Smoking is an outward manifestation of an inner turmoil or conflict and has little to do with nicotine addiction. It is one of the displacement activities that people in today's high-pressure society use to release the tensions that build up from social and business encounters. For example, most people experience inner tension while waiting outside the dentist's surgery to have a tooth removed. While a smoker will cover up his anxiety by smoking, non-smokers perform other rituals such as grooming, nail biting, finger and foot tapping, cufflink adjusting, head scratching, taking a ring off and putting it back on, playing with a tie and demonstrating numerous other gestures that tell us the person needs reassurance.
Smoking gestures can play an important part in assessing a person's attitude, as they are usually performed in a predictable, ritualistic manner that can give us important clues to the person's attitude.
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