Girl smoking a cigarette.

5 reasons why people smoke!

Here are the 5 basic reasons why young people start smoking!

Why do young people and teenagers smoke? How can we help them to not start and to quit smoking?

The University of Cyprus Act healthy lab, led by Maria Karekla, PhD, has conducted a study, in which teenagers and young adult smokers were asked about the reasons that led them to use tobacco products. Irrespective of age group, students gave the following five main reasons:

1. Social influence/fun:

Young female smoking joint with cannabis while playing on music instruments at home with friends

Teenagers claimed they started smoking as a result of peer pressure and for fun, especially when their friends were smoking. This group was more likely to have parents as smokers.

2. Combination with other substances:

Combining smoking with other substances like beer and coffee was the second reason.

3. Emotions of anger/being upset:

Anger Management Subject – Close-up image of clenched fists

Sadly, many advertisements for smoking combine smoking with emotions. For example, they show a person light up when they are feeling strong emotions, like anger. Young smokers conveyed the idea that they smoke to help them deal with intense emotions like anger and upset.

4. Emotions of sadness and anxiety:

Portrait of a sad teenager girl.

Similar to number 3, young smokers seem to not have learned ways to cope with intense feelings and think that smoking will help them deal with them (e.g., to calm down). The nicotine found in tobacco products is an interesting stimulant that has the exact opposite effects on the body. Also, research shows that smokers tend to have much more stress, and that this stress decreases after quitting.

5. Pleasure and relaxation:

teen boy smokes vape exhales big puffs of smoke

We once again see the myth that smoking brings pleasure (while ignoring all bad consequences).

Hope this helps!


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