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Ratification of illicit trade pact nears halfway mark

Ratification of the World Health Organisation’...

PMI says Australian volume stable despite plain packs

Cigarette volume in Australia has remained sta...

Greeks turn to contraband

Fewer than 20 billion cigarettes were consumed ...

UK Filtrona rebrands to Essentra

Filtrona plc will rebrand to Essentra plc from...

EU Study criticises impact statement for revised TPD

The Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) of prop...

Ireland government backs plain packaging

Ireland plans to become the second country aft...

Central EU countries criticise TPD

Six central and eastern European countries in ...

United States, Universal core tobacco sales flat

Universal Corp flue-cured/burley leaf sales an...

Zimbabwe low early burley auction prices

More than 55,000 kg of burley tobacco auctione...

World Tobacco leaf conference in Istanbul

A conference on leaf issues with experts from ...

NYC tobacco product display ban proposed

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said his...

USA government shelves warning label appeal

The federal government will not pursue its leg...

Malawi Tobacco volume may double in 2013

Tobacco volume this year is expected to reach ...

Major smuggling ring before Berlin court

A gang member arrested at one of the largest i...

PMI’s Calantzopoulos to replace Camilleri as CEO

Philip Morris International (PMI) Chief Operat...

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Why do people smoke?

The question ‘Why do people smoke?’ has been asked for many years.  An obvious simple answer would be that people smoke for nicotine.  But for many, the situation seems more complex.


It is very well known that smoking is an important cause of many diseases and the purchase price of cigarettes can be very high, so it is reasonable to ask why so many people smoke.

Many in the public health community suggest that people only smoke because they are ‘addicted’ to nicotine.  Many smokers can find it hard to quit.

The pharmacological effect of nicotine - a mild stimulant effect not unlike that of caffeine, and a mild relaxing effect - is an important part of the smoking experience, and it is unlikely that cigarettes without nicotine would be acceptable to smokers.

However, there seems to be more to smoking than just nicotine.  Smoking embodies a considerable amount of ritual involving many of the senses.  A smoker will often describe pleasure from the feel of a cigarette in the hand, and from the taste, sight and smell of the smoke.  Also, especially in social settings, smoking involves a ‘sharing’ experience with other smokers.