The Psychology Behind The Smoking Habit

People interested in buying cigarettes will be confronted not with company logos but with health warnings printed in large fonts. Other packages will feature graphic images of diseased, tarry lungs and clogged arteries. — Sarah Cotterill, PhD

Why would someone consider smoking a cigarette when people know it contains tons of harmful chemicals? A piece of cigarette carries more than 4000 damaging chemicals such as arsenic, hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, benzene, fungicides, formaldehyde, and a lot more. Is it because they think they look cool when puffing a butt? They somehow know that this thing can cause cancer, but they apparently won’t quit smoking. So why is that?


In this day and age, society pretty much shuns you when you smoke a cigarette. You see advertisements about it almost everywhere, and by now you already know that it is dangerous for your health. But how much do you know about smoking cigarettes?

Who Smokes

There are over 1/3 of the planet’s adults that smoke cigarettes, and therefore by estimation, they consume 15 billion cigarettes a day. That’s a lot of production and consumption ratio that still grow in numbers as of today. Most research and studies conclude that most of the total population of smokers want to quit. However, some factors stop them from doing so.

Depressed smokers experience adverse withdrawal states that contribute to resumption of smoking, including low mood, difficulty engaging in rewarding activities, and impaired thinking/memory… — Rick Nauert PhD

Why People Smoke

Primarily, the psychological reason why people consider smoking is because it helps with relaxation. It gives this soothing and calming effect that sets the mind and body to a complete useful shutoff. This effect comes from the addictive nicotine. It stimulates the portion of the nervous system called parasympathetic that is also known as the “rest and digest” brain mode. Not only does it help in keeping the nervous system relaxed, but it also promotes good focus too. However, even if it creates positive effects on the body, nicotine comes with a harmful package. Unfortunately, these toxic chemicals don’t sway people from continuously puffing a cigarette.


The Truth About Nicotine

The misconception about smoking a cigarette is that the nicotine causes cancer, but it’s not. It is the chemical package that comes along with it. Since nicotine is very addictive, a person’s body and mind respond to it in a different level of satisfaction. Though nicotine is not that harmful, its common addictive effects can wear off the adrenals causing people to slow down or deteriorate other sensory channels such as the sense of smelling and tasting. From there, it creates a different pattern that alters most individuals’ perception about the food’s smell and taste. But when they stop taking nicotine into their system, the parasympathetic part of the brain shuts down. It causes a breakdown and intense feeling of physical discomfort and psychological distraught. The sense of irritation becomes extraordinary, and they get all sorts of withdrawal discomforts for about two to three weeks or even more extended periods as well.

Dependence on nicotine means that an individual requires the chemical at regular intervals in order feel “normal.” Withdrawal from nicotine induces brain states that mirror major depression in surprising ways. — James Pendleton, Ph.D.


Cigarette smoking is bad for health. Though some elements explain this highly addictive habit, still it isn’t as simple as it seems. The beneficial factor of smoking is the most controversial issue. But seriously, the health risk problems you may develop with smoking cigarettes will more likely create predictable adverse outcomes. In fact, a study shows that every piece of cigarette knocks off 8 to 11 minutes of your lifespan. So yet again, cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health.