9 Reasons Why Many People Started Smoking
We take a look at some of the strange reasons why so many people smoked in the past and explain about 9 Reasons Why Many People Started Smoking.
Cigarette sales peaked in the 1960s and have drastically declined since then.
Tobacco products were once displayed across billboards and magazine covers. Smokers could enjoy the pleasures of lighting up a cigarette just about anywhere. At one point even pregnant women encourage to smoke.
Fortunately much has changed since then – we take a look at some of the weird reasons people started smoking back in the day.
Torches of freedom
Before the 1920s, women who smoke were as immoral. Smoking a cigarette and the various techniques used to smoke seen as a display of masculinity. However, jumping on the bandwagon of the Suffragette movement, the American Tobacco Company was eager to tap into the female market. Cigarettes, therefore, became depicted as symbols of liberation and independence for women.
- Social acceptance
Cigarette sales peaked in the 20th century – people were allowed to smoke in the office, the cinema, at restaurants, indoors and outdoors. Once women were able to smoke freely, smoking became a social norm. Adolescents smoked regularly – doctors even recommended it.
Smoking was once considered as an act of elegance and sophistication. Men were seen lighting cigarettes dressed in tailored suits, while women held long, sleek cigarette holders. Smoking became a signal of one’s status and class. Businessmen in the 1960s were rarely seen without a cigarette in their hand. Brands like Virginia Slims designed their cigarettes to be thinner than other brands, to match the slimmer and more elegant hands of women.
Audrey Hepburn holding a sleek, black cigarette holder on the posters of Breakfast at Tiffany’s has become an iconic image. People aspired to be like the celebrities on the silver screen. Hollywood stars like Rock Hudson, Frank Sinatra, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and even former US president Ronald Reagan were used as celebrity endorsements for various cigarette brands.
- Weight loss
Coffee and cigarettes are often considered the diet of models. Instead of reaching for food, many smokers would light a cigarette. Scientifically, certain receptors in the brain, when triggered by nicotine, send a chemical that notifies the brain that the body is “full”. The brain views food and nicotine as rewards. Fear of weight gain is one of the main reasons why smokers are reluctant to quit.
- Medical endorsement
Back in the day, before the dangers of smoking widely known, doctors encourage smoking. Certain brands, claiming that their cigarettes were gentler on the throat and teeth, had doctors and dentists recommending their use. Even pregnant women were encourage to smoke to help deal with pregnancy jitters.
- Military rations
In many countries, cigarettes were, and still are, part of military rations. A lot of-of cigarette advertising aimed at the men in the military. Soldiers took up smoking to overcome boredom or to help deal with the anxieties of wartime.
- Peer pressure
Similar to the people who started smoking in the military or those who wanted to appear sophisticated, people took up smoking as a way to form a bond with their peers. They lit a cigarette so as not to feel left out or viewed as “uncool”. This was often how teenagers started smoking.
- Coping mechanism
Many people believed that smoking would help them deal with stress and feelings of anxiety. Smoking cigarettes used as a coping mechanism for many people, especially those who preferred to self-medicate instead of seeking expert help.
Anyone who has tried to quit smoking will tell you it’s difficult this is why:
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) intends to implement new rules that would reduce the level of nicotine in tobacco products to “minimally addictive” or “non-addictive” levels. It’s not clear when the FDA will issue its new ruling.
Dr. Benowitz said he’s “cautiously optimistic” that the FDA will force tobacco companies to make cigarettes non-addictive. “If they did, I think that would really be the end of the cigarette epidemic,” he said.
Meanwhile, the debate rages over increasingly popular e-cigarettes, which marked as a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes. E-cigarette vapor doesn’t contain as many toxic chemicals as the smoke from regular cigarettes. However, most e-cigarettes contain nicotine and some deliver dangerous chemicals such as formaldehyde.
Critics of e-cigarettes complain that makers are marketing them to youth by selling them in a variety of kid-friendly flavors, from pizza to cookies-and-cream.
“We still need a lot of studies on all of these chemicals,” Dr. Benowitz said. “E-cigarettes may pose some harms we don’t yet know about.”
Many people find they are unable to stop smoking on their own. Dr. Benowitz said nicotine patches, nicotine gum, and smoking-withdrawal medications are all proven ways to increase a person’s odds of quitting. Support groups and quitlines can also help.
Gary A Giovino, a nicotine researcher at the State University of New York at Buffalo, said as helpful as medication , people who really want to quit smoking also have to be willing to modify their lifestyle.
“People need to focus on behavioral change … they need the right skills and knowledge and social support. They need a plan,” said Giovino, a professor, and chair of his school’s Department of Community Health and Health Behavior, who quit smoking 40 years ago.
Giovino said good nutrition may be an important factor in helping people quit. He hopes to launch a study that will look at whether there is a correlation between smokers’ vitamin D levels and their ability to stop smoking. He said he’d also like to see researchers explore whether plant-based diets, B vitamins, and hydration impact nicotine addiction.
Giovino advises people to tap into the “mind-body connection” and try yoga and deep breathing techniques to help them quit. “After a meal, instead of taking a long breath on a cigarette, (a smoker could) try taking a long, deep breath and exhale without the 7 000 chemicals,” he said.
It’s also important for those who have decided to quit to prepare themselves for how difficult it will be, Giovino said.
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