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Why do smokers continue to smoke when they know it is not good for them?

As is the case with other guilty pleasures, many smokers continue the habit, knowing that it is a poor health decision, because it makes them feel good. For many users, cigarette smoking is associated with other pleasures, such as meals, coffee and alcohol, which makes it difficult to indulge in one without partaking of the other. Furthermore, nicotine is an addictive drug upon which users may become dependent. If a nicotine-dependent smoker abstains from cigarettes, he or she may experience withdrawal symptoms, which can include depression, insomnia, irritability, anxiety and increased appetite.

Believe it or not, smoking is enjoyable for smokers. The cigarette is the easiest way to deliver nicotine to the brain, and nicotine is one of the most powerful drugs for creating satisfaction. It works so well because it turns on the "gut instinct" part of the brain, and that instinct tells the smoker they're safe, comfortable and content when nicotine is around.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.