1. Nauru Continent/Region: Asia Population: 12,000 % Adult Smokers:54%
2. Guinea Continent/Region: Africa Population: 8,154,000 % Adult Smokers: 51.7%
3. Namibia Continent/Region: Africa Population: 1,757,000 % Adult Smokers: 50%
4. Kenya Continent/Region: Africa Population: 30,669,000 % Adult Smokers: 49.4%
5. Bosnia and Herzegovina Continent/Region: Europe Population: 3,977,000 % Adult Smokers: 48%
In the US, currently 23.6 % of the adult population (283,230,000) smokes but in the 1950's it was over 50% of the adult population.
In UK, adult population is at 59,415,000 with 26.5% smoking tobacco. In the 1950's, 80% of the male population smoked.
Ref: Smoker's Stats, World Health Organization (2002)
For a simpleton mind like myself, I'm making a very simple analogy. Does that mean that X % of the adult population will be predisposed towards developing addiction to tobacco?
Does it also mean that X % of the adult population will have a higher risk for mortality and morbidity?
But let me get back to my main question posted in this forum. Is smoking an addiction or a behavior?
I know some people allege that it is easy to give up smoking at any time and others have a very hard time quitting. So, the stats seem to indicate that in some societies smoking is more tolerated than others which would tend to describe it as behavioral in nature.
On the other hand, some may reason that the decline is due to treatment programs for addiction. This could describe why there has been a steady decrease in smoking in the US and the UK.
Points stated here are just to get the discussion started and does not necessarily reflect my opinion.
I quit smoking 6 weeks ago - I needed a doctors help to quit and the drugs available now work great on the addictive part - the problem I am having no is breaking the habits. For many years, when I need a break from what I am doing, no matter what it is, I'd have a smoke - when I had a cup of coffee, I'd have a smoke - when I got in the car, I'd light up a smoke - those innocent behaviors still cause me to crave a smoke - I'm holding strong though! Wish me luck.
You're not totally off the mark...it just depends on who you talk to. Some people describe addiction as a disease (especially when talking about alcohol). Other people describe addiction as a lack of coping skills. I'm sure there are some other addiction models as well, but I just can't think of them right now.
My opinion, based on my experience, is that nicotine is addictive. It is in fact, an insidious addiction because having a cigarette seems so innocuous. But before one knows it the body has become addicted. The addiction becomes behavior & creates this endless cycle that is difficult to break.
I smoked from 1969 to 1989. And for a two or three year period in the early eighties I chain smoked everything--cigars, cigarettes, pipes--to the point that the only time I breathed air was when I was sleeping.
I haven't had nicotine in twenty years, so the physical addiction is long gone, but the pyschological addiction remains. For me, once a smoker always a smoker.
Definately addiction - and as you point out it is physical and psychological.
I am just quitting after 45 + years smoking and it is become a 2 year process. I am down from 40 per day to a few per week and have just reached the point where I don't think about having one most of the time. I have help in a partner who refuses to talk to me or touch me for two days if I even smell of tobacco smoke - without which I would not be able to quit. Definately adiction.
Addiction can be difficult to think about. If we want to go by the medical definition of a disease, then we're talking about something that is either genetic or caused by a virus or bacteria.
I personally tend to lean away from this definition for addiction. That having been said, there DOES seem to be a genetic component to the processing of alcohol and a pre-disposition for becoming an alcoholic; who's to say this is not the case with cigarettes as well?
I prefer the idea that addiction is a lack of coping skills; this, at least, give us the empowering idea that we can do something about it, and gives us and idea of what should be done (i.e., learn better/different coping skills). Many addicts have been treated successfully with this model.
Interestingly, in order to be free of my cigarette addiction, as I mentioned before, I went to hypnotherapist. I have been free of the cigs ever since; in fact it seems as though I NEVER smoked. I never think about them, I don't crave them, and I never experienced withdrawal. What this says about addiction, other than that the power of the mind CAN overcome it, I'm not sure.
Too many factors at play here. Much depends on how long the smoker smokes, how deeply they inhale, genetic makeup, psychological factors and probably ten thousand other things. My dad smoked all through WWII and after and lived to the age of 88. Of course, he died of emphysema. But he didn't develop cancer or anything. I've smoked on and off for years. I might smoke for 3-4 months then quit for two years. It's never been an addiction. But then I've never deeply inhaled the smoke. I haven't had a cigarette now for two years. But my wife wants a divorce (after 26 years), so I might buy a pouch of Drum soon. The mind plays a big part in addiction I think. There have been times when I've wanted a smoke but I said "No, I'll take a walk instead." So discipline is a factor. Speaking of which, when I do smoke I allow myself one cigarette a day, usually at the end of the day. No more. But that's the key to anything, I think. It's called moderation. Whether it's salt, alcohol, chocolate, or cigarettes, moderation makes the difference in good health or bad. In fact, I'm of the opinion that most people can eat, drink, and smoke anything they want -- as long as it's in moderation. But, again, you have to have the discipline to know when to quit. And that involves listening to your body. Because your body will tell you many things if you just tune in to what it's saying. Yeah, I know, that's weird. And I also think that some people are predisposed to certain diseases like cancer. Some have died very early in life and it's attributed to smoking. Others, like my dad, live to an old age and smoke and drink to excess. Family history will reveal a lot. My (ex) wife has lots of cancer in her family so she's very careful about her environment and what she ingests. But I'm a very old man and in excellent health. In fact, I'm feeling so good right now I think I'll pour a brandy and have a smoke.
Smoking is both an addiction and a behavior. People have a hard time giving it up because it is both. People who try to give it up don't know what to do with their hands half the time because they are so used to holding a cigarette - that is behavior. There is more to the modern smoke than just nicotine and tar. There are chemicals put in to make the experience more addictive. If they have in recent years been taken out then people's past experiences with these additives have still added to their addiction.
I started smoking when I was 11. I quit when I was 30. Twenty plus years later I still want to have a smoke most every day. Is it a habit, yup, it can be beat. Is it an addiction, yup, one that will stay with you a very long time.
Addiction and habit and lack of coping skills. I have quit a few times and have horrible side effects. Nicotine replacement seems to help somewhat with keeping my system regulated, but then there is the habit side that is hard to get over. The nicorette inhaler helps with that. Even with those two I get really stressed without cigarettes. If anything goes wrong all the other treatments seem to fail and I grab a smoke. It's not that I started out without the coping skills. I replaced them with smoking over the years because whenever anything was good or bad I put a cigarette in my mouth and now everything is associated with smoking.
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