According to VTsIOM, 33% of the adult population are tobacco users. Despite the fact that, since 2013, inscriptions and pictures about the dangers of smoking began to be applied to cigarette packs, the share of the smoking population has decreased slightly.
Fashion, habit or addiction?
Smoking is a complex phenomenon. If we talk about nicotine dependence, then it is formed gradually as a result of regular smoking for one to three years. Nicotine addiction is not so strong that it cannot be overcome. However, some people get it and some don’t.
It is worth paying attention to what happens at the very beginning, when a person takes a cigarette for the first time and for the sake of which he overcomes the first bitter experience of smoking, which is accompanied by coughing, discomfort in the throat and lungs. It is at this moment that the main grain of emotional dependence is laid. Each subsequent cigarette smoked reinforces the habit, which subsequently acquires secondary benefits, thereby not only strengthening the addiction, but also covering up the accumulated unresolved difficulties.
Unfortunately, smoking is also a fashion that is actively supported by cigarette manufacturers. Advertising or scenes in films still have their effect on people, creating a romantic image of a smoker.
How do we start smoking?
People form all their basic qualities in childhood, copying the behavior of adults. Through imitation, children gain the approval and sense of normalcy they need. Also, every child has a natural need to grow up, to become an adult, independent person, unlike their parents. In adolescence or search age, this desire is exacerbated. The child makes the first attempts to separate from adults, find his identity, grow up and become independent as soon as possible. To do this, he tests various available options that are endowed with adult paraphernalia: smoking, alcohol, drugs, tattoos, dreadlocks.
It is not worth brushing aside the fact that no matter how wonderful parents a child may have, he in some metaphorical sense feels like a victim of unfair parents who constantly limit him and force him to obey their rules. Holding back their desires, children secretly dream that when they become adults, they will allow themselves and their children everything. And then, around the corner, a relaxed company with cigarettes in their hands turns up. In an instant, a teenager gets an affordable option to feel like an adult, free from parental shackles, relaxed and at the same time accepted into the company of stronger ones. This combination of relaxation and acceptance reduces anxiety and makes smoking attractive.
Identification with a figure with super strength
Every smoker puts his image in a cigarette. If a boy or girl in childhood lacked the attention of a father who smoked, then the child through smoking can unconsciously connect with the parental figure. This can be seen in the way the smoker’s gestures are transformed.
Or an insecure girl who does not accept her body and femininity may start smoking in company with a friend whom she considers beautiful. At the time of smoking, her hand movements become smooth, light, measured, slow. A teenager always imitates someone more successful, strong, who has the desired qualities.
To find out who you were copying when you smoked, you can try asking yourself, “Who do I look like when I smoke?” An image of some important figure will immediately pop up in my head.
I want to quit smoking!
Whether a person quits smoking or not can be easily determined by how firmly he decided. If he says, “I want to quit smoking,” he is more likely not to. Most likely, the smoker will become like Mark Twain and his expression: “Quitting smoking is very easy. I’ve done this a thousand times!”
Another thing is when a person says: “I decided to quit smoking. I throw”. This person will definitely stop smoking.
How to understand for yourself what is behind the habit of smoking?
However, simply quitting smoking is not enough. Giving up one addiction, a person changes it for another: he starts working hard or eating sweets, he is fond of games. Or just become irritable. This is due to the fact that the anxiety that a person coped with with the help of cigarettes does not go anywhere by itself. It is important to find the initial need and satisfy it. To do this, you can conduct an investigation.
Think back to the first time you tried smoking. Dive into that memory and ask yourself, “What did I want in that moment? What was my need? It helps to see the chain: I had a need – I found a way out in smoking. It is a strategy for solving an internal problem.
How is this strategy working now? If it works and is necessary, then you should ask yourself: “Are there other ways to get a result by replacing smoking with some new behavior, habit?”
If you can’t find the answer on your own, you can look in books, films, study information about how the same need is covered by those people who do not smoke. By experimenting and trying different options, a person, as a rule, finds one that suits him, and he easily gives up smoking.
Quitting smoking means in one moment depriving yourself of the usual, relaxed communication in the company and their acceptance, unconscious connection with a significant authority figure, attractiveness in one’s own eyes, exchanging all this for increased anxiety. To smoke means to get a resource or superpower for a short moment, which allows you to catch your breath in the endless bustle of life. That is why it is important not just to quit smoking, but to figure out what is really behind this habit, and finally help yourself.