Many wonder what’s great about smoking a cigarette. Why do people smoke? The foul habit is often compared to the pollutants that are coughed out by vehicles. But in spite of the awful ‘smoking is injurious to health’ ads that movie-goers have to endure before the movie begins in a cinema theatre, people continue holding in their hand what’s also known as the cancer stick.

Countless myths and absurd facts keep flying around. Facts like cigarette smoking decreases the risk of colon cancer or some other bullsh*t. But let’s not talk about what good smoking can do, because that would be futile. Instead of bringing out the dangers of smoking and the effects of smoking, let’s bring out the simple reasons why people smoke cigarettes:

1: It’s a great stress reliever: All the non-smokers must have heard a smoker-friend say, “The Boss is an ass! He’s making my life hell with all this work! I need a smoke break.” This is because as it is taking a break from anything helps settle the nerves. People who smoke think smoking too settles their nerves. Even though it isn’t confirmed that nicotine decreases anxiety or tension, many people start to smoke or continue smoking thinking that it relieves stress. It only serves as a stress reliever on a psychological note.

2: It’s “fun” and it keeps you awake: There are several people who smoke just to kill boredom and when you ask them why they enjoy smoking, they can’t provide any clear answer. The feeling of exhaling smoke just turns chaos into calm. It can also become entertaining at times. It also acts as a stimulant and keeps you alert.

3: It partners alcohol really well: It might have been noticed that smokers drink and drinkers smoke. People who ‘occasionally’ smoke, make occasions to drink. This in turn makes a person who already smokes, smoke more! It’s difficult to find a reason why it occurs. But it just makes sense when you’re doing it at the time.

4: It keeps your weight down: This is for the fashionistas and size zeros. Smoking sometimes makes for a substitute for desserts after a very heavy meal. It’s also believed that it speeds up metabolism and helps maintain weight. Some feel they can push a meal to a few hours later by smoking a cigarette as it’s believed it suppresses appetite. Smokers often smoke after meals to ‘allow food to digest easier’.

5: It’s a great conversation starter: Smokers enjoy this very much. When someone asks a fellow smoker for a light, that’s when a new friendship begins or at the very least – a healthy conversation is built. People connect with others over cigarettes, especially the new guy who just joined the office. It’s also frequently used as a social cheat-code by some to get noticed.

6: It gives you something to do when you’re in deep thought: Smoking a cigarette acts like a wand that often triggers thoughts and ideas. Some believe that a smoke break could help when they hit a brick wall while ideating. Many believe that Bengalis are great thinkers. And Kolkata is known as the Smoker’s Capital of India. Add that up!

7: It makes you look badass: Most smokers take up the habit in their mid teens and it’s seen as a passage towards adulthood. Some people also can be aroused by the sight of another person smoking (usually females) which is known as Smoking Fetish.

8: It helps lot of people keep their jobs: The tobacco industry is one of the world’s largest industries. Farmers who grow tobacco, people who work in cigarette manufacturing companies, doctors and lawyers handling cigarette-related lawsuits and smoking-related illnesses that occur. All these guys are going strong and providing food on their table due to that guy who buys another cigarette.

9: It annoys people you hate: Generally, smoking is a habit that turns off a lot of people. Passive smokers tend to stray away from ones who cause the smoke. So if there’s someone you want to push away, there’s nothing better than smoking right in their face!

Just kidding about the last two points, surely no one cares about that. Anyway, if you really put your head around it, you will understand that there’s nothing great about the strange habit. It’s just another one of those things that can never be explained. But then again, everything makes the world go round. Round. Round smoke rings.

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