A zillion reports, to date, must have been published on the diseases caused by smoking and its harmful health effects. But not many may have ventured in the zone of better understanding the factors that actually motivate or play a role in making people smoke.
Now a newly conducted research has attempted to gain an insight into understanding the reason and cause why people smoke. They believe that these findings may one day be useful in developing better and more helpful quitting programs for smokers. This revolutionary research was conducted by the experts from Cancer Research UK.
These researchers were believed to have questioned more than 2,000 smokers across UK to list out the main causes which motivated them to continue smoking. It was observed that only around 50% of the smokers said that coping with stress and enjoyment were the causes due to which they smoke. Apart from these main causes, they were notably various other reasons as well due to which people smoked.
Researcher, Dr. Jenny Fidler, based at Cancer Research UK’s Health Behavior Research Centre, UCL, says, “This study has shown there are key differences in motives for continued smoking. We need to look at these motives more closely to see how relevant they are when it comes to giving up smoking successfully.”
Seemingly, men were found to more often report the cause of their smoking to be enjoyment or liking to be a smoker. On the other hand, women were usually found citing the reason for smoking to be stress buster or weight control. Quite contrary to this, older smokers seemed to have reported a liking for smoking and being a smoker as their reason for smoking more often than younger smokers. However, people belonging to the former group were also found to rarely cite stress relief or socializing as their main cause of smoking.
“Understanding why people smoke is vital if quit smoking programs are to be more successful. These results highlight just how complex the nicotine addiction is for smokers – an addiction that kills half of all long term users,” says Jean King, director of tobacco control, Cancer Research UK. “Reducing exposure to those things that can prompt smoking – like seeing tobacco advertising behind the shop counter – as well as promoting methods of quitting can also help smokers give up. Proposals to put tobacco out of sight in shops and get rid of vending machines are crucial if we are not only to protect young people from tobacco marketing but also to help more smokers stop.”
Another crucial factor that was noticed was that those people who reported a liking for being a smoker and enjoyed smoking were found to have lesser chances of ever having tried to quit this addictive habit.
Although quitting smoking may be tough, various treatments and services were believed to have yielded positive results and a greater likelihood of a successful quitting.
The findings have been presented in Nicotine and Tobacco Research.