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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:30 PM
Original message
Smokers & Ex-Smokers... WHY Did You Start Smoking? How Old Were You?
And... HOW MUCH did a pack of cigarettes cost when you started?

I started smoking in HIGH SCHOOL. At the time (1976) my high school *permitted* smoking, but only in a breezeway that joined two buildings. All the cool kids hung out there, and all the cool kids were smoking. So, I started smoking too.

Man was I COOL!! Or... at 16 years old, I certainly believed that I was cool. I could pick up cigarettes at the BX for about $4.00 a carton, or 45-cents a pack at the Shopette.
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ewagner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
1. I was in College
started smoking a pipe because it was "cool". Started cigarettes in the Air Force, kept it up for six years and then went back to my pipe until December 12, 2004.
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Melodybe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
2. 20 years old when I was in Europe
After learning to properly inhale in Amsterdam, I picked up smoking cigarettes in an Irish pub.

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formerrepuke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #2
23. In college, because I couldn't hold my liquor.. but I could chain smoke
all night long and still 'keep up' with the others. Now, I don't do either.
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
3. 14 - and smoking looks soo fucking cool
It does. Why lie?

It just kills you and tastes like ass is all...
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friesianrider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. I never understood that - smoking to me doesn't in any way "look cool"
Edited on Fri Jul-29-05 02:40 PM by friesianrider
I've never smoked in my life, but I swear to God, I just never got how people thought smoking "looked" cool. I always see some either a. nasty fat chick or b. skinny way too made-up chick driving down the road with a cigarette in her hand, wrist all flopped over like a total diva, ashing it all over my car sitting next to hers in the turn lane.

Soooo attractive, let me tell you. The yellow teeth, stench, smoke being blown in your face, bad breath, emphysema, and lung cancer are really what seals the deal for me. What man could resist such a goddess? :eyes:

I'm not directing this at you by the way :) The kindest, most caring humam being I've ever known (my grandmother) died last November from a horrific death blamed on emphysema due to years of smoking in the 1940s and 1950s. Please everyone - DO NOT do this to your grandchildren and make them go through what I went through. Smoking isn't worth it.
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LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #12
20. I hate to say it - I can understand
It's not that it looks cool, it just seemed that the "in-kids" did it and people wanted to do it to be accepted. I hate to say it, knowing my addictive personality I probably would have been a smoker except my dad died of it when I was 14. I remember when I was in 7th-8th grade (our school was 7-12) sitting in music class we could see all the smokers out in the smoking area and we wanted to be just like them. And to be honest, most of my friends did end up being smokers.

BTW, one of the biggest problems with young kids and especially young girls smoking is the notion that smoking kills your appetite. ANd unfortunately you'll hear about too many Hollywood actresses talking about how they need their cigarettes to stay thin. Now young girls see scrawny chicks like Lindsay Lohan and the Olsen Twins smoking and they want to be skinny like them. It's sad.

But I empathize anyone who is trying to quit smoking because as I've talked about enough today - I'm trying to overcome my own addictions with sugar :cry:
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Misunderestimator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:33 PM
Response to Original message
4. I started smoking when I was 19 at my first....
gay bar... I was nervous as hell... and a beautiful woman offered me a smoke.

I don't remember the price (that was um... 23 years ago) I didn't buy my own for years, and then I quit when I was 24, and then I started smoking again about 7 years ago, and now I quit again... and... :boring:

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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. Tell Us Another Story About Lezbian Bars, Missy!
:loveya: How did it all end? Did you hook up with her?
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Misunderestimator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. LOL...
Um... yes.... :D
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truebrit71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
5. To look cool...finally caved to the peer pressure....
...at age 13....been smoking ever since...damn it....I think a pack of fags cost 80p back then....
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johnnie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
6. I started at around the age of 12
That was about 1976-77. If I remember correctly, they were 60 cents a pack and they had some that were about 45 cents.
I hid smoking from my friends for a long time. I would sneak in to the woods or something and didn't tell anyone until I discovered friends of mine smoked.
I was a little hyper as a child and I just always saw people "relaxing" having a cigarette. So I thought I would see if it worked for me.
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #6
26. we'd hide them in our bras
i remembered this recently when something fell down my shirt. :)
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johnnie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #26
34. I would put them in my sock
One time one of them fell out of my sock and was on the floor. This was in 6th grade at a Catholic school. I was sitting there in class looking at it, it was close to the door of the classroom. It didn't help that the green carpet made it even more recognizable. I was just looking at it sitting there and it looked like it was 5 times bigger than it was..LOL. I thought for sure there was going to be a shakedown. The teacher didn't notice and at break I stepped on it and slide it under my foot into the hall. I grabbed it and tossed it. Of course, it would have just been *another* time of me being in trouble, but still, it was a bit scary.
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #34
46. that's classic! i remember wearing a button-down shirts
and the filter always wanting to tip out like a big flag.
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Scout1071 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:35 PM
Response to Original message
7. Age 14. Packs were 95 cents.
I remember when everyone freaked because they went to $1.10.
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tridim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:35 PM
Response to Original message
8. Sophomore in HS
Everyone else smoked, so I did too. It wasn't peer pressure, it was just something to do before and after school. I smoked for about 15 years after that.
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TammyLittlenut Donating Member (53 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:36 PM
Response to Original message
10. I was 18 and drunk
at college...lots of frat parties...people were smoking....i started and didn't put them down until January of this year. 18 years of that nastyness!
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enigmatic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
13. Started at 10, quit when I was 15
I was a closet smoker, too; nobody knew. I quit because one night I listened to my mom cough up her lungs in the bedroom across the apartment; it was a nightly occurrence, but for some reason that night I could hear myself in 20 years doing the same thing.

Best decision I ever made.
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Mutley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
14. I had my first cigarette when I was 12.
I didn't start smoking regularly until I was 16. I did it because all my friends did, of course. Cigarettes were $1.90 at the Amoco station when I first started. Now the cheapest I can find is $3.60 at this cigarette outlet near my house. The average is $4+ though.
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ret5hd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:42 PM
Original message
13...to be COOL!!!
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khashka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
15. First semester of college, I was 17
Back in the day, they used to have girls handing out free packs on the street. And I was in the financial district and there was this girl handing 'em out and she was obviously having a bad time so I took all of 'em so she could go home.

So I had ninety packs of cigs and what was I gonna do with 'em? So I smoked 'em. Threw up a lot but also got hooked.

I never really thought they were cool. Other people did though. I don't exhale, I just let the smoke leak out of my mouth while talking whiched earned me the nickname of Dragonboy. I thought being called Dragonboy was cool :)


Khash.
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Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
16. I was 24, just out of college, and stupid.
I wasn't trying to be cool, since I never hung out with some gang (like you, LOL), but just with my friend who started smoking, too. We'd sit outdoors on the step, waiting for our respective rides, and smoke. And it actually made both of us feel pretty high for the longest time! :D

I think that either you're genetically programmed to become addicted or you're not. Both of my parents smoked, as did each and every one of my aunts and uncles who are related to me. The fact that they mostly died young should be a wake up call for me, but nicotine is one of the most addictive substances in the universe. I've tried different kinds of smoking cessation programs, but haven't found one that worked for me yet. And my doctor is after me to quit, since the asthma that I had, as a kid, has returned. :-(

When I first started smoking, a carton of cigarettes was $4.12, so I guess that we're close in age. At my first job, they were 65-cents in the machine. These days, you practically have to take out a loan to buy a carton. This alone should be sufficient reason to quit. :grr:

I take it that you quit... How did you do it?! :shrug:
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jane_pippin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
17. Started when I was 18 in college
because I hated my roommate and needed excuses to leave the room. Plus, all the cool kids did it and were also outside smoking because they hated their roommates.

This year, however, I'm working on quitting. Not quite there yet but cut down considerably.

I'm only 26 so they cost about the same now as they did then.
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motely36 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
18. I started at 16
cause this hot guy that I thought was cool smoked. And I wanted to be like him, so I started. smoked for 19 years after that. Now smoke free for 3 years.

:)
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. Oh You Theater-Types Are All The Same...
too eager to please others... insecure... and easily impressed. (Yeah... I was the theater-type too.)

-- Allen
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motely36 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #21
28. Yeah, what can I say
Actually this guy was not a theater person. This was at church camp. I didn't do theatre until college.

:hi:
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no name no slogan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
19. 12, because it went well with smoking pot
i started smoking pot with my friends when i was 12. my best friend's older brother was the neighborhood drug dealer, so he used to steal nickel bags from his bro's supply. it was usually good old-fashioned Minnesota ditchweed, but there was enough THC in it to get an 80lb pre-teen a decent buzz.

i started smoking cigs to clean out the crappy taste from the weed. i was a pack-a-day smoker by high school, and peaked at two packs a day when i lived in the UK right after college. of course, i'd quit smoking pot by my sophomore year and was strictly smoking cigs and drinking like a fish, instead-- self-medicating my depression.

i quit smoking shortly after i got married in 1996 and haven't touched a cigarette since. it's a tough habit to break and i still get the cravings occassionally, but i haven't had one in nine years.
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:48 PM
Response to Original message
22. self-delete
Edited on Fri Jul-29-05 02:50 PM by nashville_brook
oopsie
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
24. summer btwn 6th-7th grade
the week before i had just destroyed a carton of my sister's cigs. (i mention this b/c i've noticed that kids who "want" to smoke often express the curiousity in feined disapproval -- especially with aspergers kids... they are naturally interested in taboos).

my next-door neighbor and "best friend" was 3 years older than me. this was 1978. it was a cultural thing. mean people were straight-laced. it was mysterious. there was a bait and tackle store that would sell them to us. marlboro reds hard pack. the 2 old guys were from new england. the car talk guys remind me of them.

quit after a long stay in the hospital that had rid me of the chemical addiction, and started again during the election because i figure the chances of my living long enough to die of cancer have become slim since the bush junta. american spirits yellow box.

my hubby is a cigar smoker and i want to open a little smoke shop/news stand in our neighborhood. places to gather, smoke and talk are necessary, and culturally where i want to be.
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. oh yeah -- 75 cents. lunch money.
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demnan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
25. That sounds like Virginia in the 70's
Edited on Fri Jul-29-05 02:50 PM by demnan
when I went to school. Though I didn't start in high school. My brother started then and smoked and still does, a lot.

I started in college. A friend and I would share a pack of cigarettes. Pretty soon I was buying my own. But I quit when I had to take swimming. No one wants to be out of breath swimming.

I started up again and quit again. Then when I was out in the working world I started again the day Ronald Reagan was elected!!!!!&*#$&!@*&@#$!@#

I quit again 6 months later. I was 23 when I finally gave it up.

Now after 25 years, I still crave a cigarette now and then.
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ovidsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:56 PM
Response to Original message
29. 1966. I was 14. $0.35/pack.
Why? Must have been all those TV commercials, parents who smoked and the cool kids.

Don't smoke anymore, but I miss them occasionally.
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hickman1937 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
30. Age 15. I was short, skinny, and fresh out of Catholic school.
Edited on Fri Jul-29-05 02:58 PM by hickman1937
I wanted to be a hippie but was scared to death of free love, drugs, and living away from home. So I picked smoking, long hair, and mini skirts. I don't know how much they cost, we had to have someone buy for us.

edit for damn punctuation.
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
31. started when I was 15....
I was a runaway living in Memphis and cigarettes were cheaper than food (so was speed, for that matter). Plus there was no social stigma attached to smoking-- just the opposite, it was cool to smoke. I remember 35 cent packs of smokes.

I quit smoking about 12 years later.
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swimboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 03:02 PM
Response to Original message
32. Deep Thought by Jack Handey
"Of course, I would never advocate that children take up smoking, but for all you children who already smoke--it's pretty great, isn't it?"

I started seriously flirting with smoking in my 20s. I don't smoke very much, but it is kind of hard to go for very long giving it up totally. I was always intrigued with it and I had friends who did.
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 03:03 PM
Response to Original message
33. Why it looked cool.
Circa 1955, when I started, most movie stars smoked.
At least they did in the movies.
I think cigarettes were the first "placements".

Gable did, and Bogie and Tracy and Astaire, and John Wayne. I think my only childhood "hero" who didn't was Roy Rogers. Maybe Hoppy.
Roy was always a clean livin' son-of-a-gun.

It was also sexy.
Bacall smoked. So did Liz Taylor, Veronica Lake (look her up), Hedy Lamarr, Lana Turner, and all the "glamour girls".

Magazine ads for cigarettes featured doctors endorsing the merits of various brands. There was something about being kind to your "T" zone.
"Not a cough in a carload" was one slogan.
"I'd walk a mile for a Camel."
"LS/MFT: Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco."

We were thoroughly brainwashed in the good ol' American tradition of advertising and sales ballyhoo.
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Trigger Hippie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
35. Awright, I briefly smoked a bit this year
because I moved to MA from LA and had trouble talking to people. I found that the coolest people went outside to smoke (which they don't have to do in LA) and I could have easier one on one conversations with people that way. It worked. Only thing is I started smoking regularly for about seven months. I'm quitting now, but I get cravings when I drink. :(

Yeah, I know I'm stupid. :crazy:
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Shredr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 03:09 PM
Response to Original message
36. BX and Shopette!! I'm a military brat, too.
Edited on Fri Jul-29-05 03:09 PM by Shredr
Damn, that brought me back.

I was really stupid. I didn't start until college. I was 21, it was the middle of the night and I was working on a project that wouldn't end. I walked out of the editing bay, saw my friend smoking and graqbbed one, just out of frustration.

Next day, I was a pack-a-day smoker.

That was 1993, so Camel Lights were about 3.50 a pack. I got up to 2 packs a day until I finally quit in January of last year.
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Spock_is_Skeptical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 03:09 PM
Response to Original message
37. at 17... Sampoerna Xtra clove cigarettes.
I loved the aroma, and the minty flavor on the filter tip. MMM!
And what a heady buzz they gave me. I didn't smoke them too often,
they were quite lovely.

Then a year later, I started smoking regular tobacco cigs.
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #37
41. when you started smoking "cloves" and why -- that's a more interesting
question in a way...

first experience with a clove was at a unitarian youth retreat. i think it was still LRY, liberal religous youth, then. they changed it to something less interesting after i stopped going. i only went to get out of having to go to Catholic church with my family.

cloves was a whole new world of smoking. so special. so offensive to non-hippie types!
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billyskank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 03:09 PM
Response to Original message
38. Old enough to know better: 18, at university.
I had just been introduced to marijuana. After a short time I found that a certain amount of the pleasure I got from a spliff was the tobacco, so I started smoking ciggies. Just a few at first, I think it took about six months before I realised I was hooked. The price back then (1995) was about two pounds fifty for a pack of 20. You can do the conversion! :P

I smoked for about eight years until I quit nearly two and a half years ago. :woohoo:
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dr.strangelove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
39. I was 16.
It was in the 1980s and a pack was in the $1.00 range. I quit when they went to $3.00.
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scarlet_owl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
40. I was twelve when I started, 20 when I stopped.
I started because everyone else was doing it. I stopped because it's a nasty habit. I don't remember how much they cost back then.
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Binka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 03:21 PM
Response to Original message
42. I Smoke When I Drink Too Much
Never want to smoke during the day. A pack can last a good two weeks. I didn't start until I was 30 circa 1990. But if I am upset or troubled I might burn a few more than usual.
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xmas74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
43. 14. I ran around w/ an older crowd.
Most of the guys I ran around w/ were out of high school and working deadend jobs. They smoked on their breaks at work and ended up taking the habit home w/ them. I smoked to get their attention. I dated a guy in the military for a couple of months in high school and he used to buy cigs for me on base and bring them back for me. Much cheaper than when I was buying them out of the cig dispensers!
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Ariana Celeste Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
44. 12, because my friend and I wanted to be cool
we were in 6th grade, last year of elementary for our district, and all the jr. high schoolers my friend knew were doing it. At that point we smoked like a pack a week at ~$4 a pack. I became a regular smoker by 15. In WA most packs were/are $4.50- $5 a pack.
Then I moved to Indiana where shits just cheaper. Quit for a couple months at 19, started again when my cousin died. Before I quit it was a $20 carton of cheap smokes a week, now I smoke 3-4 packs a week. At about $3.40 each. 20 yrs old now.
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bigwillq Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
45. Why: It was cool
When: 18
Stopped: 19 1/2
Started again: 21
Stopped: Not yet
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BlueIris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
47. Started: 18. Stopped: 20. Started: Cool factor. Tasty.
Stopped: Complete strangers started telling me to quit. Plus, I was aware that the habit was terrible. Also, I was on all those antidepressants (thanks Pfizer/Wyeth!). Finally, in addition to the fact that cigarettes had gone from $2.60 to $4.65 in the two years I'd been smoking, they suddenly tasted like crap. This was in '99, after the first of the BIG judgments came down in favor of the plaintiffs with cancer who sued tobacco companies. There were no reasons left for me to continue, so I quit.
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