I don't smoke, but the people I have asked about why they smoke have answered that it helps them cope with stress. But along with this all of them had said they would like to quit.
People start smoking for many different reasons, some of them being stress, anxiety, and low self-esteem. The average teen smoker smokes their first full cigarette by the time they are 13 years old. This is a time in their life when they do not know how to balance the stress of everyday life and smoking is one of the traps they can fall into.
Smoking is a mental, social, habitual, and physical addiction. Smokers will loose weight and begin to look leaner due to the increase of muscle stimulation; this increases self-esteem creating a mental addiction. Some smokers will develop a social addiction due to the company they keep. Smokers will also begin to develop habits with their smoking, for example when they get in the car or after a meal.
Smokers also develop a physical addiction to the nicotine in cigarettes and suffer from withdrawals when they attempt to quit.
I am not sure what it would take to stop my friends from smoking. They all know the risks, but they are will to take them. Even the FDA has listed nicotine as a drug and that it should be regulated, but that doesn't stop them either.
Cigarettes are a gateway drug. In a recent study by Columbia University they stated that the earlier children use the gateway drugs tobacco or alcohol or marijuana, the more likely they are to move on to other drugs. Youths who drank alcohol were 50 times more likely to use cocaine, and those who smoked cigarettes were 19 times as likely to use cocaine. Nearly 90%...