Why Are People Still Smoking

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Tobacco has been growing for about 8,000 years, but it has been 2,000 years since it began being used for chewing and smoking during cultural or religious ceremonies and events, according to the Cancer Council (2015). Contrary to popular belief, a correlation between tobacco and bad health was found much earlier than what some might think. The timeline of discoveries goes back over 415 years ago, meaning humans have known tobacco is not beneficial to our health for that many years. As one of the first examples, an anonymous English author discovered in 1602 was the possibility tobacco may have the same effects as soot, which caused illnesses for chimney sweepers. Then in 1795, Sammuel Thomas von Soemmering of Maine, Germany had reported that he was becoming more aware of lip cancers among pipe smokers (Cancer Council, 2015). Shortly after that in 1798, an American physician named Benjamin Rush wrote on the health dangers of tobacco. Things begin to escalate during the 1920’s when reports linking smoking cigarettes to lung cancer were appearing. However, according to Cancer Council’s information there were countless newspaper editors who would not report this information because they did not want to turn off companies who advertised smoking cigarettes as it was portrayed as being lavish and fancy.

Finally, in the 1950’s-1960’s there had been multiple major medical reports which did in fact prove that tobacco caused multiple diseases including various forms of cancer. Despite the growing awareness of the effects of tobacco and the decline of its use after acquiring this knowledge, people are still participating in smoking activities. People may still engaging in it because it is their coping mechanism to the stresses of their every day life in society leading to an addiction, they still have access to it because it is not illegal notwithstanding what it can cause to our health, social situations causing them to smoke, and they are also beginning new smoking trends under the impression that it is healthier.

All individuals experience stress throughout their daily lives and attempt to eliminate stress in different ways. As stated in our medical sociology class notes, stress is a state of imbalance within a person, elicited by an actual or perceived disparity between environmental demands and the person’s capacity to cope with these demands (Weiss & Lonnquist, 2017, Sociology of Health, Healing, and Illness). Stress can literally kill. However, so can some of the coping mechanisms people use in order to deal with it. The list of life events, small or big, that can cause stress are endless. People experience stress within their family, friends, financials, careers, marriage, and so many others. Some significant stressors can include the death of a loved one, divorce, moving to a new place, major illness/injury, job loss, and so on and so forth. It is no wonder some may feel obligated to resort to coping techniques that are not healthy, but ease the stress, therefore getting the job done.

Everyone can put all options into consideration and make their own decision as to how they want to alleviate certain things.

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