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Is Smoking an Addiction or a Behavior?

  1. Moon Goddess1854 profile image58
    Moon Goddess1854posted 7 years ago

    Quick Global Facts:

    Top 5 Countries with Adult Population Smoking:

    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.

    1. west40 profile image61
      west40posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      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.

  2. profile image0
    A Texanposted 7 years ago

    Its both

    1. TheGlassSpider profile image74
      TheGlassSpiderposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      We agree! smile I'm not sure why it would have to be one OR the other; they are not mutually exclusive.

      @Ohma: Former addict here: Free of cigs since Nov. 16, 1009...Had to have the help of a hypnotherapist...but ONE session did it.

      1. Moon Goddess1854 profile image58
        Moon Goddess1854posted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Hmmm...that's a food for thought. Now I'm having a dilemma. big_smile

      2. profile image0
        A Texanposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        The addictive part is easy to understand but the behavior is subtle and is usually missed. Telly Savales used a sucker to help him quit, its a matter of keeping your hand busy with something.

        But then again, I have been smoking for 30 years, so what do I know.

        1. Moon Goddess1854 profile image58
          Moon Goddess1854posted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Ditto for that.  Repetitive actions will definitely form a behavior and these are something we do not see or are even conscious about.  It is very subtle, like a thief stealing through the night.

          Thanks for expounding. I appreciate it.

  3. profile image0
    Justine76posted 7 years ago

    an addictive behaviour
    if you have to ask, you dont get it....

    1. Moon Goddess1854 profile image58
      Moon Goddess1854posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Smoking is described to us as an addictive behavior yet many people described addiction as a disease. Correct me if I'm wrong but a disease is not a behavior or I am totally off the chart here?

      I just want to get people's opinion.

      1. TheGlassSpider profile image74
        TheGlassSpiderposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        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.

      2. profile image0
        Justine76posted 7 years ago in reply to this

        ummm
        I dont know. I get confused about the addiction is it real? is it a disease? stuff..sorry.

        All I know is...addicition stinks.

  4. Ohma profile image73
    Ohmaposted 7 years ago

    Addict Here!

    1. Moon Goddess1854 profile image58
      Moon Goddess1854posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I'm running a tally. Thanks Ohma..smile

  5. Ken R. Abell profile image84
    Ken R. Abellposted 7 years ago

    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.

    1. Moon Goddess1854 profile image58
      Moon Goddess1854posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Hey that's a very interesting response. I really like the way you have given factual information based on your experience.

      I am actually interested on writing an article and I am using this forum as my springboard to gather information.

      Thank you so much! smile

    2. Moon Goddess1854 profile image58
      Moon Goddess1854posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Hey that's an interesting response, it's factual and based on your experience.

      I am using this thread as my springboard to gather personal perspectives that will help me in preparing for an article here.

      Thank you so much! smile

    3. profile image0
      china manposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      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.

      1. Moon Goddess1854 profile image58
        Moon Goddess1854posted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Change is a difficult process. I commend you for your effort. I think it will not happen if you also do not will it to happen and it sounds like you really want it to happen. smile

      2. Ken R. Abell profile image84
        Ken R. Abellposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Good for you, man. Best wishes in your progress.

      3. TheGlassSpider profile image74
        TheGlassSpiderposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Wow! That is AWESOME progress, ChinaMan! Keep up the great work smile You can kick the habit, I just know it!! smile

  6. TheGlassSpider profile image74
    TheGlassSpiderposted 7 years ago

    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.

    1. Moon Goddess1854 profile image58
      Moon Goddess1854posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Interesting personal perspective. To be frank, I haven't really thought that it can also be lack of coping skills. I am becoming better educated on this topic.

      This forum is giving me different ideas, perspectives and personal opinion which the statistics in academia are not able to fully describe.

      Thank you also. smile

  7. girly_girl09 profile image67
    girly_girl09posted 7 years ago

    It's a substance abuse disorder and therefore is definitely an addiction if it meets the criteria set forth in the DSM-IV-TR. smile

    http://www.behavenet.com/capsules/disor … babuse.htm

    1. Moon Goddess1854 profile image58
      Moon Goddess1854posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Thanks for the link. smile

  8. profile image60
    foreignpressposted 7 years ago

    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.

    1. Moon Goddess1854 profile image58
      Moon Goddess1854posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I'm a cancer survivor. Been diagnosed at the age of 26. Skirted death and I smoked after I had my chemotherapy. Now I'm hitting my 40's soon,  I think I'm going to join you. I'm bringing scotch. smile

  9. Paradise7 profile image83
    Paradise7posted 7 years ago

    I tried everything and haven't managed to give up smoking yet, though I really know I should!  I'd say it's an addiction.

    1. Moon Goddess1854 profile image58
      Moon Goddess1854posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      How long have you been smoking and what made you start picking up the habit? Just curious. smile

  10. Daniel Carter profile image91
    Daniel Carterposted 7 years ago

    I think it makes sense that it's a behavior that usually turns to an addiction because of the addictive substances in smoking materials.

    1. Paradise7 profile image83
      Paradise7posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Yes, true!

    2. Moon Goddess1854 profile image58
      Moon Goddess1854posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I guess some people are more predisposed to addiction because of the kick they get which eventually becomes a habit.

  11. Rod Marsden profile image77
    Rod Marsdenposted 7 years ago

    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.

  12. Hokey profile image60
    Hokeyposted 7 years ago

    both

  13. profile image0
    pinkyleeposted 7 years ago

    its both ... but i think i am more addicted than anything

    1. Moon Goddess1854 profile image58
      Moon Goddess1854posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Thanks for piping in pinkylee. smile

      I'm running a tally..smile

  14. figment profile image78
    figmentposted 7 years ago

    Its more of a habit for me, but I'm sure the nicotine doesn't help me from quitting.  I'm more of a social smoker, but I love my MJ

    1. profile image0
      pinkyleeposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      yeah think its more a habbit for me too ... i can go hours without one if im not thinking about it lol but this is making me think about it ... gonna have one lol

  15. Glenn S. profile image57
    Glenn S.posted 7 years ago

    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.


    Fig... MJ? did I miss something

  16. Glenn S. profile image57
    Glenn S.posted 7 years ago

    MJ ?

    1. TheGlassSpider profile image74
      TheGlassSpiderposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I'm assuming MariJauna...But I could be wrong. You know...Mary Jane?

      1. profile image0
        pinkyleeposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        thats what i know it as lol

        1. TheGlassSpider profile image74
          TheGlassSpiderposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          I can't figure anything else it would be in a "smoking" thread.

          1. profile image0
            pinkyleeposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            me either ... BTW **wavin my legs at my favorite spider**

            1. TheGlassSpider profile image74
              TheGlassSpiderposted 7 years ago in reply to this

              Hehehe *waves many legs back* Maybe we'll start a new Hub greeting smile We're going to have spread the word in the Tribe.

              1. profile image0
                pinkyleeposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                lol i know right

                1. Glenn S. profile image57
                  Glenn S.posted 7 years ago in reply to this

                  Somebody is smokin somethin... From MJ to waving their legs around. lol
                  smile

    2. Fluffymetal profile image77
      Fluffymetalposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Yes chronic.  I love my Mary Jane.

  17. Onusonus profile image86
    Onusonusposted 7 years ago

    If you realy want to quit, just do what I did; Quit your job, move out of town and start allover again. Because if you don't everyone that you know will bug you to death to start up again.

    1. Moon Goddess1854 profile image58
      Moon Goddess1854posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Yes, I know the ole "one more wont hurt you."  and they wont stop until you start up again.  big_smile

  18. pooja0908 profile image59
    pooja0908posted 7 years ago

    It depends on persons.
    For addictive person it is behavior and for well mannered person it is addiction

  19. HubChief profile image66
    HubChiefposted 7 years ago

    Additction and Habbit... have fine line to cross for this subject.

    1. Moon Goddess1854 profile image58
      Moon Goddess1854posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I agree. Judging from the responses this thread had been getting.

  20. efeguy profile image60
    efeguyposted 7 years ago

    both.

    some are addict why some do it for fun n later turn a behaviour

  21. profile image0
    IĆ°unnposted 7 years ago

    I'd call it a choice.

  22. profile image0
    JeanMeriamposted 7 years ago

    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.

  23. zzron profile image60
    zzronposted 7 years ago

    Its both.

 
working