Getting to the Bottom – Why You Smoke and What You Can Do

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

The 3 Week Diet

Have you tried asking smokers or have you ever asked yourself why and when you smoke? Chances are your answer is on the negative. Why? Probably because it’s no big deal, right? But for someone who wants to quit smoking, knowing the reasons and the situations that triggers them to light a cigarette is a great advantage. Knowing why and when you or someone smoke works in 2 ways. First, it will help you choose the right quit smoking approach that is more likely to work on a specific case. And second, it gives the upper hand to avoid the triggers.


Stressful BusinesswomanSo, why and when do you smoke? Perhaps you smoke to:

  1. Release stress or tension, especially when paper works are piling up in your desk, or after you had a heated argument with your wife, or when you feel angry, upset, or depressed.
  2. Control weight gain.
  3. Stimulate your cognitive functions or improve your focus, or get a boost to start your morning or to give you a push towards the end of the day.
  4. Fit in a group.
  5. Pass time while having a break at the office

Why Teens Smoke

There are a number of reasons why teens smoke, but the most common reasons are:

  1. Peer acceptance. Teens start to smoke or use smokeless tobacco because they want to fit in with their peers, or their peers try to pressure them.
  2. They see it movies and TV shows. Smoking looks cool and attractive especially when it is their favorite actor playing the role.
  3. Girls often smoke in an attempt to control their weight.
  4. They think smoking makes them look independent and more mature.
  5. They use smoking to rebel against their parents.
  6. Their parents smoke.

What You Can Do

If your reason to smoke is to relieve stress or pass your time, you can look for a healthy alternative to release your stress. For instance, after a long week at the office why not treat yourself, watch a movie, get a massage, or go fishing. Also, learning a new sport like boxing, is a good way to bust stress.

If you’re afraid of extra weight after you quit, a healthy diet is a good way to manage or control your weight gain. Stacking up on fruits and vegetables, and avoiding foods rich in calories and fats, is a good way to keep your weight under control.


If you smoke because of your peers, well, you can be different. You don’t have to harm yourself just to fit in a group. Anyway, true friends will accept you for who you are. And they won’t mind if you won’t smoke with them too.

Smoking harms your health and, in no way, does it helps you. Smoking to give you a boosts, or help you improve concentration does not actually happens. It actually disrupts your concentration and robs you of energy. The weariness and lack of concentration are actually symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Remove nicotine from the equation and you’ll feel more energetic and focus.

Nicotine replacement therapies like nicotine gums, patches, and sprays, and prescription drugs like Chantix are available in the market to help you deal with the withdrawal symptoms more easily. However, make sure to talk to your doctor about these products before using them.

For Your Teens

If you learned that your son or daughter is smoking, arguing and confronting them head on will not help solve the issue. Try to talk to them in a more civilized and mature manner. Learn about the reasons why they smoke and try to help them realize how smoking harm their health and everyone important to them.

Educate them that they learn the harmful effects of smoking to their health and to their loved ones. If you smoke, it is best that you live by example. Quit smoking and then encourage and help them to quit smoking as well.



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