Why Do You Smoke?

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Human beings from different age groups, smoke for different reasons, at different times. These reasons for smoking include social pressures and customs, habits, psychological aspects, and physical dependence on nicotine amongst the various others. Though, they are aware of the dangers of smoking, they are not able to get rid of it.

Most of the young people especially teenagers, smoke due to peer pressure and the fear of not to be left out of the 'happening' group. Teenagers start to smoke when they are out with friends at a party, bar, disco or such other places.

Adult people have their own reasons for smoking. Heavy smokers are usually from this group. Adult smokers when they are upset or uncomfortable are most likely to light up a cigarette. When they are with friends, they smoke to have a good time. Some others light up a cigarette when they are more relaxed and comfortable. Some adult people think that smoking would not let them slow down and they would necessarily get a lift from it.

The most unfortunate moment to happen in terms of smoking is when a pregnant women smokes. It can lead to low birth weight of the baby or even pre-mature death. Apart from the usual reasons, pregnant women smoke due to nervousness and depression during pregnancies.

But is/ are there any scientific reason/ reasons behind smoking? According to a report published in the magazine 'Nature', nicotine may not be the only reason why a smoker can not kick the habit. As per the report, a smoker has 40 % less of the enzyme monoamine oxidase B (MAO B) in his/her brain than a non-smoker or those who have kicked the habit. Studies have shown that MAO B breaks down dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with motivation, movement and reward. Less of MAO B could result in increased dopamine activity, reinforcing and rewarding the smoking behavior that caused the enhancement of dopamine. Increased dopamine and the feeling of pleasure would induce smokers to continue their habit.

In order to help people in their fight against tobacco use, it is important to know as to why do people smoke? For smokers who want to quit, MAO B could be the target of specialized treatments someday.