Smoking as a Reward

None of us are against being rewarded; we actually thrive from it. Rewarding ones self is a means of keeping motivated, working harder, and getting the job done. Over time when a person smokes they start to view certain cigarettes as a reward. When we have done everything well we can congratulate ourselves by smoking a cigarette. When we finally meet that deadline there is nothing more immediately rewarding than taking a break and having a smoke.

According to “The Psychology of Everyday Living” by Ernest Dichter: The first and last cigarette in the day are especially significant rewards. The first one of the day is sort of an anticipated reward. The smoker has work to do, and he eases himself into the day’s activities as pleasantly as possible. He gives himself a little consolation prize in advance, and at the same time manages to postpone the evil hour when he must begin his hard day’s work. The last cigarette of the day is like a “closing the door.”

I think we all open and close the day this way. We don’t think of it as feeding our addiction before getting on with the day or coming to the end of the day but we think of it as a reward, a habitual reward that we can do throughout the day.

Because of the health effects of smoking this should no longer be viewed as a reward but a death sentence. The longer we smoke the more damage we do to our bodies and the more severe the psychological effects of smoking. There is help available and if you are struggling with quitting you need to look over your options and find the one that will work best for you.