If you want to know how does peer pressure lead to smoking, the answer is right here. Many students pick up smoking in high school, never to leave it again. Exactly why and how they pick up this habit and how it turns into an addiction, is what we give here. Continue reading…
In today’s world, social influence plays a very important role in our upbringing. It is no longer restricted to only what our parents taught us. Children are influenced by people only in respect to the face value of things. What is cool and what isn’t, is only a matter of acceptance. If it is accepted, it is cool. If it isn’t accepted, it’s not! Adolescence and peer pressure go hand in hand. This pressure can make you do a lot of things, smoking is one.
When caught smoking, children often say they picked up the habit because they did not want to look stupid. Such effects of peer pressure lead to picking up of habits that go on to become addictions. This is not only bound to students, but to professionals too. People who accompany their friends on smoke breaks during office, often pick up the habit themselves. This holds true in colleges too. Since most people start smoking when they’re young, we need to find out how exactly does all this start and what role does peer pressure play in it.
Does Peer Pressure Lead to Smoking…? How…?
The movies we watch today or the reality shows even, portray smoking as a cool and extremely normal habit. Even in the earlier days, smoking was considered something only the rich and the famous did. And there was this element of glamor and popularity attached to it. During teenage years, you tend to be attracted to all the so-called ‘glamorous’ and ‘popular’ things around. It’s the age when you feel something is ‘in’ or ‘cool’ just because you see many doing it.
It’s the time you are most prone to succumb to what your peers do or say. This is the time when peer pressure starts crowding you. You think that smoking will gain you instant fame as it is one of the coolest habits one can have. Whether you have good values or not, whether you have good grades or not, whether you have a purpose in life or not, doesn’t matter in those years. You smoke to be ‘accepted’.
Another example of how peer pressure leads to smoking is this. Today, motor racing is one of the most commonly viewed sports by children and youngsters. This sport is sponsored by many tobacco brands. The logos of these brands on those cars, make them look really cool. At a young age, you feel you’ll be like one of those ‘cool’ sports people if you smoke! The same happens when you see your ‘idols’ smoke, in films, commercials or sports events. Also, there’s this strange idea youngsters have these days, that smoking would make them look older than their age. The craze to look ‘older’ makes teenagers take to smoking.
Children hear stories from their peers about how they started smoking because they were depressed about problems with parents or in their relationships. Children remember this and when they go through a similar phase, they pick up this habit too, as an escape route. They feel that smoking can help them overcome psychological stress and depression. Unaware of the fact that smoking is not the way out of problems in life, they blindly follow what their peers say and pick up the habit of smoking.
It’s human tendency to imitate one another. It’s natural for one to choose a peer group he/she can best fit into. It’s natural for people of similar natures to become friends. Once part of a group, one feels compelled to do what others in the group do. Often, everyone in the group starts doing almost everything together. If two people in that group start smoking, the rest start too. Peer pressure!
It’s in the human nature to feel the need to ‘belong’ somewhere. All of us want to be labeled as someone and want to belong to ‘some group’. This is one reason why peer pressure starts building up even more. It becomes so important for us to be accepted, that we tend to go to any extent for this. There is no sense of right or wrong, it’s only accepted or not! This is specifically true with those at an impressionable age. Children want to be independent individuals, ‘free’ to do anything they like. Smoking is just another way of showing the same. It’s the way of feeling ‘grown up’ and showing that they are ‘adults’ now and ready to take control of their own life. They see their friends saying this, they see their peers doing the same and that makes them feel pressured to do what the ‘others’ do.
Now that you know how peer pressure can lead to smoking, you should resolve to stay away from it. Even parents need to understand the negative effects of peer pressure and talk to their children about it to tell them, that something isn’t cool just because many do it. Habits like smoking should never be taken casually, the way they are taken today, because they may end up becoming addictions. Addictions can’t be ‘normal’ just because your peers say so. Put your values before this peer pressure and take control of your life, the right way!