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John Gauger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 07:34 PM
Original message
I have a question for smokers.
I have lately been thinking about people who smoke tobacco. I recently ran into a friend-of-friend from my high school. Apparently, in the four months since graduation she has taken up smoking. I was very upset to find this out, not only because of the risks to her health, but also because she has a very beautiful voice that will one day be utterly ravaged. I have been wondering how she could make such a destructive decision. My question is to current and former smokers. If you don't mind my asking: Why did you make the decision to start smoking? What factors contributed to your decision? Do you feel you properly wieghed the consequences when you made your decision?

I very much appreciate your responses. I thank you for helping me out. I hope that this will help me to settle my mind.
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Jack_Dawson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 07:36 PM
Response to Original message
1. Smoking = Aging
I don't smoke, but it's for vanity reasons rather than health ones.
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survivor999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Yup. You can tell people who smoke by the way they look and sound
Yellowish skin, raspy voice... Premature aging.
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Oeditpus Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #4
54. Generalize much?
I've smoked regularly since I was 18. I'm 50. Everybody and I do mean everybody thinks I'm about 42.

As for voices, I could give you some references from DU.

:eyes:

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Jack_Dawson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #54
89. But if you didn't smoke...
you'd probably look 32. That's all. Sorry about your Dodgers. :beer:
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Karenca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 12:44 AM
Response to Reply #4
62. That's crap
I've been a smoker for a very long time.


People think I'm my 22 year old son's sister.


ALWAYS.
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Jack_Dawson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 04:59 AM
Response to Reply #62
70. I'm sure they do
:eyes:

J/K if that's really the case than you're the exception. Are you from the Philipines or something?

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Karenca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 08:24 AM
Response to Reply #70
71. No, they don't.
No I'm not.

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survivor999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #71
80. Sure there are exceptions.
Jonny Depp looks pretty good :) And he's a chain smoker. But ask any dermatologist, if you care.
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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 04:09 AM
Response to Reply #4
68. Not quite...
Edited on Tue Oct-24-06 04:14 AM by Mythsaje
I just turned forty. Most people think I'm in my early thirties.

And I can actually sing, when I'm in practice.

edited to get rid of unncessary snark.

I'm conserving.
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recoveringrepublican Donating Member (779 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #4
77. That's BS. I'm 28, been smoking since I was 14
I'm carded constantly. People think I'm 18. When they find out I have a 6 year old you can see them trying to do the math in their head and the look of shock when they arrive to their false estimate.

I know many long time smokers, I'll give you the voice thing in regards to most of them, but none look older than they are.
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trekbiker Donating Member (724 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #77
83. yes and no.. it depends on your genetics..
if you are female and white you are basically screwed. You skin and hair will be affected. It wont hit you till you are in your 40's but you can delay this somewhat if you stay out of the sun. I've seen numerous examples of this but the most telling example was a woman I dated in the late 70's. She and her sister are identical twins, both smoked and both beautiful blonds. Her sister quit smoking in her mid 20's. Last year I bumped into them in my old hometown and the difference was shocking. Hair, voice and skin (face and neck). She is 42 and looks 52. Her sister is still beautiful.
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recoveringrepublican Donating Member (779 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #83
91. I'm white and live near Tampa. lol
My teeth do show that I smoke. I AM trying to quit. Maybe I do have good genes? Grandma smoked for 60+ years didn't look a day over 50.
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Jack_Dawson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #77
88. Just wait til you're 38
Smoking generally doesn't wreak it's aging havoc in your 20s.

:toast:
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #4
90. And marijuana turns you into a sex fiend!
:eyes:

There are enough many documented dangers in smoking that we can do without the hyperbolic generalizations.

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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 04:13 AM
Response to Reply #1
69. Wow...
Then if I didn't smoke I'd be look seventeen. Maybe I'd just age in reverse. That would be cool.
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WindRavenX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 07:37 PM
Response to Original message
2. I only smoke when I go out drinking or during midterms/finals
The reason I started and continue to smoke because it:

1)Tastes good with booze

2)Perks me up and helps me study when I'm really tired.
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Bonobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 07:38 PM
Response to Original message
3. Everyone else was doing it...then I got addicted (for 20 years)
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Jack_Dawson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Still addicted?
If not, why'd you quit?
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Bonobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. I've quit several times. Currently haven't smoked cigs in 6 months.
Longest I ever quit was 1 year.

Sometimes you think you have quit and you have just one cigarette. Bad idea. Straight back to addiction.

We ex-smokers are like alcoholics. We will ALWAYS be addicted to cigarettes and just one is enough to take you right back into it.

I hate non-smokers who have no fucking empathy, no fucking idea how addictive they are...

Cigarette makers threw BILLIONS of $ into perfecting the "nicotine delivery system" and making it super addictive. Damn them.
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TheDebbieDee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. "We ex-smokers are like alcoholics.....
We will ALWAYS be addicted to cigarettes and just one is enough to take you right back into it."

I agree. I haven't smoked a cigarette in 3-1/2 years. And even though I now rarely think about smoking cigarettes, I know that that I can't make the mistake of having that first cigarette. I have to remind myself sometimes just how hard it was to quit to prevent me from smoking again.
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Jack_Dawson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #8
14. I quit smoking
Granted, only had 2 cigs/day for 4 years, but still said "fuck it" what am I getting out of this? At least with alcohol you can get your buzz on and drunk dial people. With smoking I was like...all I'm getting is pain in my lungs and foul-smelling breath and hands. Where's the payoff? Congrats on SIX months! You rock. :toast:
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recoveringrepublican Donating Member (779 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #8
78. I quit for 6 months once, then New Years Eve came around
I'm not much of a drinker, but when I do drink I have to smoke. I have no clue why that is.
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Union Thug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 07:40 PM
Response to Original message
6. I took up cigarettes while stressing through a divorce...
I smoked moderately for about 5 years before giving it up and going back to a daily diet of marijuana! :-)

But seriously, it was a way to occupy time...that was it. Weighing consequences? Please...sometimes you just don't care.
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Jack_Dawson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Are you better now?
I heard Divorce ranks #2 or #3 in terms of life's stressors.
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Union Thug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #7
15. Yes. Though I am a frequent partaker of the reverend bud green..
I don't have that nasty smoker's hack and accompanying lung cookies in the morning anymore! Quitting tobacco made an unbelievable difference. And I was only smoking about 2 packs a week.
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Speck Tater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
9. I started 55 years ago when "everybody" was doing it.
I quit every couple of months or so, usually for a week or two, but my ability to focus on repetative detailed tasks improves significantly with small doses of nicotine.
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stillcool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 07:49 PM
Response to Original message
10.  I started smoking...
along with sex, drugs, and rock & roll. The sex, the drugs, and the rock & roll have gone, but smoking remains.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 07:49 PM
Response to Original message
11. Why not ask these guys?

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Nye Bevan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 08:55 PM
Response to Reply #11
22. Or this guy?
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John Gauger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #11
23. Ooh, I know this one...
Because they're dead? You bring up an interesting point though. I find it hard to respect smokers. But I respect Einstein immensely and FDR the most of any of our Presidents (unfortunately that isn't saying much.) I would love the opportunity to ask both of them. I tend to demonize smokers, but you (along with the other guy who reminded my how hard it is to quite) have brought back my compassion. I tend to think of it as some great "evil;" however I am reminded that it is simply a minro foible and a simple flaw in judgement.

To tell you the truth, I fancied this young women until I saw her smoking that day. As I think about it more, I realize that smoking is not a good reason to abandon my affections for her. Still, if we ever dated (which isn't likely; I'm not very popular with the ladies) it would definitely be a problem. I feel as though that shows that I am not able to accept her for who she is.

Thanks for the insight, Tahitinut.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. Nobody knew it was bad for you back when Einstein and FDR did it
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John Gauger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:09 PM
Response to Reply #24
30. I suppose that's true.
The question really doesn't have the same weight when they don't know the risks. Why wouldn't they smoke? My young lady of course doesn't know the full extent of what she is doing to herself, but I am sure she knows at least about the cancer. I have a book at home that has a seemingly endless list of ill effects that the majority of people don't know about.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #24
32. Excuse me? "It'll stunt your growth!" "Smoker's Cough."
Born in the early 40s, I'm old enough to remember those days. I remember when EVERY home had ashtrays, even if nobody who lived there smoked. Nobody had illusions that it was healthy. Nobody. If we want to talk about health delusions, forget tobacco and let's remember that "too much exercise" was bad for you. "Muscle-bound." Jack Lalanne was regarded as a whack-job ... close to being a side-show freak ... and it took DECADES to convince people that exercise was good for them. The superstitions regarding polio and even the common cold were rife.

But let's remember one other thing. People were ABSOLUTELY certain they were right. Just like today. It's only through the lens of history (that 20-20 hindsight) that such beliefs appear ridiculous. Until (sometimes) they're 'smart' again.

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John Gauger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. Ahh, thank you again.
I have never heard that before. You are being very helpful to my contemplations of the issue. I appreciate that.

This again changes the question. If these men knew what they were doing to themselves then my question is valid when posed to them. Here are two very wise men making the same foolish decision as my young acquintance. Now I wonder if they ever weighed to consequences.

Your statement that we are absolutely certain we are right is also helpful. I have been debating with myself whether or not I am being too judgemental. Perhaps I have been.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #35
38. It'd be impossible to convey to anyone under 35 how pervasive
... tobacco was. Candy cigarettes. Licorice pipes. Absolutely EVERY grade in grade school included civics, history, and geography course work that talked about tobacco as a major trade good or the Native American ("Indian") gift of tobacco to the colonists. Sir Walter Raleigh. Virtually ALL the teachers smoked. The teachers' lounge was loaded with smoke. In the military, cigarettes were in the C-rations. The "smoking lamp was lit." "Smoke 'em if you've got 'em." Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart. Smoking in movie theaters in the Loge section.

Zippo Lighters.

Smoke. Drink. Vote. Get pregnant. Join the Army. These were the Rites of Passage into adulthood.

They still are.

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ekelly Donating Member (303 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #38
45. The teacher's Lounge......
I remember that.

Remember when you could smoke in hospital waiting rooms, in office buildings and airports?
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #45
47. Hell, I remember when you could smoke in the hospital room itself ...
Edited on Mon Oct-23-06 10:05 PM by TahitiNut
... as long as oxygen wasn't being used. :shrug: That was true well into the 60s. In fact, they had special signs posted on the doors: "No Smoking - Oxygen." It was the exception.

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flaminbats Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #24
40. why did FDR favor raising the cigarette tax for his state?
before he ran for President, FDR started a tax reform commission that embraced raising the state alcohol and cigarette taxes to make a broader reduction in the state sales tax possible. I don't favor banning cigarettes any more than I think smoking marijuana should be a crime! But it should certainly be a means for raising revenue, especially when making up for lost revenue to abolish a worse tax on necessities like food and medicine.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #40
43. Agricultural tax relief and income tax relief wer the primary reasons.
Edited on Mon Oct-23-06 10:02 PM by TahitiNut
New York State was a major agricultural state when the "family farm" was still a reality. Property taxes were a significant revenue source ... and they were a burden on the farming families. As was the state income tax. What Depression era movie or book would be complete without a farm being auctioned off for back taxes?

Thus, FDR accommodated state excise taxes on gasoline, tobacco, and alcohol. On the other end, he pushed for property and income tax reductions.

Merchants had a key ally in the governor's office. Roosevelt was on record against a sales tax. "I am against a sales tax," he declared in December 1931. "I have been in the past and I still am." The sales tax imposed too great a burden on poor New Yorkers, he said; it was simply not fair.

For all this progressive vehemence, Roosevelt was willing to consider narrower consumption taxes, especially on luxury goods. These levies enjoyed considerable public support, due in part to their long history at both the federal and state level. But the governor was never a big fan of these excise taxes either, as he occasionally observed in public. When asked by a reporter whether a luxury tax might be levied on tobacco products, Roosevelt reached for a cigarette. "Many people," he deadpanned, "do not consider tobacco a luxury."

You must remember that FDR, as Governor of New York, had a Republican legislature. Legislatures legislate - taxes included.

http://www.taxhistory.org/thp/readings.nsf/cf7c9c870b60...
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flaminbats Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #43
48. FDR also viewed smoking as a taxable luxury..
not as a necessity which should never be taxed. Roosevelt knew property and sales taxes would never go down until the Federal government helped carry more of the burden...hence, the New Deal.

He knew that federal income taxes would have to go up for a reduction in state and local taxes to last. But FDR certainly didn't believe that tobacco should be tax free, and we know he was right! ;)
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #48
49. "Many people," he deadpanned, "do not consider tobacco a luxury."
:shrug: It's a relatively famous remark.
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flaminbats Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 10:57 PM
Response to Reply #49
51. indeed...
I admire him for taking the political heat needed to raise the tobacco tax, especially while smoking. correct me if I'm wrong...but I think we agree on this!

Tobacco shouldn't be illegal, it should be taxed, and marijuana would roll in billions in needed revenue if legalized!
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #51
75. I've seen so little sanity on this issue on DU, it's hard to know.
Edited on Tue Oct-24-06 09:49 AM by TahitiNut
I'm a liberal.

That means I defend the liberties of others to choose to do that which I even might regard as immoral or a danger to themselves. That means I place a high bar on the "danger to others" claim ... and just I don't see that bar cleared when it comes to alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana use. I've read the 'reputable' materials on all these subjects and must wonder whether people can comprehend what they read. The notion that ETS (i.e. side-stream or second-hand tobacco smoke) poses a material risk to the health of others - a risk that is sufficient to impel some significant number of people to actually take steps to protect themselves from such alleged threats - is specious and enormously over-rated. As a former research scientist myself, I'm fairly well-versed in the 'science' (approach) and in the statistical methods employed. I'm also VERY aware of the political/economic forces brought to bear on the 'science for hire' community. Just as reelection is "Job #1" for any congresscritter, repeat funding is "Job #1" for any sciencecritter. You just don't publish 'results' in a way that pisses off the funders. That means that the empirical results are but a small part of any research ... and the carefully couched language is the largest. Reading such papers is much like reading audit reports ... one must be very aware of the weasel-wording.

But all of that is useless knowledge from a political perspective ... because too people make up their minds and then filter all feedback. No matter how much balance one might offer, folks are deaf to anything that doesn't agree with their adopted stance. (The word 'adopted' is significant - very few have a stance that's naturally born. They get it from other parents.)

I abhor prohibition. It not only doesn't work in eliminating consumption, it creates a criminalized 'industry' and unacceptably erodes both respect for the rule of law and respect for the liberties of minorities.

Like I say, I'm a liberal. It's both a pragmatic position and a principled position. No matter how much I might detest the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana ... I cannot and will not add my voice to the hysterical, irrational jihadists who would claim a degree of 'harm' that does not exist (except perhaps psychosomatically) in reality. I detest Disneyland perspectives.

Insofar as employing 'sin taxes' ... I'm VERY leery of such mechanisms. I believe there should be a principled limit to the degree of taxation ... a degree that I see exceeded enormously. When the price of such substances is composed of more than 50% taxes, that's too much. When it reaches 80-90%, which it has for alcohol and tobacco, that's insane. At that point, the state becomes "addicted" to the substance and has a vested interest in perpetuating its use. That's equally abominable. In principle, at least - and that's important to me.


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flaminbats Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #75
84. I agree taxes are no fun..but neither is obeying the law
killing is illegal for a reason, and so is stealing. If you support civil liberties, then you must also support a government with the means necessary to enforce such laws.

alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana should all be legal. but I fear the day when they are legal without an FDA to regulate these things, and without some kind of tax to paid for each of these. The purpose of a sin tax is not to stop the sin, but to raise the revenue needed to deal with the consequences. It is easy to be leery of such mechanisms, but it is even harder to pay for the medical problems which usually come with freedoms like smoking.

it wasn't taxation that we opposed in the American revolution, it was no taxation without representation. that representation gives us some say in how those tax dollars are spent, just as the law exists to prevent our freedoms from being taken away or abused by others. But the key word is SIN tax. We choose whether or not we smoke a cigarette or buy a beer. We do not always choose to help our friend or neighbor who makes a wrong decision. That is one reason why we have a government, because where we screw up..they can often step in.
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NotGivingUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
13. i started smoking when I was 15...thought it was the cool thing
to do. pretty stupid, huh? i am an ex-smoker now for over 10 years. so so glad i quit.
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GrumpyGreg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 07:56 PM
Response to Original message
16.  I've been smoking for 50 years---who knows(or cares)why I started?
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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 07:57 PM
Response to Original message
17. I smoked for many years and started young
Edited on Mon Oct-23-06 07:59 PM by OnionPatch
I was so young when I started that my reason, I'm ashamed to say, is because my older sister smoked and I thought she was cool.

But in later years when I stopped and started again, I always felt that I would not let myself become addicted. I believed I could only smoke one now and then, not enough to really harm me. I have the feeling a lot of people think that way. Unfortunately, it doesn't work. One was always enough to get me going again.

(By the way, I am cigarette free for eleven years now.)
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John Gauger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #17
25. Don't be ashamed
You know better now. When I was fourteen, I supported the war in Iraq. When we're kids, are priorities are mixed up. I thought smoking was unacceptable (I always have) but I thought it was just fine to bomb the hell out defenseless civilians for no reason. By the way, congratulations on quiting. Congrats to everybody here who has quit. I'm told it isn't easy.
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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #25
44. Thanks!
I found hypnosis worked wonders for me.
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FloridaPat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 08:06 PM
Response to Original message
18. I tried it once just to see what it was like. It was an immediate addiction.
Good thing I didn't do illegal drugs.
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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 08:41 PM
Response to Original message
19. Smoking immediately gains you entry to a peer group.
You don't have to do anything at all but dangle a ciggy from your mouth and you can walk up to a group of smokers and fit right in. There's a great attraction in that for many people.
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John Gauger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #19
31. That's true
She was at a party when I saw her. But I have seen a picture of her that my friend took a few days later and she is also smoking there. Of course, all of her friends are also smoking as well. Perhaps she doesn't smoke and was just trying to fit in.
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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #31
42. It starts out as "fitting in" but later you're smoking in the garage.
That's the addictive part kicking in.
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flaminbats Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 08:45 PM
Response to Original message
20. great thread..
many of the smokers I know, who eventually quit, come down harder on smoking than I do! I remember debating the cigarette tax during the healthcare reform debate in the 90's, not only did the person I was debating not wish to pay a separate tax, this person made an argument that cigarettes should never be hit by the sales tax. This person claimed it was a double tax. When I asked if nonsmokers should pickup a smoker's healthcare bill..he only said "what healthcare bill?"


Then my friend that quit smoking announced the solution was "to make smoking illegal"! "Why should quitters like me inhale the sick air people like you got high on?"

Then he ripped the smoker for implying that "nonsmokers should pay for a smoker's healthcare problem."

Actually this guy later quit the Republican Party, lol..just like he quit cigarettes. He is now an accomplished lawyer, and was in very good health the last time I saw him. But I've learned allot from him..it isn't easy to quit smoking, and watching others getting high just made it allot harder for people like him!
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John Gauger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #20
33. Thank you.
It is a subject I have been brooding on for quite a while. I naturally thought of the thoughtful folks at DU.
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Chico Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 08:53 PM
Response to Original message
21. Havn't smoked in about a year now
But my first cig was due to boredom and searching for a buzz...

Took one of my dads Pall Malls and boy did it ever give me a buzz.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:05 PM
Response to Original message
26. I had my first cigarette when I was drunk
Edited on Mon Oct-23-06 09:07 PM by Hippo_Tron
Your judgement is pretty impaired and so you don't think about the negative effects. I'm not a smoker and part of that is probably due to the fact that I don't get drunk that often and in turn smoke cigarettes. However I have smoked a few times and mostly it was when I was under the influence of alcohol. Most of the time however, I pull a Clinton and don't inhale because I'm just trying to get the buzz. Some of my friends say this is how they started smoking, though.
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:07 PM
Response to Original message
27. But first you answer this:
are you a torture agent? LOL
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John Gauger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #27
36. No.
My interrogation methods are entirely within the Geneva Conventions. I say so, so there.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:08 PM
Response to Original message
28. When you are young, distant threats are not given much weight.
Edited on Mon Oct-23-06 09:11 PM by bemildred
If you go back more than about 25 years, it was a very common vice, and cultural attitudes were much more accepting than they are now.

In considering my particular case, I really have no idea why. I could make things up, like I was rebelling or something, but I really think it was more a matter of personality, I had an innate appreciation for some of the effects it has on you. You have to understand that it feels good, once you are accustomed to it, and it's very addictive.

PS: I smoked 28 years, quit completely for ten, went on and off because I missed it, now I chew gum, sometimes.
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OPERATIONMINDCRIME Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:08 PM
Response to Original message
29. Started Smoking At 13. Head Rushes Seemed Cool, And The Marlboro Van
that parked at the 7-11 and gave me a free ligher and marlboro ashtray, even though i was a short little shit and only 13, made me think they were even cooler. Had no idea then how bad this shit was. I was just simply a young teen punk in a jean jacket that thought marlboros were cool and that enjoyed the short head rushes.

Had I have known how addicting these things were, I woulda told the marlboro van guy to go fuck himself.
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johnnie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:16 PM
Response to Original message
34. When I started smoking, it wasn't like today
Even though we were told that smoking was bad, we didn't have do-gooders, nannies and people who liked to get in our business crawling up our ass every 2 minutes. I started smoking because I thought it would calm me down. Also back then, they didn't shove addictive pills down your throat if you had a lot of energy.

I perceived smoking as a way to calm myself down. Today, it is much better. They give you drugs as a teen that becomes addictive and suppresses your natural emotions, therefore preventing many children from expressing themselves to their full potential.

Anyway, I decided to start smoking because I wanted to, and I haven't quit because I don't want to. I hope that helps.
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Withywindle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:39 PM
Response to Original message
37. I don't remember the thought process, honestly...
...I was 15, after all, and that was a long time ago. I do remember that unlike a lot of my peers, I really did like the taste, which made getting hooked a lot easier (still do).

I should point out this also was in SW Virginia, where smoking almost everywhere to this day isn't frowned upon much.

As for quitting, well, I'll say this much. I used to dabble in heroin and coke too. Neither got anywhere near this kind of grip on me. It's heartbreaking to watch my friends struggle with quitting smoking. So many of them try so hard, it drives them nuts...and so few of them succeed for any length of time.
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blues90 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:41 PM
Response to Original message
39. I did'nt start until I was 20
that was 37 years ago . It was something almost everyone tried back then and it was on tv and bill boards , everyone kept tempting me so i tried a few times , one day I was real worried about being drafted and took up smoking as a rebel act I suppose . It is very easy to get hooked , after the first few dizzy spells you continue as if it is a challenge to beat the spells and suddenly it was impossible to quit . i have tried mant times . tHe patches made me freak out . i have cut down to half a pack for many years from three .

Now that things are so very stressful I am up to a pack a day .

For me it was a rebel thing to do at the time , stupid thing to do but no one discouraged it back then really .
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nemo137 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:42 PM
Response to Original message
41. Stress relief.
My friends and I used to smoke cigars when we were hanging out at the end of the week (gifted school, especially jr. and sr. years, can get stressful), and went to cloves, then Camels, from there, to have a ritual and a but of psychoactive sudstance to calm me down.
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HarukaTheTrophyWife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 10:00 PM
Response to Original message
46. I worked for a couple theatre companies where almost everyone smoked.
Basically, entire meetings would sometimes take place outside while smoking. Honestly, I can go for a few days without smoking, but I always go back to it. It's just comforting. I consider myself addicted, but I really don't smoke that much.

I probably shouldn't have started at all. I would consider it the only drug I've tried and gotten addicted to. Hell, I used to do *a lot* of coke, but I was able to quit that cold turkey without any withdrawals or anything. I just kind of wanted it and was tired for a week or so. Nothing that impeded with functioning. After a couple days, I seriously start fiending for cigarettes though.
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justice1 Donating Member (483 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
50. I was hooked almost immediately.
Having grown up in a home with a pedophile, physical and emotional abuse,I believe made me more susceptible to continue smoking after trying it. I went from being an active child, to debilitating insomnia, with smoking being the only thing keeping me sane until I couldn't take it anymore and attempted to take my life in my mid-thirties. At that time I was diagnosed with depression and since I started taking antidepressants and Ambien, my smoking has decreased. Right now, my focus is on getting physically stronger so I can lead a normal life, after that I think quitting will be easier. All five of us kids that grew up in the home, became smokers, three of my siblings also became alcoholics. One of my sisters who had everything going for her, she was beautiful and intelligent ended up drinking herself to death earlier this year.

I have noticed a few traits among women that have told me they were sexually abused, smoking being one, although about half quit.
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ecstatic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 10:58 PM
Response to Original message
52. My sister picked up the habit too, and she sings
Edited on Mon Oct-23-06 10:59 PM by Truth Hurts A Lot
She just turned 25. Also, another college friend of mine is now hooked. There is absolutely no excuse for someone in this day and age to pick up smoking (I mean, post-80s pro-smoking propoganda that is now illegal). I'm pretty sure she started this terrible habit AFTER the creative Truth commercials began. I just don't understand it.
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Lindacooks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 11:34 PM
Response to Original message
53. Vast majority of smokers start in their early teens.
Very few people start smoking after the age of 25.

"According to the society, most of America's 46 million adult
smokers want to quit. Like today's generation of puffers, they
lit up for the first time at an average age of 13. By 14 1/2,
they smoked daily."

http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Nov1996/n11061996_96110...
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 11:41 PM
Response to Original message
55. hmmmmf.
:smoke:
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pork medley Donating Member (262 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 11:41 PM
Response to Original message
56. cigarette smoking is elegant
Edited on Mon Oct-23-06 11:42 PM by batwing
NO TEXT
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #56
72. Hi batwing!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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bigwillq Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #56
87. Hi!
Welcome to DU! :hi:
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Cetacea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 12:09 AM
Response to Original message
57. Yes, I do mind you asking.
Especially here and now that elections gave begun in several states.
However, given the possibility that you are genuinely concerned, I will tell you to do your homework and research the link between meat eating and various cancers and heart disease and then ask why people continue to eat meat. It's not so easy to dehumanize 90% of the population, is it?

Your research should also reveal that Frank Sinatra smoked, along with many other great singers, past and present. Your research should reveal that nicotine is believed to prevent Alzheimer's, and tobacco has natural anti-anxiety and anti-depressant properties. This perhaps would explain why the smoking community is now made up of mostly people with low incomes, people who generally vote for Dems.
Your research would also show that the beef industry is destroying our planet, and very rapidly.
Some questions for you: do you eat meat, and, if you are aware of some of the info I have given you, do you continue to eat it? If you do, at which point did you decide to continue eating what is essentially the decaying flesh of inhumanely murdered animals and why?
Thank you.
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T Town Jake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 12:14 AM
Response to Original message
58. Oh, Jeesuz. Never smoked, never will. But isn't it time to ease up on this ...
...Christ almighty, I can think of ten million things in the world more worthy of attention than worrying if some one somewhere is filling up their lungs with tobacco smoke, just like I can think of a similar ten million things more worthy of attention than some lard ass stuffing himself with cheeseburgers, or any number of things people do to themselves.

Enough, already.
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Stephist Donating Member (557 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 12:26 AM
Response to Original message
59. I Smoke Cigars
I started when I was 18 I don't know that any 18 year old thinks about his/her health they are indestructible. I could use all the usual excuses I grew up in a house full of smokers, I let a friend talk me into buying cigars...blah blah blah. The truth is we bought them he hated it I like it and I have been smoking cigars ever sense. I have never smoked a lot and now I am down to about one a week. I don't know if I have cut back for my physical health or my financial health.
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mrreowwr_kittty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 12:34 AM
Response to Original message
60. Started at 13 to be cool. Continue b/c afraid to gain weight.
I'll put on a good 20 lbs. if I quit and I can tell you from personal experience I'm more socially acceptable, particularly to guys, thin and smoking than plump and non-smoking.

Guys, I have a newsflash for you. Many, many of those cute little size 0s that you go apeshit over are puffing away to maintain that look. More of them than you think.

I'm just sayin'
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mrreowwr_kittty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 12:38 AM
Response to Original message
61. Oh yeah, and TV and movies too.
Bette Davis, Lauren Bacall, and other silver screen icons, taking languorous drags off the ever present ciggie. Look how many actor/actresses still smoke in movies, though it seems to be decreasing.
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incapsulated Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 12:48 AM
Response to Original message
63. Anxiety attacks
Really terrible. In my late teens/early twenties. I would've swallowed razor blades to stop them. It wasn't like today, with docs handing out scripts for paxil if you have a hangnail. So I self-medicated, and cigs were one of my meds.

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hiaasenrocks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 09:36 AM
Response to Reply #63
73. I believe I started for the same reason. However...
I've come to realize that while tobacco may seem like the ultimate anti-anxiety drug, it actually exacerbates the problem. Nicotine is a stimulant, pure and simple, and it has terrible effects upon your heart, circulation (narrowing of blood vessels, raising blood pressure, possibly linked to arrhythmia, etc). The anti-anxiety property of smoking is the physical distraction: holding something in your hand, inhaling, just basically keeping "busy" with something, thus distracting you from whatever stressor is present at the time. In the long run, though, you're only making things worse for your body with respect to the things I listed above, and increasing anxiety/panic in the long run.

I'm having a hell of a time trying to quit. I really am. I hate that I smoke. And I would give almost anything to achieve a lasting cessation of smoking.
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incapsulated Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #73
93. I agree with everything you said.
The physical addiction is just a part of it, much of this is psychological. I've quit and long after the cravings stopped, had freefloating anxiety because my "coping mechanism" wasn't there. It's tough. :(

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Stardust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 12:49 AM
Response to Original message
64. Ironically, the first few smokes are pretty awful -- you really have to
want to smoke. But obviously, it becomes easier and easier. I've often wondered why did I force myself to do something that was so unpleasant. Even if the evidence wasn't fully in yet, the body knew it was something very bad indeed.

I really pity anybody who starts because they have NO idea the hell they'll go through when and if they decide to give it up. The toughest thing I ever did (twice). I wouldn't inhale a cig now for anything.
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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 12:58 AM
Response to Original message
65. Stress, boredom, self-defense ...

I've stayed away from these threads entirely recently, but for some reason decided I'd take this one on its face and offer my thoughts.

Stress, boredom, and self-defense are all reasons. Stress is obvious as is boredom to some extent. There's also a social factor. Self-defense refers to the fact that when I was younger, a lot of people around me smoked, or I went out to clubs that were full of smoke. When you smoke, you don't notice this as much. My mother smoked for several years (outside the home) for the same reason. Before the days when smoking was pretty much banned in the workplace, everyone in her office smoked. She took it up in self-defense.

People who have never taken a drug that gets you pleasantly high don't really understand this at all ... can't understand it actually ... but the first drag you ever take off a cigarette will make you loopy. It's brief, but intense and incredibly relaxing, and you'll always remember it. It's a pleasant sort of loopy if you don't smoke it too fast, and every cigarette after that first one is at least in part a subconscious urge to get that high again. Actually, when you're first starting, before you're truly addicted physically, the high feeling comes often. The problem is that as with most addictive substances, you need more and more to get that initial high. Eventually, you're addicted, and all you're really doing is trying to maintain, i.e. not suffer withdrawal.

And here's the really shitty part, one I've experienced many times. One of the problems with quitting is that when the nicotine is out of your system, you *can* get that initial high again. You instinctively know this, and if you've ever given in to the urge, you know it in reality. What you also know is that it feels like a comfortable rush flowing through you that feels like a visit from an old friend and, if anything, is even more pleasant than the first time. And this is really hard to resist, especially during periods of high stress.


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Keepontruking Donating Member (145 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 02:43 AM
Response to Original message
66. Smoking
As a nurse I will tell you everybody has a vice....Right now
the big ban is smokers , but there is  obesity  and that is
20 pounds overweight,  why do you over eat? Then why do you
drink alcohol? It makes you impaired!  Then there is tylenol
It can destroy your liver . Then there is aspirin it can give
you ulcers, Asthma attacks, or thin your blood too much. There
is eating too much red meat, too much Tuna ( the mercury),
using a cell phone, a microwave, drinking from plastic
containers, heating plastic container's in the
microwave....you have to live your life by your rules and
what gets you by , nobody is getting out alive!!! EVERYTHING
IN MODERATION PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Circus Girl
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barbtries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 03:54 AM
Response to Original message
67. i was all of 13
and thought it was "cool" - now i'm 51 and dreadfully hooked.
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Tracer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 09:38 AM
Response to Original message
74. A college friend asked me to TEACH her how to smoke!
I was 18 and hooked on cigarettes. I told her she was nuts to even think about smoking.

I have two (grown) kids. When my daughter was a rebellious teen, I tried to convince her not to smoke -- but it was useless. My son has never smoked and never will.

Noone who has NOT been addicted to smoking will ever, ever understand.
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recoveringrepublican Donating Member (779 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
76. was too young to care, keep trying to quit now
Edited on Tue Oct-24-06 10:01 AM by recoveringrepublican
I started when I was 14. My best friend's brother would buy them for us. I don't even think I started because I thought it was cool or anything, I really have no answer to this question.

I became pregnant at 21. A week before I knew I was pregnant smoking became the most disgusting thing in the world. A couple of weeks after I gave birth though, the cravings came back (I did not smoke) BUT I became pregnant again soon after and again did not want to smoke. I breastfed my daughter until she was nine months old. So that was over 2 years of not smoking, fighting the cravings for my kids. However it just was too hard. I started up again and am now 28. I do smoke MUCH less than I did before (maybe a little more than half a pack compared to 2 packs a day). I do not smoke in my home or car. I do not smoke in front of my kids, and to be honest I don't really have to fight any cravings during this time. But damn, when I get to work!! agh. I'm thinking it is now more a of social/physical habit type thing. I will be laid off in March, so maybe the daily "I am going to quit today" thing will be easier as I will be home more? Both my kids will be in school full time next Aug, so I have to quit before then.
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 10:00 AM
Response to Original message
79. Started smoking a pipe at 18...
I've smoked one off and on for 35 years. I like the aroma and taste.

Never smoked cigarettes.

I do occasionally smoke a cigar, usually for a special occasion.
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
81. Why did I start? Because it was cool! This was 40 years ago.

I was a lonely and withdrawn teenager. Smoking instantly made me feel cool. And made some of my peers take notice of me, which they hadn't before.

Also I was depressed and it made me feel better. Smoking ups your heart beat, pulse, etc. Heck, it made me feel GOOD. One of my teachers, I recall, noticed I seemed happier.

Weighed the consequences--no, not at all. Teenagers aren't much into weighing consequences.

I quit after 15 years because by then I was in my mid-thirties and on the pill. My then boyfriend and I quit together, which helped a lot. He was never as addicted as I was, though. He could go all day at work without a cigarette. No way I could. I smoked a little over two packs a day.

I didn't gain weight when I quit--I made a concerted effort NOT to. But I have since then, I'm afraid.

Quitting is one of the hardest things I've ever done. Harder than stopping drinking.

IME, a lot of people who smoke really are self-medicating for depression. I know I was.




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Burma Jones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 10:25 AM
Response to Original message
82. I started when I was 10, my parents smoked,
nicotine is a wonderful stimulant, it's fun, it relieves boredom, it helps conversation, smoking is incredibly helpful when taking long road trips.

Enrico Caruso smoked. So did Jesse Owens


My Dad had Throat Cancer, the treatment nearly killed him, but he's been cancer-free for three years now......


I quit ten years ago, but I still chew Nicorette. As my Doctor said, well, we all have a drug of choice I suppose, just take it easy.


so to answer your specific questions:

Why did I start - Because my parents smoked.

Factors - Appearance of maturity, impress the other kids, felt good, the Beatles smoked....

Weighed the Consequences? - Ha Ha Ha...............
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Bake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
85. It keeps me from killin' somebody!
No wait, that's why I haven't quit. That, and the fact that I love love love it! Soothing. Calming. Helps me stay awake when I need to stay awake.

Why did I start? I was just a kid. It was cool. Everybody did it. All the usual reasons.

Bake
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bigwillq Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
86. My take:
Why did you make the decision to start smoking?

I started smoking right after I graduated from high school. This was also the same time I started smoking pot and my friends who smoked pot said smoking cigs, increases your 'high'. Silly me believed them so I started. I smoked for a year after this then quit when I was 19.

When I turned 21 and started going to the bars, I started again and have smoked ever since.

What factors contributed to your decision?

Friends at first. Then I realized I liked it. It calmed me down and gave me something to do, which I know is a lame excuse but I have so much nervous energy, can't stay still and smoking helped me do something with my self.


Do you feel you properly wieghed the consequences when you made your decision?

Not really. I was young and dumb.
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Chomp Donating Member (602 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
92. Because
I thought it made me look cool to girls at school discos.*

Simple.




* I was wrong.
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elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
94. I did it to stunt my growth. I'm 6'1". It didn't work.
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Thirtieschild Donating Member (978 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 04:02 PM
Response to Original message
95. Freshman in college, One of those I'll try it if you'll try it things.
Smoked Pall Malls, unfiltered, sometimes switched to Chesterfield Kings, felt sophisticated, oh-so-grown-up. This was 1954, we didn't know it was bad for us. Quit cold turkey in 1982, still love to inhale second-hand smoke. Did it age me? Inherited resilliant skin (four babies and zero stretch marks), always looked young for my age. But - there's those tell-tale wrinkles on my upper lip. So yes, it did age me. Don't even want to think about what it did to my lungs.
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seaglass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 04:19 PM
Response to Original message
96. Both of my parents smoked, it was a normal thing and there
was no discussion/concern about health risks. To me smoking cigarettes was exactly the same as having a beer or smoking a joint, all things I wasn't supposed to do. I was 13 and was going to do what I wanted to do.

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0rganism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
97. mostly as a reminder of mortality
Edited on Wed Oct-25-06 04:28 PM by 0rganism
I see the cigarette as a metaphor for our short span of time in this life, and the absurdity of human endeavor is elegantly summarized by the cigarette lighter.

It also makes hanging out with smoking friends much more pleasant -- secondhand smoke is far easier to overlook when you're inhaling firsthand smoke.
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