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Old 04-20-2019, 02:59 PM
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Default Non- smoking family

This is for those who smoke who come from a family where nobody smoked and despite that, you decided to smoke. What made you start smoking. I have posted my story a couple of times. Condensed version. I donít remember my exact age, but I was in elementary school, so I would guess about 10 or 11 years d. I went to a drag race with a friend and spent most of the time watching the pretty lady in front of us smoking. I was fascinated and a smoker was born. Through the years I tried to sneak and smoke doing the best I could to keep it a secret. Was a closet smoker for years. Not sure if I fooled everyone, but I was never confronted on it. Still never smoke around my family.
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Old 04-20-2019, 05:56 PM
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Stress, nerves and life got to me after college graduation and I started smoking at age 25 and despite my parents being non-smokers and living on my own at the time, I was upfront and honest with them and I told them after I had been smoking for about a month or so and despite a lot of doubts as to what their reaction would be when I told them, they didn't have a problem with it, since I made the decision on my own and I wasn't pressured or influenced into starting smoking.
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Old 04-21-2019, 12:00 AM
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I don't think I can really condense this much, so pardon me if it's too lengthy. I came from a non-smoking household. Neither of my parents, nor my older sister, smoked. There were, however, many smokers in my extended family on both sides; in fact, all the males on my mother's side were smokers. Also, it was the seventies, and I think it was more or less expected that you faced a personal choice about smoking once you reached a certain age, regardless of whether you came from a smoking or a non-smoking family, though I think being part of a smoking family tilted the scales somewhat. That choice could be any time from when you started junior high school (usually 7th grade) to while you were in high school. From what I observed at the time, most everyone who was going to start smoking did so by their junior year of high school. Though the legal age in my state was 16 at the time, I don't think that had much bearing as it wasn't enforced anywhere I knew of. So, that's the background.

Smoking first came on my "radar" right on cue, when I started 7th grade and some of my classmates had already started smoking. I became strongly attracted to the idea that I would become a smoker. I began studying cigarette ads, to become familiar with the different brands, what they were like and what was their image. I also started dreaming about my future self as a smoker.

The first opportunity to move from fantasizing to reality came late in the spring of 7th grade. Going home on the school bus, I had to take a seat towards the back, where all the kids who smoked sat (at the time, smoking on JHS and HS school buses was ubiquitous--bus drivers didn't even try to stop it). A boy in the 9th grade unexpectedly hands me a lit cigarette (I believe that because I had sat at the back of the bus he must've thought I wanted to try smoking), and I froze, not knowing what to do. I wanted to smoke it, but I felt like everyone was watching me, so I just held it and did nothing until a 9th grade girl told me to give it to her. Of course, I regretted that I didn't have the nerve to smoke it and was determined that some day I would work up the nerve to go through with it.

That day came a little over a year later. It was July 1978, the summer between 8th and 9th grades. I had decided I was finally going to go through with buying a pack of cigarettes and start smoking. I went to a supermarket within walking distance, marched up to the vending machines opposite the checkout lines, trying not think about whether there was anyone around who knew me, or whether some adult would come up and stop me. I brought exact change (60 cents) with me, put the coins into the slot, and pulled the lever for Salem FF Kings, grabbed the pack and book of matches that dropped down, and marched straight out the door. I think my heart my have been up in my throat, but I felt exhilarated. I finally went through with it, and got away with it, and perhaps felt a little like a "bad boy."

I went to a large park across the street about half a block away, and there opened the pack and smoked my first cigarette. What I remember is I felt a rush; whether it was the nicotine "buzz", or just pure adrenaline, or both, I don't know. I didn't get dizzy or sick. It was a pleasant experience, though I don't think that I knew to inhale--if I had, I didn't hold the smoke before exhaling. I didn't learn how to "properly" inhale until a couple months later, when I happened to notice the pause smokers take between the drag and exhaling, and then figured it out. Soon after turning 14, I also worked up the nerve to buy cigarettes at a convenience store, which meant facing a live clerk, and never had a problem.

I wasn't smoking every day, though. I'd buy a pack, take 4 to 5 days to finish it, and then go a week or two without smoking before buying another. I still wasn't quite ready to commit myself entirely and, besides, I wouldn't have able to afford smoking daily until I started working. When I was ready to commit was in October 1979: it was about a week after turning 15, and the first day of my first part-time job (at a fast food restaurant). I bought a pack of Newport FF Kings, and I already had a lighter. After my mother dropped me off at work, the pack and lighter went from my pants pocket to my shirt's breast pocket. There was enough time to sit down at a table for a smoke before punching the time clock to start work. From that day forward I was a daily smoker, and I was up to smoking over half a pack a day within three days.

How did my parents find out? I didn't get caught, though once I had a close call when I was smoking in the attic and heard my mother calling for me. For some time my mother suspected that I might be smoking, but never caught me red-handed. I even passed her occasional "breath tests" because I was smoking menthol cigarettes (that's not why I chose menthol, though) at the time. As soon as I came home with my driver's license is when I told my mother that I smoked (by then I had switched to non-menthols). I figured if I was old enough to drive, how could she possibly say that I wasn't old enough to smoke. Her reaction was better than I expected, which makes me think, in hindsight, that I could have come clean sooner. Though she didn't like it, all she said was I couldn't smoke in the house. Not long afterward that stricture got changed to that I could only smoke in my room.

Last edited by masklofumanto; 04-21-2019 at 12:16 AM.
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