Saturday, April 18, 2009

My Smoking History

I started smoking when I was about 12. I am 33 now, so I have been smoking for 22 years. My father has smoked for as long as I can remember. He used to keep his cigarettes in the fridge, so I had easy access to them. (I know that some of you are going to ask why he kept them in the fridge…apparently it kept them fresher longer. I don’t know. When I started buying my own cigarettes, I never kept them in the fridge.) Anyway, every so often I would steal a pack from my dad’s carton in the fridge. Like many young smokers, I started smoking because “it was cool”. It was as simple as that, I wanted to be cool. And I thought I was.

I remember when I first started smoking. I had no idea how to inhale. I would just suck the smoke into my mouth and blow it back out again. I didn’t inhale the smoke into my lungs and back out…just into my mouth and back out. I remember watching other people smoke and noticed that some of them would exhale smoke out of their noses. I had to figure out how to do that. So, I realized that if I swallowed the smoke, I could make it come out my nose! Laugh if you want, but it worked. I don’t know how, but I eventually learned how to in inhale and exhale like a real smoker.

By the time the “coolness” of being a smoker wore off, it was too late. I was addicted. Of course, I did not want to admit it. I kept telling myself that I could quit whenever I wanted, but somehow that time to quit never showed itself. So as the years passed, my body became more and more addicted. It was as if my body did not function correctly if it did not have just the right amount of nicotine in it. The more I smoked the more nicotine my body “craved”. Right now I would call my smoking a habitual addiction. I have cigarettes like clockwork. I have to have a cigarette first thing in the morning; I have another one when I get to work; I have a cigarette every 2 hours when I am at work; I have one when I am leaving work; I have one after dinner; I will have 1 or 2 during the evening; and I can’t forget the 1 before I go to bed. So in order for me to actually quit smoking, I need to break some of my smoking habits AND slowly lessen the amount of nicotine my body gets.

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