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Old 07-12-2016, 04:16 PM
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Smile When did you know?

When did you know you were destined to be a smoker?

For me, I was about 5 or 6 and had a "playmobile" with a fake lighter. I used it all the time and knew that someday I would be a smoker! Didn't follow through until 15. First one, I smoked alone. No coughing, etc... Just confirmation I would be a smoker. I had to be careful as my parents were non-smokers.

By 17 was smoking about 10 a day.
By 21 and out of college I was at 1 ppd
In my 30's about 3 ppd

Now, older, I have cut back to 25 per day, but could easily smoke more as the cravings are constant. I just can't seem to get enough. Love my habit!

Share your story.... Thanks
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Old 07-13-2016, 06:33 AM
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For me, it wasn't until I started junior high school, at 12, that I even conceived of the possibility that I would start smoking. Although there were many smokers in my extended family, on both sides, both of my parents were non-smokers. But since many of my peers were starting to smoke at the start of 7th grade (which was pretty common in the 1970s), the personal choice about it was "put on my radar." Furthermore, I started having dreams about my older self smoking--so clearly I was attracted to the idea and fantasized about it. So it wasn't a question of "if," but rather "when."

Rest of my story is pretty similar to Ward's. I bought my first pack of cigarettes, FF Salem kings, and smoked my first cigarette when I was 13, about 3 months before turning 14. For about 15 months I was "experimenting": I'd get a pack, take 4 or 5 days to finish it, go a week or two without smoking at all, and then the cycle would start over again. A few days after turning 15, I became a "confirmed" daily smoker.

At 15, 10-15 cigarettes a day.
By 17, a pack a day.
18-21 (in college), 30 a day.
At 21, on starting graduate school, cut back to 20-24 a day and stayed there. For a while in my mid-forties I actually got under a pack a day for a few years, but drifted back to my former "normal" range.

Last edited by masklofumanto; 07-13-2016 at 09:42 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:33 AM
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Mask, you and I must be about the same age as I also started in the 70's. After I finished my pilfered smokes, I too started with Salem FF. Later it was Benson and Hedges 100's menthol. What a glorious smoke! In college I grew tired if menthol and switched to Marlboro reds and have stuck with them pretty much over the past 40 years.
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by wardw View Post
Mask, you and I must be about the same age as I also started in the 70's. After I finished my pilfered smokes, I too started with Salem FF. Later it was Benson and Hedges 100's menthol. What a glorious smoke! In college I grew tired if menthol and switched to Marlboro reds and have stuck with them pretty much over the past 40 years.
I left a visitor message on your profile page.

Question: If your parents were non-smokers, then where did you get your "pilfered" smokes?

I had to work up the nerve to go through with actually buying a pack in order to try my first cigarette!

I never tried B&H menthol, but the FF "regular" B&H are also "glorious." That was a brand I didn't get around to trying until I was 23, and I would get them as an occasional change from my primary brand, FF Winston. When I was in England I smoked the British Benson & Hedges, which were available in king-size.

Last edited by masklofumanto; 07-13-2016 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by masklofumanto View Post
I left a visitor message on your profile page.

Question: If your parents were non-smokers, then where did you get your "pilfered" smokes?

I had to work up the nerve to go through with actually buying a pack in order to try my first cigarette!

I never tried B&H menthol, but the FF "regular" B&H are also "glorious." That was a brand I didn't get around to trying until I was 23, and I would get them as an occasional change from my primary brand, FF Winston. When I was in England I smoked the British Benson & Hedges, which were available in king-size.
When my father went to conventions in the 60's and 70' many cigarette companys gave sample packs. Dad would bring them home and leave them on his dresser until he could give them away. they were piling up so I grabbed one before he had the chance to dispose of them. After that, I also had to work up the nerve to buy my FF Salems at the 7-11. After I started driving, I could always find a vending machine to get my smokes.

My B&H menthols were FF and I also tried the FF regular 100's. All were great! Are you still smoking FF winstons?
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Old 07-13-2016, 01:31 PM
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Oh, that explains it. I also remember free sample packs as recent as the late 80s. That's how I got to try B&H for the first time (they were giving them out in the supermarket where my mother was shopping, so she took one to give to me), and I distinctly remember that was in 1987.

I got my first pack from a vending machine in a supermarket that was within walking distance of home, maybe 1/2 mile. There were a few cigarette vending machines opposite the checkout lines, and I had to work up the nerve to just march up to one of the machines despite being concerned about an adult noticing and stopping me, or even worse, somebody who knew me seeing what I was doing. I think my heart must have been coming up my throat! About a block away, on the opposite side of the street, was a large park where I went to open the pack and smoke my first cigarette. After a few months of buying cigarettes without being stopped or caught, I worked up the nerve again to go to a convenience store a couple of blocks farther away than the supermarket to buy cigarette. I was 14, but never asked for ID or refused the purchase (the "legal" age was 16, but it wasn't enforced anywhere). I continued to buy cigarettes from there until I went away to college.

After being loyal smoker of Winstons for 15 years, I was so turned off by the change in Winstons in late 1996 that I stopped smoking them. For roughly the next 15 years I was smoking Camel Filters, Marlboro Reds, and sometimes B&H Premium Filters (which is the only 100 mm. cigarette I ever liked). I could often find Marlboro Reds on sale, so I was smoking them more than the other brands, even though I preferred them a little less. When Marlboro wasn't on sale, or (less often) when Camel was on sale, I'd get Camel Filters. In Oct. 2012 I started making my own.

Last edited by masklofumanto; 09-02-2016 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by masklofumanto View Post
For me, it wasn't until I started junior high school, at 12, that I even conceived of the possibility that I would start smoking. Although there were many smokers in my extended family, on both sides, both of my parents were non-smokers. But since many of my peers were starting to smoke at the start of 7th grade (which was pretty common in the 1970s), the personal choice about it was "put on my radar." Furthermore, I started having dreams about my older self smoking--so clearly I was attracted to the idea and fantasized about it. So it wasn't a question of "if," but rather "when."

Rest of my story is pretty similar to Ward's. I bought my first pack of cigarettes, FF Salem kings, and smoked my first cigarette when I was 13, about 3 months before turning 14. For about 15 months I was "experimenting": I'd get a pack, take 4 or 5 days to finish it, go a week or two without smoking at all, and then the cycle would start over again. A few days after turning 15, I became a "confirmed" daily smoker.

At 15, 10-15 cigarettes a day.
By 17, a pack a day.
18-21 (in college), 30 a day.
At 21, on starting graduate school, cut back to 20-24 a day and stayed there. For a while in my mid-forties I actually got under a pack a day for a few years, but drifted back to my former "normal" range.

The 1970s and 1980s were great times to be a young smoker. The majority of adults smoked and it was permitted almost everywhere. Smoking parents weren't surprised to catch their kids trying it at 11 or 12 and if your parents smoked, the chances were you'd have permission sometime between 13 and when you started high school. Although even then, I recall you were supposed to be 18 to buy them, in those days parents would still send their kids to the store for them. So, it was expected that wouldn't be enforced.

I recall being interested in trying it by 8 or 9. The anti-smoking lecture we got in 5th grade did nothing to dissuade me. By the end of 6th grade I knew several of my classmates were already smoking and I knew many of the students at the jr. high I'd be attending in the fall would be smokers. I knew my time had come.

Having 2 smoking parents I was pretty uninhibited about trying it myself. I also knew that buying a pack wouldn't be a problem. Just before I turned 12 I bought my first pack of Marlboro Reds right over the counter, without even claiming they were for my parents. I immediately became a regular although not a frequent customer and never had a problem buying them myself. By the end of 7th grade I found out my best friend was doing the same thing I was. We spent much of that summer in the woods becoming daily smokers.
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Old 07-19-2016, 11:54 AM
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Having a father who smoked always aroused my curiosity which was re-inforced growing up in the 1960's when advertising was still common and the majority of people smoked pretty well anywhere and everywhere.
Felt ready to start at 16 when you could buy cigarettes legally back then but didn't actually light up until 17 when offered a cigarette by one of the smoking lads during my 1st week away from home on a school geography study trip.I knew that was the start of my smoking career so told my parents when I got back when they asked what I'd been up to.A sound decision.
17-23: 5-10 a day
23-25: moved up to a ppd as I'd the money from working full time
30 to present:finally levelled off at c.25 a day.Sometimes more depending on situations.
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Last edited by filter man; 07-19-2016 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:10 PM
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I just always knew I would be a smoker.

11-14 smoked irregularly

14 became a daily smoker 10-15 cigarettes a day.

15-18 smoked a pack a day

in college was smoking about 30 a day

23 to present smoke 40-45 a day
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Old 09-07-2016, 10:29 AM
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Growing up in a family of smokers -- mom, dad, older sister, cousin, aunts, etc. -- and around smokers generally, as quite a few of my friend's parents smoked, I always had the curiosity about smoking.

First time I tried it for myself, I didn't like it. I didn't know what I was doing, didn't inhale, generally found it gross. But I figured there had to be something to it if all these people I knew enjoyed it so much, so I persevered. After stealing a pack from my parents, I practiced over the course of a couple months. Eventually, I got to the point where I could inhale and "didn't mind," the taste.

But the moment I "knew," came almost two years later. I had been "busted" by my friend's mom for smoking. She was cool with it, agreed to keep it a secret. Whenever I was around her, she'd offer me cigarettes and insist I join her whenever she went for a smoke. She'd occasionally buy me a pack whenever possible.

One day at school, I had my first actual craving. I hadn't had a cigarette in two or three days, which wasn't too uncommon at that time. However, I had begun being more bold about when I'd smoke at home. Instead of just smoking when I had the house to myself, I'd sneak a cigarette when I knew my parents were asleep or when I knew they wouldn't be coming upstairs to my room for a while (which they rarely did), so my habit was becoming a bit more regular.

I had been sick from school for almost two weeks, and since I was particularly behind in one of my classes, I had to spend my "homeroom" time (about an hour) each day in one on one sessions with my teacher so I could get caught up. On one of these days, right in the middle of an exercise she was walking me through, I suddenly got a huge, enormous craving for a cigarette. I didn't WANT a cigarette -- I NEEDED a cigarette. First time I had ever experienced a physical craving. I couldn't focus. All I could think about was smoking a cigarette ASAP, and my mind immediately began running through ideas about how I could do so. I hadn't even been on lunch break yet, and I couldn't imagine waiting until the evening to get my fix.

So, knowing my dad was out of town and my mom was gone for the day, I began feigning a relapse of my illness that had kept me out of school a week earlier. I tried to be subtle about it and sure enough, my teacher suggested I go see the nurse after our session was done. The nurse always erred on the side of caution, and knowing I had recently been very sick, she almost immediately suggested I go home for the day. I went through the process of calling my mom first even though I knew she'd be unable to pick me up. I also knew, however, that she'd suggest my friend's mom pick me up.

I gave my friend's mom a call and explained the situation to her. She agreed to come get me. Once I got to my locker to pack up my stuff, I got my cell phone (which, back then, was one of those old Nokia bricks that were pretty much top of the line in the early days of cell phones), stepped outside, made sure the coast was clear, and called her again to explain what was actually going on.

She laughed about it and said she'd be there soon. As soon as she pulled up, I got in the car. I could smell the faint scent of cigarettes. She had definitely smoked one or two on the drive over, and it drove me crazy. We pulled off of school property and she immediately handed me her pack. I couldn't light up fast enough. To this day it was one of the most satisfying first drags and cigarettes I've ever had. I chainsmoked three cigarettes on the way back to her house. She would occasionally chainsmoke in the car, but I could never keep up with her. She found it amusing that I was matching her cig-for-cig that day.

That day, I knew I would be a smoker. The craving was intense and bad, but the satisfaction from smoking that cigarette was incredible. Luckily, it would only be a few months later that I'd get my first car, and I'd often sneak off during lunch break and quickly smoke a cigarette to get my daily fix.
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