When a person picks up their first cigarette odds are they are between the ages of 10 and 20. Most people in that age range don’t take into account the long-term effects of positive nor negative habits unless they have a role model that is teaching them by example.
Fifty percent of those that try a cigarette each day will become regular smokers and it is unlikely that they did it thinking that they would be drug addicts in just a few short weeks. Even with the commercials and media showing the health effects of smoking people still don’t take it into consideration before lighting up. The mentality that, “It will never happen to me.” seems to be the predominant thought in most young adults.
Thinking about smoking seemed to be on a day-by-day basis. Over time a person will gradually smoke more and more as their nicotine addiction grew. As stress is intensified in young adults they tend to smoke even more complicating matters worse. Now they are building psychological addictions along with the physical addiction. Next thing they know is that 5, 10, or more years have passed and they have been smoking the whole time. They are hooked and wish they never started in the first place.
It is at this point smokers understand and see that smoking is harmful. It is physically harmful to everyone who comes in contact with it and it affects our economy as well – such as lost productivity and health related costs. Billions of dollars are spent buying cigarettes each year and billions are spent diagnosing and treating smoking related illnesses that kill nearly half a million people each year in the United States.
Yet they rationalize their behavior until something finally pushes them over the edge. Whether it be a newborn child, finances, a smoking related death, health problems, or some other life altering event. Smokers do believe that smoking is harmful but until they are confronted with something that will cause them more pain than quitting they won’t look at it in a realistic way – they will be in denial. Just like with any change you need to find something better to replace the habit you want to give up. Quitting smoking will have its challenges and you may not be able to undo all the health effects of smoking but you may be able to slow down the clock from ticking down on your life. Remember on average, each cigarette you smokes takes 11 minutes off your life.