Health Magazine

The Psychology Behind Smoking Addiction

By Tomretterbush @thomretterbush

The Psychology behind the Addiction to SmokingMany claim Cigarettes are more Addictive than Heroin
Most addictions, as all of us know, are pretty harmful to both physical and mental health. In most of the cases we are well aware of the implications of our addiction; we know what’s at stake and what we will end up losing if we are addicted to that particular substance. Still, we go ahead and have the next drink, or smoke the next cigarette. 
In the case of smoking addiction, the implications are rather obvious. Each pack of smokes comes with the well known warning from the Surgeon General that smoking is harmful to your health. You understand what it means and are aware of the adverse effects that you have to face, both long term and short term. Each time your throat seems to be on fire from all the rasping and coughing in the middle of the night that threatens to never stop, not to mention all the cash you spend on smoking.
Studies have shown that most of the addictions have a psychological root cause, with smoking being no exception. We have been brought up in a society where we succumb to a lot of external factors such as peer pressure, need for socialization and the classic “coolness” factor of smoking. For a long time popular culture and movies have shown smoking as the habit of people who are highly successful, or smart or creative, while we have been fed the message subconsciously through exposure, that smoking is a sign of success, at least in certain spheres of life.
While smoking starts with innocent enough reasons, such as trying it once with friends, it extends to a much deeper association within your brain once it takes root. Once the habit is acquired and becomes regular, it generates responses that are akin to hunger responses, such as salivating on sight of food. Smoking is often associated with things such as coffee or work, such as writing a report, for instance. Once you make a habit of smoking while doing these things, the mere sight of a coffee cup or an office report can trigger a strong urge to smoke.

Watch Part 2 - Psychological & Physiological Aspects of Cigarette Addiction Watch Part 3 - Psychological & Physiological Aspects of Cigarette Addiction


People make up various reasons to smoke, such as a need to reduce anxiety or depression, or even to calm down after a strenuous activity such as sex. Other excuses include taking a break from work, driving, after a meal, having drinks with friends (social smoking to go with social drinking) . By and by, the addiction takes roots strongly and it becomes an absolute necessity to smoke after any of the above reasons, and many others that people associate with smoking.
Smokers tend to delude themselves into thinking that the amount of smoking that they do is not significant enough to cause them any long term damage. Like with food and alcohol addiction, this train of thought strengthens the addiction and makes itself sustaining.
Written By: Chaitanya Sravanthi
Chaitanya Sravanthi is a freelance writer, musician and a science graduate who also writes articles on various topics from environment to finance, shelf glaciers and Canadian bonds.

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