Why Do People Smoke Cigarettes?

Obviously, smoking cigarettes is dangerous to your health. According to various studies on the effects of cigarette smoking, it is responsible for one out of every five deaths in the U.S. and is the most addictive and destructive over-the-counter drug known to man.

With all these known facts on the effects of cigarette smoking one may wonder why people still smoke cigarettes.

The history and culture surrounding cigarette smoking dates back to before World War I. During this time tobacco was smoked mostly in the form of cigars and primarily by the wealthy. Cigarettes, which are basically leftovers of the cigar making process, were smoked by the less fortunate. The number of people who smoked cigarettes boomed when the tobacco companies started to mass-produce cigarettes. Their cigarette smoking clientele: soldiers of World War I.

While inhaling smoke into your lungs is obviously unhealthy, it took some time before the true effects of smoking cigarettes became well known. It wasn’t for another 20 to 30 years after WWI that doctors first noticed the increase in lung cancer. With this increase, Reader’s Digest published an article “Cancer by the Carton,” which prompted the public to be aware of the effects of cigarette smoking. Since then, extensive medical studies have now proven the correlation between cigarette smoking and lung cancer.

Nicotine, the most common ingredient in cigarettes, is more addictive than heroine and doctors rank nicotine ahead of alcohol and cocaine in terms of dependence. Nicotine triggers the smoker’s brain to be more efficient in processing information. Furthermore, nicotine also reduces anxiety and induces euphoria. Researches have also shown that nicotine stimulates alertness and arousal, and sedation and relaxation based on the dose of nicotine intake. These effects of nicotine, though, do not outweigh the harmful effect of nicotine addiction, which is lung cancer, and possibly other ailments, which will all eventually lead to death.

Aside from nicotine, many smokers are not aware of the fact that a cigarette contains acetylene (fuel used in welding), cyanide, nitrogen oxide, and carbon monoxide, all of which are harmful chemicals. These chemicals are also used as poison.

What adds to the addiction to smoke cigarettes is the psychological pleasure or satisfaction a smoker gains when smoking a cigarette. The psychosocial factors also contribute to why people continue to smoke cigarettes. People surrounded by other people who smoke cigarettes will find it more difficult to stop smoking.

Regardless of the many facts and figures related to the dangers of smoking cigarettes, the percentage of people smoking cigarettes has not experienced any considerable decrease. In fact, cigarette smoking continues to increase throughout the world. The World Health Organization has estimated that by year 2020, tobacco will kill more people than any single disease in the world.

For some reason, educating people about the effects of smoking cigarettes doesn’t seem to strike any sense into smokers. For some smokers, thinking that smoking is directly related to lung cancer and eventually death is a myth yet to be proven.

But whatever the reason smokers have, the facts speak for themselves. Making smoking cigarettes a habit will, sooner or later, lead to death.


  1. Hey Reply
    April 23, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Liked that article helped me do my hw!!! tnx!!

  2. Chloe Reply
    May 10, 2012 at 11:37 am

    You should never smoke because you can die and it can hurt you and your family members. So if I was you I wouldn't smoke what so ever because of my kids' sake. So all of you people that smoke you should quit that would be your best if I was you… THANK YOU!

  3. Anonymous Reply
    October 11, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Did not get the information I wanted: I wanted to find out why people smoke in a short, simply way.

  4. Jae Reply
    October 17, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    To Comment #3: You're really upset that the complicated subject of addiction regarding the psychological and physiological effects of nicotine couldn't be summed up in a sentence? Perhaps a coloring book is more your speed.

  5. ........ Reply
    April 25, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I wanted to know why people start smoking in the first place…. not the information I wanted.

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