What you can know about smokers.

NOTE:The claims, findings and facts stated in this article are taken from Malcolm Gladwell’s famous book Tipping Point.

Let's start with this question: Why the war on smoking has stumbled so badly?

Let’s try to answer this. Most smokers typically have their first smoke in their teenage years. The anti-smoking movement is trying to convince teenagers that smoking isn't cool. What we need to understand is that smoking was never cool. Smokers are cool. And you can’t tell a teenager not to follow a cool person.

Now another question has arisen. What kind of person a teenager will consider as cool?

To answer this, we need to investigate into the characteristics of a smoker.

Keep in mind, the following personality traits are not result of smoking, in fact people with these traits tend to smoke.

Characteristics of a smoker:

  • A smoker is more prone to depression compared to a non smoker
  • They are mostly sociable and participate in social events.
  • Needs to have people to talk to.
  • A smoker craves excitement and is adventurous.
  • Impulsive and risk taker.
  • Tends to be aggressive and short tempered.
  • Feelings are not kept under tight control and not always a reliable person.
  • Smokers seem to be more honest about them-selves.
  • Sexually precocious, increased sex-drive and have greater attraction to opposite sex.
  • Extroverted and less likely to follow social norms.
  • Indifferent to the opinion of others.
These traits are most apparent in heavy smokers.

Some facts about smoking:

  • Someone who smokes no more than five cigarettes a day and smokes at least four days a week is called a chipper. A chipper can easily quit smoking.
  • The children of smokers are more than twice as likely to smoke as the children of nonsmokers. It is more a matter of genes than a matter of upbringing.
  • A fifth of all smokers don’t smoke every day.
  • Of all the teenagers who experiment with cigarettes, only about a third ever go on to smoke regularly.
  • Heavy smokers tend to remember their first experience where they feel a buzz from their first few puffs. Light smokers don’t remember much.
  • Smoking craving is related with depression and stress. A smoker does not feel the need to smoke as much in a joyful environment.
  • Similarity is noticeable in careers of smokers. In a relaxed gathering of actors, musicians, or hair-dressers on the one hand, or civil engineers, electricians, or computer programmers on the other, observe how much smoking is going on. The difference should be dramatic.
  • Smoking habit is more acute in people with emotional and behavioral problem. Close to 90 percent schizophrenics smoke.
  • One needs to intake around six milligrams (addiction threshold) of nicotine daily to get addicted. The tolerance for nicotine varies person to person. A low tolerant person doesn’t get addicted as they can’t extract the pleasures so much.

“Teens, in other words, would continue to experiment with cigarettes for all the reasons that they have ever experimented with cigarettes because the habit is contagious, because cool kids are smoking, because they want to fit in. But, because of the reduction of nicotine levels below the addiction threshold, the habit would no longer be sticky. Cigarette smoking would be less like the flu and more like the common cold: easily caught but easily defeated.”
_Malcolm Gladwell