Chain smoking generally refers to individuals who smoke frequently. A more accurate definition is someone who smokes one cigarette after another, often using the old cigarette to light a new one. Chain smoking most often refers to cigarettes but can include pipes and cigars.
Chain smoking is often a sign of addiction. Smoking addictions, like all addictions, are difficult to beat. Nicotine is the chemical that causes addiction by stimulating the pleasure centers of the brain on several levels. While the effects of smoking are on a much lower level than other addictive drugs, users will develop a tolerance which allows them to take in greater amounts of nicotine without getting sick. Chain smoking gives the user a constant source of nicotine that users find calming and stimulating at the same time.
Most smokers, including those involved in chain smoking, want to quit. In fact, it’s estimated that those who eventually succeed in quitting have tried as many as seven times before finally quitting for good. Non-smokers should understand that smoking is not a habit, it’s an addiction.
Nicotine, the cause of smoking addiction, is an insecticide and is as addictive as heroin or cocaine. Despite this, it’s not a carcinogen. Cancers, cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and other circulatory diseases are caused by the consumption of tobacco, tars, and carbon monoxide in the cigarettes.
Physical and psychological factors play major roles in smoking addiction. Nicotine acts on the brain disrupting the normal flow of information. The brain will counteract this disruption but the adjustment is often a slow one. Without nicotine the brain needs time to adjust back to normal function. This adjustment period is called the withdrawal syndrome.
Psychological factors also occur over time as a smoker learns when and how to smoke to get the most effect from the drug nicotine. Chain smoking often conditions smokers into feeling that the very act of smoking is a constant source of pleasure and relief. This can make quitting even more difficult.
Despite the odds, quitting is the healthiest thing a smoker can do. In fact the benefits of quitting can be seen as soon as 20 minutes from the last cigarette smoked. Smokers who are able to quit before or during their 40’s reduce their cancer risk by up to 90%. The growing industry of safer nicotine products, which provide the fix that smokers need, means that no smoker should have to suffer the numerous health problems associated with smoking.