Most Americans (85 percent) start smoking when they are 13-14 years of age, and are smoking regularly by age 17 or 18. The most commonly cited reason why children start smoking is peer pressure -- wanting to be accepted by a certain group who view smoking as acceptable. A parental or older sibling smoking example is also an Once a person starts smoking daily, the addictive process slowly creates a pattern of having to smoke to feel good. That's when a smoker feels trapped. At first a smoker thinks, "I can quit anytime I want." Most smokers find it very difficult to stop smoking and often try 5-7 times before they are successful.
Secondhand smoke involuntarily inhaled by nonsmokers from other people's cigarettes is classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a known human (Group A) carcinogen, responsible for approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths annually in U.S. nonsmokers.
Approximately 22.3 million American women are smokers. Current female smokers aged 35 years or older are 12 times more likely to die prematurely from lung cancer than nonsmoking females. More American women die annually from lung cancer than any other type of cancer; for example, lung cancer will cause an estimated 67,600 female deaths in 2000, compared with 40,800 estimated female deaths caused by breast cancer.
There are three aspects of using tobacco which may make it difficult to quit:.
* The habit or familiar routine.
* The mental attitude that one needs to smoke to cope with problem or stress.
* The chemical reactions in a smoker's brain that creates nicotine's pleasurable and rewarding effects, and lead to an addictive need for more nicotine.
Which of these three are most powerful in your smoking or chewing behavior? If you can answer that, you will know where to start breaking old habits, thinking like a nonsmoker or freeing yourself from the addictive qualities of nicotine.