Smoking and Television May Cause Relapsing


Smoking can be a difficult habit to break for those who have been addicted to the habit for many years. Although many smokers may have been successful at breaking the habit after only a few attempts, several may find it almost too difficult to quit smoking for any significant length of time. Ordinarily, most smokers may have a set routine when lighting up a cigarette that associates smoking with that particular activity. Things that may be associated with smoking may include drinking alcoholic beverages, talking on the telephone, reading the morning paper, or that first morning cup of coffee. Being in the center of a social obligation may also entice the smoker to start compulsive smoking, or what may be better known as chain-smoking. Regardless of what situation a smoker may be involved in, if the smoker suddenly decides to quit, it may not be that easy if there are other temptations around. One of those temptations that may cause repeated relapsing for those who wish to quit smoking could be a temptation as subtle as watching television.

Researchers claim that although it may seem as if the number of smokers have declined drastically over the years, there may also be a possibility that those who struggle with relapsing into smoking again may be unaware of the influence caused by television. Watching drama-based television programming could make the viewer feel as though the fictional portion of the program is more real that imaginary, and give the viewer a sensation of actually being involved in that drama at that particular moment. This may be especially true if the viewer can relate to the depiction of the character’s emotions while watching television as being personally owned, which in turn may be a cause for relapsing back into smoking again if the viewer has associated smoking with emotional stress. Another instance that may cause relapsing could be the act of watching television programming that shows one or more of the characters smoking themselves, especially if the viewer is very fond of the portrayal of that character or if there are numerous scenes that show that character smoking. Likewise, the less environmental factors a former smoker has that may personally relate to the habit of smoking, the less chance an individual has of relapsing into becoming a smoker again.

On the other end of the spectrum, relapsing back into picking up the habit of smoking again could be deterred by watching television programming that influences good health practices. Researchers suggests that there seems to be a decline in the commercialization pertaining to promoting the sales of tobacco products such as cigarettes. Speculation as to whether or not the banning of advertising tobacco products on television may have anything to do with the decreasing rate of smokers has yet to be conclusive. Presuming that smoking and visuals may be connected to one another, eliminating whatever visual one may see that may bring back memories of smoking could greatly increase the former smoker’s victory over cutting the smoking habit out of life for good. When an individual who is attempting to quit smoking sees less visual reminders that may cause the person to recall how pleasurable it may have been to smoke, this resonates a kind of power of suggestion that may prove to be overwhelmingly tempting.

Opinion by Stephanie Tapley