When a smoker reaches for their last cigarette when they can’t get more in a timely manner, it creates anxiety. Some people think this is due to nicotine withdrawal but it’s not. The person is anxious, not because they need a cigarette at the moment, but because they know they won’t have one for their next cigarette break. This has nothing to do with physical needs because they still have that last cigarette in the pack to smoke. It is because the cigarette is part of the smoker’s self-image.
In this article, we will discuss how smoking becomes a part of an individual’s self-image and how this is a key foundation of the Psychological Smoking Mechanism. This mechanism is why it is hard to quit smoking.
The Smoker Starts at an Early Age
The average age that a person starts smoking cigarettes is around fifteen. It is sometimes even younger and other times a little older but the time window is usually between the ages of 12 and 16. This time frame corresponds to puberty which is a very difficult and intense period in a person’s life. The changes of puberty result in an Identity Crisis. sanaleo cbd
The impact of puberty is so unpleasant, people tend to start forgetting about it as soon as it is over. How often do you fondly reminisce about the age of 14? If you are like most people, memories of the time between the ages of 12 and 16 are vague because they were so chaotic and unpleasant. Yet, it is the chaos and intensity of this time that creates the Psychological Smoking Mechanism and empowers it. So, it is important to review just what happens during puberty and the Identity Crisis.
Puberty and the Identity Crisis
The one experience that every human being shares in childhood is the Identity Crisis. It is universal no matter what country or culture. Yet, the full impact of this time is ignored. Many of the problems that manifest later in adulthood can be traced back to this time. Smoking is one such problem that is forged in the crucible of puberty.
Why does puberty cause an Identity Crisis? It is the rapid change of the body in a short period of time after years of slow, steady growth. The body changes so rapidly, the mind doesn’t have time to adjust.
As everyone knows, we all start out very small. As adults, we look at infants and can’t relate to ever having been that small. How many times have you looked at an infant and said to yourself, “I was once that small”? It just doesn’t happen! We don’t like to remind ourselves of being in such a helpless situation. Just think about how you feel if you happen to be around your mom when she starts reminiscing to her friends about when you were a baby! I have seen many a young adult turn bright red with embarrassment.
When a baby is born, the development cycle is such that the infant starts out very small and grows rapidly, about an inch per month, the first year. The second year, the growth rate slows to about 1/2 inch per month and between age of three and puberty, the growth rate slows to about two inches per year. It is slow enough that we adjust to it without much difficulty. A fraction of an inch a month of growth is not very noticeable and although we are slowing getting larger, we adapt our self-image. Because we acclimate to the slow rate of change, we have an identity; we know who we are.