Quitting Smoking - Why Do You Smoke?

Most people don't think about when or why they smoke. They just do it. But knowing when and why you smoke can help you choose the quitting strategy that is most likely to work. Perhaps you smoke:

  • To relieve tension, especially after arguments or during stressful times, or when you feel angry, depressed, or upset.
  • To control your weight, either by keeping it down or because you're afraid of weight gain if you quit.
  • For stimulation, to focus, improve your concentration, or boost your energy when you have low energy.
  • To be part of the group, by joining your friends in having a cigarette.

Use this form to find your reasons(What is a PDF document?) for smoking.


One Woman's Story:

"I went to nursing school, and it [smoking] was the thing to do." Smoking helped relieve the stress.-Nancy, 54

Read more about Nancy and how she quit smoking.

For parents: Why children and teens smoke

Many children and teens use cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco because their friends do. Movies and TV shows can make smoking seem attractive. Teens, especially girls, often use smoking to try to control their weight.

Teens may think that smoking is a way to look more mature, independent, and self-confident to their peers. They may smoke to rebel against their parents. But most teens do not know how addictive cigarettes are. If your child smokes, it might help to talk with him or her about some of the reasons to stop smoking. If you smoke or have quit, talk with your teen about how you regret starting and how hard it can be to quit.

You may not think so, but children and teens are influenced by their parents. They are especially likely to smoke if their parents smoke. And they are more likely to quit if their parents quit. And if your child never smokes during the teen years, he or she is less likely to start smoking in the future.

Substance Abuse: Dealing With Teen Substance Abuse
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
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