When you lit your very first cigarette, you never planned on lighting another. No one plans on becoming addicted to nicotine. It just happens. Nicotine latches on to the chemical receptors in your brain, and before you realize you're hooked, you are completely hooked.
You are not alone, and you cannot change your past. We are pretty sure that most people who are trying to quit have questioned why they ever started smoking in the first place. There are many reasons that people start smoking. Here are just a few.
You Had a Group of Friends Who Smoked
Maybe no one forced you to light that first cigarette, but most who start smoking start when they are teens or young adults. It could be peer pressure that triggered your first experience with cigarettes.
You may not have felt pressured, but if one friend in a group starts, the others are more likely to follow. The smoker does not want to be the only member of a group that smokes. The friends that don't smoke may want the affirmation from their peers.
It makes sense. Being a teen can feel awkward or frightening. This is an age when young people start making decisions for themselves. Sometimes hormones, friend groups and boundary testing lead young people to make a few decisions without thought to the long-term consequences.
You Grew Up Around Adult Smokers
Growing up smoke-free is even more difficult if your parents smoke. Children of smokers tend to view smoking as an adult activity. To some, it may even signify a type of initiation into the adult world. Even when parents who smoke continuously remind their children how unhealthy cigarettes are, or how much parents say they wish they never started, children of smokers are more likely to start smoking.
Children see their parents smoke when dealing with their adult lives. It is difficult to break the "this is what adults do" image. Adult behaviour, rather than adult attitudes, seem to be what youngsters mimic when trying to navigate their way through to adulthood.
You Saw Smokers Battle Negative Emotions with Cigarettes
You may have known someone who solved their problems with nicotine. If they were upset, anxious or angry, they wanted a cigarette to help navigate their feelings. You may know someone who smoked to keep from snacking and manage their weight. This may not be the exact reason you lit your first cigarette, but it may have influenced your decision to try one.
Those people gave you the impression that nicotine helped battle negative emotions. It really doesn't. Unfortunately, nicotine contributes to negative feelings, but at the time, smokers don't feel this way. It's only after quitting that you realize it was just the addiction that needed feeding. That cigarette did not help anything else.
Identifying Your Triggers Can Help You Quit Smoking
It doesn't matter precisely why you started smoking, but it is important that you quit. If you have tried to quit the habit before, you probably found that some situations trigger your desire to smoke more than others. That is because smoking is as much of a psychological addiction as it is a physical dependency. That is why there are so many situations throughout your day that will trigger your urge to smoke. Once you know about these triggers and understand why these circumstances increase your desire to smoke, you will have an easier time resisting that urge and finding workable solutions.
We Can Help
At Quit Stop Now, we have helped tens of thousands of Australians quit smoking and break the cycle of nicotine addiction. It's our goal is to help smokers all over the world quit. Understanding smoking triggers can help you break the hold nicotine has on your life.This is precisely why we want you to download our free e-book, 13 Seldom Talked About Smoking Triggers. We want to help you identify those triggers and break free of the smoking cycle. You can't change your past, but you can take control of your future and live the rest of your life smoke-free.