This might be one the stupidest articles you’ve ever read. My apologies for that. A while ago – about four months – I decided to start smoking. Why? I don’t know. Probably a combination of factors: I was intensively watching Californication - a series I find entertaining – in which Hank Moody is smoking. Although it is sad to admit, it might be that this observation has been a contributing factor to my curiosity of why it is people grab to cigarettes. Also, I’ve always been wondering about the question whether smoking is primarily a physiological addiction (an addiction of the body) or a psychological one (an addiction of the mind). I couldn’t understand why less than 25% of the people succeed in stopping smoking. I always thought: if you want to stop, then you can stop, right? I mean: if you want to stop traveling by car, you can just stop it, and take the bike or bus, right? So that’s why I took up the cigarette and starting my journey of addiction.
Now, four months later, I decided to stop. My little “experiment” has provided me with the information I was looking for. I’ve experienced what it is that makes you want to light up a cigarette. And what I can say, from my experience, it is not so much a physiological as it is a psychological addiction. It is the feeling of allowing yourself a break from what it is that you’re doing. Also, the habit of smoking a cigarette every morning in your “morning walk” gives you a clear indication that the day took off, a feeling as if the referee has blown its whistle and the match has started.
However, there are also physiological impulses making you want to grab a cigarette. For those of you that drink coffee – which there are likely to be more than there are smokers – it’s comparable to that longing for a cup of coffee to get the energy you need to get through the day. And, as it is with drinking coffee, the first cigarette/cup of coffee gives the relative biggest “boost”, the relative biggest satisfaction in calming down your longing for nicotine/caffeine.
I’m not sure whether I’m truly addicted. I can only tell what I feel, and that’s what I’ve described above. And – since I’ve been drinking (much) coffee for the last couple of years, and I most certainly know that I feel the need for coffee when it’s not around – I think my smoking adventure will have likewise effects. Probably I’ll keep (for a while) having that same longing for cigarettes as I have for coffee. Probably it will be both a psychological and physiological impulse I’ll have to resist, and I’m curious which one will be toughest. From my “coffee experience” I can say that – for me – the physiological need has been at least just as profound as the psychological one. I hope it’s not the same with cigarettes, but I’m curious to find out.
What do you think?