but I see no reason or logic behind it. It tastes bad, makes you extremely unhealthy and costs a lot of money. Don't those things over weigh the addiction involved in it? I tried a puff once, let me tell you, was completely awful and I felt like I couldn't breathe properly for about a week.

one of my sisters still smokes, one did quit. My dad died from a heart attack, I believe mostly caused by the heavy smoking and drinking, now that in itself, will put me off being a regular drinker and smoker, I don't need any education on the matter, I don't need ads on TV, my dad dying at the age of 46 is enough, i was only 4, so yes, I'm fatherless, it made my three (half) sisters have no parents, but they are adults now and leading lives. I still don't understand why my sister doesn't quit, and in general everyone else.

No, this isn't about my sister, this about the general population, why would you continue smoking? It looks like they're throwing their lives and money away.

AdminG Beee November 29 2006 4:46 AM EST

As a smoker (ex-kinda) I can't really justify the habit.

I've spent way too much money on booze and cigarettes and have also seen loved ones die as a result.

Indeed - why?

We're human, we're fickle, we're fireproof and it always happens to someone else. Until it's too late.. That's why.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] November 29 2006 4:52 AM EST

I think most are addicted before they realise. :/

Adminedyit [Superheros] November 29 2006 5:30 AM EST

Nicotine is twice as addictive than Heroine. Don't start is my advice. I used to be a smoker. Quitting smoking was the hardest thing I ever did. It took me 4 tries and I think (I hope) I have it licked this time.

TheHatchetman November 29 2006 5:40 AM EST

If you wanna puff... Be prepaired to puff...
Your cigarette,
Your inhaler,
Your oxygen tank,
Your, well... after this, you're connected to a machine that puffs for you... Ahhh... the simple life.

AdminShade November 29 2006 5:46 AM EST

Most people who now smoke, smoke because they can't or won't stop.

People who are starting to smoke do this mostly out of a feeling of toughness and popularity.

TheHatchetman November 29 2006 6:42 AM EST

Public Service Announcement:

Smoking is not cool, nor is it tough. It actually affects the immune system and your muscles, and your whole body in general, in a negative. Basically making you weaker. That, and realising that something only ~4mm wide and 72-101 mm long is stronger than you... I hate smoking, just can't (or haven't tried hard enough to) stop, although i'd like to.

MissingNo November 29 2006 7:03 AM EST

I decided recently that I was going to stop smoking for good. My first real time that I started smoking was last year and all the popular kids did it, so I tried it. I smoked occasionally every once in awhile but it wasn't until like 2-3 months ago that I really started smoking on a daily basis. There's a number of reasons why I did it, the most noticeable is the calming effect it has. No matter how stressed out or angry you are, when you smoke a cigarette, all that goes away, and you feel content, if only for a little while. I agree most do it out of popularity and don't have the willpower to stop. Some really superficial people will smoke because it also speeds up your metabolism and helps lose weight. I'll quit smoking cigarettes in general but I think I'll smoke a flavored Black And Mild every now and then. I love the way it tastes, and it doesn't seem to be as nearly as strong as cigarette smoke. And no, cigarettes aren't more addictive than heroin. Cigarettes are mostly physically addictive, while H is both psychologically and physically addictive. You hear stories of people quitting cigarettes all the time, not so much with H.

bartjan November 29 2006 7:19 AM EST

"reasons why I did it, the most noticeable is the calming effect it has."

Odd, as nicotine happens to be a stimulant ;)

Wasp [C and S Forgery Lmtd.] November 29 2006 7:34 AM EST

I've had a cigarette or 2, maybe even 3. They never done anything to me, never made me think,
"Yeah, this is good! I see why so many people do it now!"
I don't get cravings to have any more, nor would I have another one if I got cravings!

Being a biology student, I know the ins and outs of cigarette smoke and how it affects your lungs and arteries blah blah. I've tried to tell my mum this, but she has no will power. As much as everyone tells my mum to quit smoking she just won't. She says she doesn't want to. My dad quit many years ago but my mum still persists. Usually children with parents that smoke, normally smoke themselves. My brother and 2 sisters don't smoke but have to witness mummy smoke. Not nice.

QBOddBird November 29 2006 9:39 AM EST

I think everyone just wants their own personal cloud, and this is how some go about fulfilling that dream. ^_^

QBsutekh137 November 29 2006 9:58 AM EST


You state: "I am still a child, but I see no reason or logic behind it. It tastes bad, makes you extremely unhealthy and costs a lot of money. Don't those things over weigh the addiction involved in it? I tried a puff once, let me tell you, was completely awful and I felt like I couldn't breathe properly for about a week. "

Well, one obvious point in all of that is that a smoker tends not to feel that way. A smoker doesn't mind the taste, the unhealth, and gets used to the breathing. Obviously, if the smoker only experienced bad things, they would stop. Don't assume smokers are simply irrational or illogical just because you don't see the point. *smile*

The "good things" that offset the "bad things" for a smoker are manifold. A main one is "sensation", the same reason people drink alcohol, overeat, undereat, exercise, etc. The sensation is pleasant, addictive, and habitual. The sensation also runs deep and wide on many levels: physically, mentally, socially. A smoker can smoke while driving, walking, at home, in bars, and in some cases, even at work. It permeates. It is ingrained.

[NOTE: I am not stating good and bad things empirically...these are all individual judgment calls made by each person. I am not supporting smoking.]

Bart, while nicotine is technically a stimulant, it does have a calming effect to be sure. I have been in numerous, intense arguments with a smoker (not even a heavy smoker), and when she would excuse herself and come back after just one or two cigarettes, she would be a zombie. From sixty to zero in a few puffs. All intensity gone. A theory is that because of the depth of the addiction and the myriad angles on the sensation given from the smoking habit (note: the whole habit/affectation/experience, not just nicotine), the calming effect, for some smokers, comes from a much deeper place than that of a drug scratching a neural itch.

I am not a smoker, and never have been. Like Flamey, the sensation does nothing for me except make me feel dizzy. In other words, there are no "good things" to offset the "bad things" for my individual case. I do enjoy the affectation of smoking, however, and partake in cigars, cigarellos, and pipe smoking from time to time. Hand-rolled pipe tobacco in congnac paper is actually very tasty and very cheap. I do not inhale. If you doubt my ability to have smoke in my mouth and nasal cavities while not taking a single iota of smoke into my lungs, ask Bast. *smile* That does not absolve me of cancer (mouth/neck tumors are ugly, terrible, lethal things), but I don't smoke much. Heart disease is a much more likely killer for me given my heritage and eating habits. Come to think of it, one could take Flamey's question and change "smoking" to "eating red meat". Obviously, if someone didn't enjoy red meat but still ate a lot of it anyway, I would ask, "why spend a lot of money on a substance that can kill you?" And meat isn't even addictive! Add some nictoine to pork and you would likely have a heart-clog epidemic at least as bad as current lung cancer and emphysema numbers!

My knowledge of smoking stems from intimately knowing a smoker for 7 years, and going through her quitting (Zyban, patch, gum, hypnosis, ear thing, cold turkey, weaning, etc.) several times. When I was married to her, I didn't "get it". I kept thinking, "duh, just quit!" I'm sort of stupid that way. She couldn't "just quit". I think she eventually will, but it will have to be when the "bad things" stare her in the face a lot harder than the "good things" she currently gets from it. I just hope she stops before the "bad thing" is some sort of serious health issue.

My advice on trying to understand smoking (unless you have to for some sort of clinical reasons) is -- don't try. Be thankful it does nothing for you, since that means it is an addiction you can avoid. But trying to truly understand the experience (without partaking) is an exercise in futility. In many cases, a smoker cannot even weigh the "good things" and "bad things" and tell you why they continue with the habit.

QBJohnnywas November 29 2006 10:16 AM EST

Hi, my name is Johnnywas and I'm a nicotine addict.

(I'm not being flippant here Flamey, I'm sorry about your dad, that's a terrible thing to happen to a family. :/ )

Yup, it's a terrible habit. Dangerous for sure. But, here's the thing that you're not supposed to mention about a lot of drugs. People use them because they enjoy them. Maybe not all of the time and certainly not when they start to affect your health. But a cigarette can make me feel good. Same as alcohol, until I drink too much, or when the hangover strikes. And, if you were to ask heroin addicts why they got into it...made them feel good.

But here's some more things to consider, all of which make me try and give up all the time:

By smoking I run the risk of lung cancer, throat and mouth cancer. Infertility. Emphysema. Strokes and high blood pressure. Heart attacks.

And then there's the financial cost. I smoke hand-rolled cigarettes now which are a lot cheaper than your Marlboros or similar. In the UK a box of 20 Marlboros is £5.30 sterling. Look up an exchange rate site and see what that translates into in the currency of your own countries. Most people I know who smoke those get through a pack a day, 7 days a week. Approx £35 sterling a week, 52 weeks a year.....a lot of cash.....

AdminNightStrike November 29 2006 10:25 AM EST

""reasons why I did it, the most noticeable is the calming effect it has."

Odd, as nicotine happens to be a stimulant ;)"

And alcohol is a depressant... yet people drink it to feel happy......

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] November 29 2006 10:46 AM EST

I'm on day four or five without a smoke, I've been mostly quit for the last month, with a couple of packs that someone else bought me cause they thought I needed one...

I've smoked heavily since I was 15, I'm now 27...12 years

At some point they stopped tasting good...the smell overwhelmed me and the quaint comradery of being a social pariah no longer made up for how disgusting it was.

We live in a twisted, warped, chemically saturated, consumer oriented rat race that is constantly tearing us down and encouraging us to buy something to feel better so having a consumable, addictive, and deadly product readily available really does make sense. Something that make you feel better and your stay here shorter...SIGN ME UP...oh wait they already did.

I would like to take this opportunity to talk about tobacco however, and how I feel it is part of some of the most hilarious random justice ever...

We arrive in the new world, dig on some girls, eat some food, drink some cacau...then some dude cruises up with a pipe full of some stuff that really seems to take the edge off that whole "living on a boat for months not knowing where you're going" thing. Add a few hundred years, and more greed than you can fathom...and presto! Everyone smokes...Mongolians smoke Marbs for goodness sake! So in closing, I'd like to thank the smokers of the world (myself included, those lucky strikes didn't smoke themselves), who let the peoples of the new world win the war in absentia (since we killed or enslaved most of them)...

AdminG Beee November 29 2006 10:49 AM EST

In March of this year Scotland introduced a country wide smoking ban in all enclosed public buildings. No smoking in bars, restaurants, stadia etc. Best thing that ever happened! We're also in the process of passing legislation to make it illegal to sell to 16 & 17 year olds.
I'd easily smoke 30 cigarettes in a 6hr session at the pub. Now waking up in the morning after a night at the pub to find my clothes stink of cigarette smoke is a thing of the past. Wish I could say the same for the hangover...

It's not big and it's not clever.

AdminNightStrike November 29 2006 10:54 AM EST

G: They copied Ireland :) The Irish did that a few years back.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] November 29 2006 11:12 AM EST

I can just see myself trying to hold onto a glass of whiskey and a pint in the freezing darn cold while puffing on a half soggy smoke... Did they at least give the smokers lean-tos?

AdminG Beee November 29 2006 11:18 AM EST

Yes, and heat lamps. We're very sophisticated here :)

Yukk November 29 2006 11:46 AM EST

My theory on the calming effect of smoking is that when you're stressed and and dying for a "hit" then knowing you can get your hit and finally getting it take away a major stress factor and suddenly you feel "calm".

Slashundhack [We Forge Our Own Stuff] November 29 2006 4:08 PM EST

I' m older, fatter, unhealthier than my dad ever was but he smoked and it killed him . Its almost got my ma she's on the oxygen and got the big C and she stopped 2,3years ago. Well at least she lived into her 70s gonna miss her though.

winner winner November 29 2006 4:14 PM EST

mwhahahaha i don't smoke

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] November 29 2006 5:20 PM EST

I think people smoke because maybe initially it's for the social aspect of it, then maybe it becomes a "anxiety relief". Later on, it becomes an addiction that causes multiple problems. Lung problems, your fingers seem to want to hold onto something, your body isn't used to NOT having the drug in your system.

So long-story short, what it does is give your body something that probably does relieve stress in some capacity, and give you relief; At the cost of your health, appearance, and your aroma. After a couple uses, smoking cigarettes gives your body chemicals that it likes, and doesn't want to make itself, so it craves them, and gets hooked on having them given to your body for free. Addiction is bad, mmmk?

Phrede November 30 2006 3:10 PM EST

I smoke - because both my parents dies from cancer and 'third time lucky' .

But seriously - It is the only way I can find to curb my cb$ buying habit apart from feeding my children.

RedWolf November 30 2006 5:35 PM EST

I don't smoke, I never have, and I never plan to. I have 4 brothers, only one of them ever smoked, and I believe he has quit by now. My parents have never smoked either. In fact, as far as I know, nobody in my family smokes except for my aunt, but I could be wrong about that.

Anyways, I fully agree with you Flamey, I don't see any point in it. And as for the popularity thing, if I see some kids smoking, I'm not thinking "wow, they're cool." Rather, "wow, they're losers." Likewise, if I meet someone new, and I find out they are a non-smoker, we're suddenly best friends.

And also, this thread has been very beneficial to back up my opinions. Thanks guys ;-)

MissingNo November 30 2006 6:58 PM EST

I don't believe anywhere in this thread is it stated that only cool people smoke. I believe it's been stated multiple times that many of the cool people smoke. But I guess that doesn't matter, because if they really were cool they wouldn't be offended that you think they're a loser. But grow up. Having an addiction isn't something to insult someone for.

NotSuitablForChildren [Yeeeaahh.................] November 30 2006 7:37 PM EST

My smoking is closely tied into my anxiety. My family "suffers" from anxiety. I have tried to be strong and have will power, but smoking is so ingrained into the way that I cope with things that stress me out. A little background, my entire family has prescriptions for benzodiazapines, when we feel anxiety literally. My chest feels tight my heart races, I sweat, I shake my feet, my stomach has butterflies. I really freak out. I actually need tranquilizers to keep from crying sometimes. And even with tranquilizers, I still have to smoke on a very consistant basis, but when I relax, I don't smoke. Sometimes I will go 8 hours without smoking when I am very comfortable. But when my life stresses me out I go through 2 packs a day. Just a little incite into my personal battle with smoking.

Zoglog[T] [big bucks] November 30 2006 7:38 PM EST

I smoke but only because I enjoy doing it, mostly along with a pint.
It used to be a social thing but practically none of my Uni friends smoke yet I still do.
Yes, I have an addiction but I also feel that if I really wanted to that I could quit. I get the statement "You say it's because you don't want to quit but really it's just because you can't" a lot but in my honest opinion that is complete tosh.
There are probably things you do which smokers may also see as pointless, playing a game like CB could be one of them, it's a habit which most of them enjoy and has health risks all the same, and yes CB too has health risks, constant staring at a screen etc.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] November 30 2006 7:39 PM EST

good luck NSFC...I'm a lower grade version of the same story...turned out in my case it was chemically related.

Flamey December 1 2006 2:48 AM EST

Thanks guys, this has helped me understand different points of view.

Thanks for sharing your views, opinions and personal experiences.
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