I agree with pretty much everything you're saying - and it's your life, your choice, "until" you have kids (I believe)... - but why take a giant risk when there's absolutely no need to? Any pleasure that can be derived from cigarettes, can be derived from other things, with little or no risk to health. I have certainly found that to be true since giving up, even though I never expected it was possible. As for other risky behaviour, I take that on a case-by-case basis. That's a person's individual choice and decision. I want/need to live as long as I possibly can, without having to live like a monk, which in itself would probably shorten my life by making it miserable.
For me, smoking has been something to do while bored, or to take a shift in thought or work, or something to do socially, etc. And I've also been addicted to them before. It's hard to explain... but it's like many habits or chemical dependencies. It can get integrated into your life on an extremely irrational level.
And in response of some of the posts: It's not just a pleasure in many cases. It's often not that simple at all. There are a few times I have quit in the past. And I will say it's not easy. In fact, ridiculously difficult. It has been said that smoking can be one of the strongest addictions there is, from chemical dependency to the oral fixation, and so on. It's like a multi-pronged addiction for some. While I find it pathological to smoke, I feel for people who do; I've been there.
Once I quit cold, and for a week I was irritable, had wild emotional swings, and felt completely out of my element. I couldn't think, was spaced out the whole time, and I ended up drinking and eating fairly heavily to help fill that gnawing hunger and the oral fixation. It didn't help. I even cried regularly during that time for no reason at all, and I am normally one of the most even-keeled people you could ever meet. Once you quit and get used to it though, you begin to see the difference in your body. And it's fairly easy not to get back on them, at least for me. It can just be extremely hard for some to get to that point.
I cannot have a single cigarette, or I will completely start up again. Not that I want to, but it's that bad.
I think smoking is a horrible thing to do, but I do not judge people who do. I liked smoking when I did it. But it's like many things; you can't see straight when you're enslaved to it. But really, for one that has one occasionally with full detachment... we all roll much heavier die when we get in our cars instance to instance. But then again, if you can do that, why not just not smoke?
Bored? I often hear that people are bored. I ever get bored, well except when I'm waiting on my wife when she's clothes shopping and I'm just standing their wishing I was somewhere else... But other than that, boredom just doesn't exist for me. I'm always able to keep my mind busy with something, unless I purposely just want to chill.
I wonder how many people take up smoking simply because they are bored?
But there are very good useful reasons for driving cars, and no good (enough) reasons to smoke. As it happens, I don't drive either - it's incredibly wimpy of me, or something, maybe I have no 3D co-ordination - my main objection seems to be the imminent threat of death. I think that's very sensible. I can't get used to always being a second away from causing my own violent destruction or another person's. Not much of a warrior? Oh well. Alive. Even if I had to, there's no way I would do it. Each to their own, eh? We all balance risk versus benefit every day.
This is incredible, a few years in the past before the smoking in public law became official, there was no problem with smokers, but now that your society tells you is "wrong, nasty and unhealthy", they are giving you the green light to hate on those that smoke, and as good followers you are, you follow, now you point the finger at those who choose to do whatever they want with their lungs. Is the same effect religion has on people.
There many countries where smoking is part of their culture, are you gonna go there and point fingers at them too?.
I would tell you this a smoker is less dangerous to society as whole than an alcoholic or a junkie. More people die because of alcohol than smoking.
As I say people are easy to manipulate. The man in power (I'm not talking about god) just has to choose what is the new thing to be considered "bad", and you will start insulting and demonizing whoever who does it, without stop and thinking: Do I really care?. You will even start wars.
If you see somebody attractive and they turn out to be a smoker and right then and there you "reject" them, without even talking to that person, that talks MORE about you, than it does about them.
But actually is good you back off, who needs a judgmental person on top of your nerves each and every single day judging you and trying to change you.
Those who have those concepts are not that different than their religious friends.
You just looking to start trouble or what? LOL
Well if the question is "Why do people smoke?" then it's because they are addicted, if they care to admit it or not. If the question however is "Why do people start smoking?", well that's entirely down to each individual who smokes.
I started when I was 21. Had been opposed to it my entire life after seeing how bad it made my gran, and I still to this day believe that the smoking was a factor in her death (Brain aneurysm, basically burst blood clot, and as we know smoking doesn't do your blood flow much good!). I swore I'd never smoke.
The reason i started was rpetty daft. I was in a play and the character I was playing smoked. It was only 3 cigarettes per performance for a week so didn't think it would be that much of a deal. But after a couple of rehearsals I found myself sneaking off with the "props" at the end and became addicted. Then for a long time I didn't really have a reason to stop- I didn't care too much about the health issues, hanging around outside with the smokers was always way more sociable and I actually made more friends and enjoyed myself by that type of socialising. At work most people smoked so outside to the courtyard we'd all go, so many of us smoked even the non smokers joined us outside otherwise they'd be like two of them sat at the lunch table. And before the smoking ban came in there was a lot of people smoking in nightclubs and "Got a light?" was always a great way to start talking to women. But the main reason I didn't stop was because I was addicted.
It took me several attemps before I finally stopped smoking cigarettes and can honestly say I do feel better. I don't have as many pains in my chest, I can breathe easier and myrisk of lung cancer/ heart attack are both falling.
But simply to answer your question in the way you word it, we smoke because we're addicted not because it's appealling. But a better question to ask is why do people start as there are as many different reasons as there are smokers.