At the age of thirteen I smoked my first cigarette, a Marlboro light - and thought - "Well, that was kinda gross".
Two years later I was casually smoking at High School - I can remember most clearly smoking Winstons in Kent Smith's old 3 series BMW riding around Angier before bacnd practice....
I was able to pickem up and putem down for a while when young - I don't think I ever had a pack that did not last me 2 days , until I graduated and went into construction work. Stanidng outdoors for hours at a time, with nothing to do but shovel and bitch, or listen to someone else bitch, smoking was a diversion. It was what all the older dudes were doing. Seriously - I cannot think of a SINGLE coworker back almost 20 years ago on my crew that did not smoke - hell, I can remember most of their brands to this day, having as the new guy being often sent to the store for smokes and snacks.
Now let's time warp a little bit. A little over a year ago I got concerned about my health, and I lost some weight. I did good too - but I stopped short of my quitting goal when it came to cigarrettes. After a hellish year last year my weight is back where it was then.
Plus I am now a two and a half a pack a day smoker.
Damn - saying it out load is shameful - but yes - two and a half packs a day.
I blame some of the increase on my driving so much and simle tactile boredom - I mean I have lit cigarrettes only to find that I already had one going in the ashtray.
The other is stress. Smoking is a hiding place in a way. If you smoke, or have , you may understnad.
But it has finally caught up with me - I have been having some intense discomfort breathing, and have no extended physical stamina. I went to a doctor, I will be honest - scared to death that I had ruined my lungs at 35.
The good news - He said my lungs were great - that despite my best efforts to destroy them , i had not- and I should be ashamed.
The bad / good / bad news - I have to quit. NOW.
SO, I am "tapering off " this week - going from 50 cigarettes to zero in one day he advised against - but I am "rationing" myself, as well as trying better living through science and chemicals.
So we will see. But if you see me around, and I am smoking, you have my permission to come over, tap me on the cheast - and say " You should be ashamed".