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-   -   beginning addiction to smoking? (http://www.teenhelp.org/forums/f17-substance-use/t146067-beginning-addiction-smoking/)

nightskies June 23rd 2016 10:37 PM

beginning addiction to smoking?
so, hello everyone, i hope you're doing great.
i really need to get this off my chest and i need help with, as the title says, a possibility that i have a beginning addiction to smoking.

this all began, when once, at a get-together with a few people of my class, we smoked a vape (electrical cigarette) and later that night tried a real one. now, since this, we've had two more get-togethers and i've at least smoked three cigarettes per night. also, when i go to a mall or other place with my best friend, we smoke at least one per person.
now, i do not have any cigarettes myself, i get them from other people. but i still sometimes have this urge to smoke, and i actually do like it. it also gives me thrills, and makes me feel alive (i don't feel alive at times, this is probably because of my depression).

could anyone tell me if this is an addiction or not? i thought it wasn't, because i can't really get to cigarettes myself and don't do it every week. but i started to worry (ugh), and would love to hear your guys's opinion's about this.

have a very lovely day/night, and stay safe, happy and clean! :)

ps; yes, i am underage, and all the people i smoked with so far are too. don't judge me please.
edit; i didn't think it was an addiction because i might purely do it for the thrills and stuff. but i don't really know how addictions work and everything..

JazzyJazz June 24th 2016 02:14 AM

Re: beginning addiction to smoking?
Hi Juliette. :)

An addiction is defined as a physical or psychological need for a substance (such as drugs or alcohol). The reason it is a 'need' and not a 'want' is because when the person doesn't have the substance, the body and mind reacts negatively. So, even if someone doesn't really want to drink or use drugs, they feel forced into doing so because they want to avoid the unpleasant effects of not doing so. For example, if someone is addicted to cigarettes and they don't smoke one when they usually would, they can experience anger or restlessness, shakiness, sweating, etc. etc. The longer they are unable to have a cigarette, the worse the symptoms become, and other symptoms will develop too. This is why many people find it difficult to quit smoking, and why I think it's good that you are concerned about forming a smoking habit.

The feelings you experience when you smoke (the thrills and feeling of being alive) are very common. Most people get a buzz from smoking, and it's due to the nicotine and other chemicals present in the tobacco. Unfortunately, these chemicals are incredibly damaging. And not just to the skin, mouth, throat and lungs, but every single cell in your body. The chemicals really do get everywhere. >.<

At the moment, because you have only smoked a few cigarettes, it's unlikely that you have an addiction. That's to say that you could probably stop tomorrow and not feel the effects of withdrawal.

However, the problem with smoking, as with many addictive behaviours, is that it can escalate. One of the reasons that this happens is that, over time, the amount of nicotine required to feel that thrill will increase. So whereas at the moment you feel alive after one cigarette, in the future this won't be enough and you will need to smoke two to get exactly the same effect. Another reason addiction can occur is because, the more cigarettes you smoke, the less sinful and more normal it feels. Whereas now you probably do it in secret, eventually you might become more casual and light up with less inhibition. These factors, as well as others, mean that before you know it you've developed an addiction and are smoking multiple cigarettes every day because your body needs them. It really can happen that quickly and easily; I've seen it many times. Also, don't think that not having direct access to cigarettes is a problem. If you become addicted, you will find ways of getting them, trust me.

During the teenage years, it's normal to want to experiment with substances, such as tobacco. The problem is that a lot of people start off trying things and then become addicted. I think that if you associate smoking with being around your friends and having a good time, that this is quite dangerous. Are you going to be able to have fun in future if cigarettes aren't smoked? If you come to rely on them in this way, I think that you will find it more difficult psychologically if and when you want to stop.

I know you are just doing this for a bit of fun, but I would advise you to find another way of achieving the thrills that you get from smoking. This could be exercise (which gives people a thrill due to the release of endorphins in the brain) or even chocolate with a high percentage of cacao/cocoa (click for article if you're intrigued). Because what is making you feel alive, has the potential to slowly kill you, and is therefore not advisable!

To summarise, whilst we can't stop you from experimenting with cigarettes, please be aware that it can be a slippery slope in terms of how easily an addiction can develop. Having seen this happen to other people, I would encourage you to avoid making the same mistake.

Feel free to ask any questions you may have, or contact me at any time if you want support with this or anything else. :)


SteevWeb July 2nd 2016 09:44 AM

Re: beginning addiction to smoking?
Hi guys!!
Is that more threads about smoking?

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