Psychological And Sociological Factors In Smoking Addiction

2457 words - 10 pages

Psychological and Sociological Factors in Smoking Addiction

Understanding the habit of smoking tobacco
The essay will discuss how smoking tobacco became a habit among people; what are the factors that affect the thinking of individuals in experimenting tobacco smoking; and what makes them think of quitting smoking. It will address both psychological and sociological ideas and will attempt to apply each idea in order to understand people’s lifestyles.

Tobacco is a green and leafy plant and mostly grows in a warm environment. When it is fully grown, it will be harvested, dried, processed and can be used in different ways. It can be smoked in the form of cigarette, cigar, pipe, sniffle through the nose or it can also be chewed.

In tobacco, there are thousands of chemicals and one of these chemicals is the nicotine that makes it addictive or can form a habit. Once you smoke tobacco, the nicotine goes to your bloodstream that triggers your body to want more. Nicotine is a drug and a stimulant that changes your body in some way. If you smoke, it speeds up part of your system (nervous) and makes you feel you have the energy to cope with your daily living. Smoking also make your heart beat faster and raise your blood pressure (Jacobs, 1997). However, Jarvis (2004), states that the link with nicotine addiction does not imply that pharmacological properties drives smoking behaviour in a simple way. It does not excludes other influences such as personal, social, economic and political and these influences play an important part in determining patterns of smoking prevalence (Jarvis, 2004).

Psychological Aspects of the Habit of Smoking
Once smoking became a habit or you became addicted, it is hard to beat. It is such a strong addiction that if you tried to quit, it will come back and became harder to break. Most people start smoking at their early teens and once they reach adulthood, they are already addicted. According to the Department of Health (2003), Cancer Research UK (2010) and the Office of National Statistics (2004), despite of the drop of statistics of smokers, there are still individuals who would try smoking especially the young people between the ages of eleven to sixteen. In the report of the three offices they listed the main reasons why young people smoke and these are experimentation, to look mature or part of their image, there are older people smokes around them, especially their parents, and peer pressures (DH, 2003) (ONS, 2004) (CR UK, 2010).

This experimentation can be attributed through social learning theory, where psychologists and theorists Julian Rotter and Albert Bandura describe it as how we learn from others. Watching others can provide information on which kind of behaviour leads to what consequences (Adams and Bromley, 1998). Parents have strong influence among us. If we are surrounded by our family who smokes, there is a strong possibility that we will imitate them. We also looked at other...

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