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10 Common Smoking Triggers

Seeing Smoke

Humans are visual creatures by nature. If we weren't, the advertising business wouldn't have lasted very long. When prescription drugs started being advertised on television in 1997, sales of brand-name drugs skyrocketed. Similarly, when cigarette ads disappeared, sales declined. One reason for this is the visual stimulation of seeing someone smoke [source: Science News]. For someone who is cutting back or kicking the habit entirely, the visual image of smoke is a powerful trigger. It looks good in the way a glass of water looks good to a thirsty person. It also doesn't help that older movies featured mostly filterless cigarettes -- the plume of smoke that is exhaled is positively luxuriant compared to filtered smokes. Smoking can look sexy, masculine, or even nostalgic. But mostly, to a smoker, it looks tempting, still a prime influence in getting people to smoke [source: National Cancer Institute]. Fifty-four percent of movies released in 2009 still featured smokers [source: Newsweek]. Even if the smoker is a villain (Cruella DaVille), the act of smoking can still trigger longing in anyone who has known and enjoyed the sensation of smoking.