Behavior: The Chemistry of Smoking

"Don't ask me why I smoke," says the grim-looking man in the Winston cigarette ad. Columbia Psychologist Stanley Schachter, 54, agrees that it is better not to ask. The Winston man—or any other heavy smoker—would probably say he smokes for pleasure, or because it calms his nerves, gives him something to do with his hands or solves his Freudian oral problems. "Almost any smoker can convince you and himself that he smokes for psychological reasons or that smoking does something positive for him—it's all very unlikely," says Schachter, a virtual chain smoker himself....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!