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10 Reasons People Start Smoking


9
Social Rewards
Smoking makes some people feel like part of a group, which can be a comfort at any age.
Smoking makes some people feel like part of a group, which can be a comfort at any age.
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This reason for smoking is tied to peer pressure, although it's a little more complex and has the potential to affect more than just peer-pressure-sensitive tweens and teens. In short, social rewards are the "gifts" people feel they receive when participating in a group activity. Most often, this means some form of acceptance: Smokers at an office building who take cigarette breaks at similar times may bond while they smoke. Likewise, the relationship struck when one smoker asks another, "Got a light?" gives the participants a feeling of acceptance and camaraderie [source: Teen Drug Abuse].

Although many adults mature beyond the need to constantly please their peers, we carry into adulthood the teen's desire to be part of a group. And as smoking becomes more and more restricted, smokers find common ground in complaints over dirty looks and occasional ridicule from the nonsmoking public and the increasing limits on when and where they can smoke. This only makes the sense of camaraderie -- that social reward -- that much stronger for smokers. For nonsmokers who lack that social bond in their lives, that connection can be enough to drive them through the beginning phases of a tobacco addiction, when the chemical and psychological chains of addiction have yet to lock the smoker into the habit [source: Teen Drug Abuse].


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