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Love for cigarettes among Scandinavians

By: Awino Fredrick

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Love for cigarettes among Scandinavians

So many newcomers to Scandinavia may be shocked on their first few days in the country by the smoking habit that cuts gender and age. In fact, it can be first astounding to realize that despite leading in research on some of the effects of addiction to the cigar, Scandinavians will still go for it like it poses no threat to their health. Without being judgemental or playing health expert, smoking in Scandinavia remains a great healthcare scare.

Common thoughts about smoking in Europe and Scandinavia

The young, old, male and female in Scandinavia smoke without giving a damn to whatever one may feel about the habit. Of course they are responsible enough not to be insensitive by smoking anywhere anyhow. Don’t be surprised that in certain meetings or even lecturers, breaks are integrated specifically for smoking. That can be shocking to someone who has for the longest time been cultured to see cigarettes as an excessively toxic substance. 

Smoking culture well cuts across Scandinavia

Maybe you’ve been told this for the umpteenth time to be open minded when getting into a new culture and country. Very many times, people try as much to be accommodative and tolerant to strange realities in their new life in Scandinavia but the smoking aspect may first appear strange. In so many cultures, it would be fine for men to smoke but in Scadnibaua, you will get female chain smokers. It’s a dismaying reality but this has been the case for the Scandinavians for a long time now. 

If you’re an adventurous person who wants to date a Scandinavian and turn to dating sites, you will note that aside from updating whether you like pets or not, smoking is another social question. A lot of interventions have been put in place by the respective governments to take people out of smoking. This move stems from the concerns about the health burden smoking has including infections of the breathing tract. Such efforts have achieved no results as the people remain determined to get in the puff and feel good as they say.   

Frustrated but persistent to remedy the situation, governments and researchers have invested in developing less risky cigarettes. For instance, the traditional tobacco has been improved to snus. If you see some  Scandinavians taking in this snus vapor to satisfy their cravings.

Smokers and smoking areas in Scandinavia

To cement the fact that smoking has been deeply ingrained in the culture of Scandinavians, a keen observer will see designated smoking zones within any institution. Also, you will always spot the sign of no smoking which means that as much as the people have a penchant for the cigarettes, they control it and comply with guidelines for smoking in public areas lest they attract fines for being a nuisance. 

Chain smoking as a common thing in Scandinavia

So many foreigners arriving in Scandinavia end up becoming smokers because the culture there does not care whether one is male or female. Teenagers too join the fray as early as they attain the 18 yrs of age. In fact others even sneak and take the puff from parents before getting to the permissible smoking age. Desperate to curb smoking at teenage, Denmark for example floated an idea to pay people to stop smoking.  

At home where public authorities may not be on the watch out, some parents get very reckless to just smoke indoors and make the children passive smokers. Maybe this may partly explain why teenagers too get to start smoking and carry on with it into old age. You may think that all Scandinavians are responsible and respect all the laws until you find a home engulfed in cigarette smoke with children playing video games on the couch. 

Possible reasons why Scandinavians love cigarettes

Generally most Scandinavians are not as outgoing and aggressive as let’s say Americans or Britons. They ordinarily take a laid back approach to issues even where that gets so boring. Maybe this has something to do with the pervasive laws of Jante

After taking in a couple of cigarette puffs, most Scandinavians will generally gain a sense of happiness, activity and jolliness. In fact, some even get so outgoing after smoking contrary to their state when completely sober. Should you have a Scandinavian friend or workmate, just keenly observe his or her behaviour after taking in the cigarettes. In fact, you risk becoming a smoker too just to have a similar experience after smoking. 

Situations that lead most Scandinavians to binge smoking include;

  • During stressful situations
  • Before going to bed
  • While driving
  • When having strong emotions
  • When among Peers as a response to peer  pressure
  • In the cold lonely winter

The love of cigar during stressful situations among Scandinavians

It may not be unique to Scandinavians that they have a habit of smoking during stressful situations. If you already know, the Scandinavians undergo a lot of psychological distress on issues related to work pressure, family issues, loneliness, divorce and many more. Of course they still rank high on the global happiness index which is actually a paradox we can’t explain here. 

The Scandinavians know way too well that the stimulant in cigarettes called nicotine creates an immediate sense of relaxation. So, it provides them with the surest way to reduce stress and anxiety. The dangers with this habit is that after the first smoking it creates withdrawal symptoms and increased cravings leading to habitual smoking and addiction in the long term. 

Why Scandinavians love smoking before they go to bed

Sometimes the brain has just too much information to process and resolve. The Scandinavians take in way too much coffee to stimulate body activity in an ordinary work day but then smoke to induce sleep. The science behind this can be explored elsewhere but has something to do with stress relief, reduction of anxiety and relaxation. Together, this effect has the ability to be calm and sleepy. 

Scandinavians love of cigarettes while driving

You’ll see a cloud of smoke coming out of a car window at a traffic light in Scandinavia and wonder what it is all about. It may appear as if the car is burning from inside and you may first feel sorry for the occupants of the car. Soon you will realize that inside is a very happy Scandinavian just enjoying his roll of cigarette or electronic cigar. That’s how freaking crazy it can get. 

Most long-distance drivers in Scandinavia prefer using cigars to boost their focus. Even ordinary Scandinavians driving their private cars on a long road trip from lets say Norway to Sweden or Scandinavia to Central Europe, they stock so many cigarettes on board. When stock gets used up, the Scandinavians will stop along the way and find a way out. You will see them search on Google to find out where the closest cigarette shop could be. 

Peer pressure leads many to love of cigarettes in Scandinavian

The single most common thing that influences people into drinking and smoking in Scandinavia is the social environment that people live in. Peer pressure reinforces the feeling of aggression and relaxation that comes with smoking. Of course nicotine does the magic to relax the body and make one feel good like someone who has inhaled the laughing gas (nitrous oxide). 

In most cases, people constantly among peers who smoke will over time lure you into smoking even if you initially held strong perspectives against it. When in Scandinavia, making friends and contacts is surely your only rescue in job search and enjoyment but unless really convinced that you need that cigarette, avoid it like a plague. It starts with a puff for trial, then another and before you notice it, you are a binge smoker, end of the story. 

Smoking after meals in Scandinavia

If you live with or are guests to a smoker in Scandinavia, you’ll notice that they excuse themselves to take a puff at the balcony just right after a meal. In fact you may funnily argue that they are escorting the meal in a  cloud of smoke..aah!

Regardless of the delicacy of the meals, most Scandinavians will have to follow it with a roll or two of cigarette. This is now the pleasure and power of addiction 

Effects of smoking cigarettes you should be aware of

As someone entering Scandinavia and really trying as much to belong, there could be the temptation to be a smoker too. Bet you me, youngsters arriving in Scandinavia for studies alone or in the company of parents end up smoking not because of their own liking but peer pressure and a move to conform. 

Something starkly clear is that Scandinavians have smoked for long periods and kids have seen how much their parents have been in control even when smoking. So they too emulate the responsible smoking but for a newcomer, one may really get out of hand. Maybe you already know the dangers of smoking but for reinforcement sake, just remember that taking in that first puff puts you on the first step towards;

  • Lung disease including asthma, lung cancer
  • Cardiovascular infections 
  • Stroke
  • Various types of cancers almost in every parts of the body

Strive to save your life and that of your Scandinavian friends by talking them out of chain smoking if they can’t completely stop it. 

Bottom line on the love for cigarettes in Scandinavia

Smoking is an in thing among Scandinavians and surprisingly, teenagers really yearn to get to that age where the law allows them to smoke without having to look above their shoulders. It is a pandemic in Scandinavians though most people choose to play it down. When you arrive, just be sure whether you want to smoke or not-remembering the pros and cons of smoking.