Understanding Cigarette Smoking Risks
If you have ever smoked then you will be very much aware of how addictive it can be. It can be quite difficult for someone who has never had a cigarette in their life to understand why a smoker smokes. It seems obvious that the disadvantages far outweigh the positive benefits, but still they continue – like a lemming off a cliff edge. The problem is that the tobacco contains an addictive substance called nicotine, that floods the body and as soon as it has ceased, the body craves more. Not only that but many smokers have certain habits or social situations in which they smoke and so smoking can be seen by some as more of “coming together” with peers or like-minded individuals. Non-smokers only see dirty habits and nothing else. Smokers are well aware of the bad effects to their health and the social outcast implications, but the urge to continue is too strong for some to resist. In fact these people need lots of help to give up smoking if they ever decide to do so.
Smokers have a love-hate relationship with their habit. They enjoy smoking but want to give up at the same time. The urge to smoke becomes automatic and sometimes smokers notice their intake of tobacco products rising quickly. Some do in fact, stay low – it all depends on the needs and personality of the individual. If you know someone who want sot give up smoking there is little point in lecturing them about it. They know only too ell the pitfalls. Instead concentrate your efforts on guidance and supporting them to quit.
Telling someone that their smoking habit is disgusting and smelly will have little or no effect upon them – they already know this. The problem is in the habit and the reflex to reach for a cigarette after the craving voice inside has insisted they need one. That is why talking about the risks to them has little effect. I have known people seriously ill in hospital, needing oxygen and still having to go outside for a cigarette – this shows you that even at death’s door smokers can have little control over their habit.
If you are trying to help someone to stop smoking it is better to focus upon the problem rather than them. Remember this is something that actually controls them and not the other way around – regardless of what they may say. Consider sharing your concerns about the different health problems that are directly linked to smoking, such as breathing difficulties like emphysema or more seriously, lung cancer. Do not lecture or preach as this will not help in the slightest.