Why did I ever start smoking?

Why did I ever start smoking?

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

29 Dec 2000, 21:11 #1

Why did I ever start smoking? It is pretty funny, people often try to reflect on when and why they started smoking as if thinking that it would answer the daunting question of why they continue to smoke. In reality, the reason you start and the reason you continue are not the same.

Some people start because of peer pressure. But in society today, if peer pressure was going to be the influencing factor, it would be making people quit smoking not continue.

Some people took up smoking to look older and more mature. How many people here in their 30's, 40's, 50's or 60's or beyond want to do everything in their power to look older than they do already.

Others take up smoking out of being rebellious. Their parents, teachers, doctors and other adults told them they couldn't smoke. So to show them who was in control, they smoked anyway. Well, how many 60-year-old smokers are there who are smoking today so they could snub their nose at their 80 to 90 year old parents saying, "you see, you can't tell me not to smoke."

People start for a few reasons, but they continue for one--they became drug addicts, the drug--nicotine. It is interesting though because the same thing happens when the smoker quits. The initial reason some people quit often become secondary in importance to reasons they eventually stay off.

Some people quit to make others happy, or because of non-smoking policies issued at a place of employment. But after quitting, they find they feel better than ever, are calmer, have more energy, have more money, are overall happier and in more control of his or her own life. Well now the reason for staying off may have little bearing on the initial quit reason. In many ways they are better reasons and more lasting. Or, some people who quit for medical risks alone start to realize that not smoking is just a nicer way of life. Sometimes the quality of life becomes more important to them than the concept of length of life.

Whatever your initial reason for quitting was, it is still valid. On top of that the are numerous benefits you may have noticed and some you haven't even thought of yet which are still to be noticed. Some you will never think of but are real anyway. Keep focused on every good reason not to smoke. This becomes your ammunition to stay the course, to ride out those annoying craves and urges that pop out of nowhere.

Whether or not you ever accurately remember why you started to smoke, as long as you remember why you quit and why you stay off you will keep your resolve strong to never take another puff.


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Last edited by Joel on 27 Sep 2011, 15:22, edited 2 times in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

29 Dec 2000, 21:49 #2

This is too cool!
I remember the day I started like it was yesterday ... in my mind's eye I see the whole picture!

... and yes the reason I started was NOT the reason I kept smoking! I thought I liked smoking (long long time ago!) then smoking didn't "feel" good anymore ... but smoking I did !! !! !!

Hmmmmmmmm, I like this article!
- robert -

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:13

29 Dec 2000, 23:42 #3

I just posted in another thread my own reason for starting...peer pressure and I'll show you! Well I really showed them didn't I? All of the old crowd, except for two of us, are now ex smokers...who showed who? At least I understand they why I continued to smoke and the reason that I have relapsed so many times...I AM AN ADDICT! An addict who didn't understand that one puff resulted in full relapse and full smoking again...sure I felt horrible and guilty at blowing all of my efforts out of the water, but mmm I had my smokes. How disgusting.


Hugs YQS,

I have been free for 3 weeks, 1 day, 1 hour, 8 minutes and 15 seconds. Have robbed the nicodemon of 661 cigarettes, stealing $89.29 from Phillip Morris, and plan to be around an extra: 2 days, 7 hours, 5 minutes.

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:13

17 Jan 2001, 02:45 #4

I wish I would know the answer
Childish couriosity, I guess. I was trying to pretend I am older or act like an adult or something. I just can't recall any brain activity which lead me to memorize all thinking at this day. I just bought 5 cigarettes (They're selling single cigarettes by a piece in mid 50's Poland) and I smoked them one by one looking at the mirror untill I got dizzy and I felt down on a floor.(At this time looking at the mirror didn't make me scared yet) I felt dizzy for a couple more hours and I though it was funny feeling!!!! I knew I wasn't addicted from the very beginning because I didn't have enough money to buy cigarettes, so I could stand without smoke for a weeks.
Since I started working couple years later and having my own money I become addicted for the next 42 years. The longest period of time without smokes was a little bit over 1 month.
The history of my failed attempts to quit to be covered during next sessions, if any
Have a wonderful day everyone

Joined: 09 Jan 2009, 23:54

17 Jan 2001, 02:56 #5

It was soooo long ago when I first started smoking, I don't remember why now.. I do remember a pack of cigs cost 25 cents a pack.. That was a few years ago LOL..

But i do know, I will never give up this healthful feeling I have now after only a little less then two weeks quiting... John I have been Quit for: 1W 6D 1h 59m 44s. I have NOT smoked 523, for a savings of $78.50. Life Saved: 1D 19h 35m.

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:12

01 May 2001, 21:12 #6

good question ...
i started on the smokes in a desperate attempt to seek new corners in the world with rebellish people - i went to an all boys private presbyterian boarding school - it was sooooooo strict - as soon as i got out of there i went looking for anything that was mentioned by the school as being taboo - smoking was the first thing on my agenda - no guessing why - i was strapped to a bleeding by my headmaster - he finished a royal issue cigarette just before i entered the room - how insanely insulting - i was 16 - i went to university and did an arts psychology degree - i had to hang with the hippies - i was far to creative not too - naturally where smoke there was fire and hippies - i was hooked, i remember - only 6 months having started - i am now 29, I became a drug addict when I was only 19 -
thanks for a post to remember Joel !
love to you - duncan

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

05 Jun 2001, 20:16 #7

This is such a great article.

Like everyone else I too remember why I started smoking and remember it like it was yesterday. It was peer pressure. My Best friend in the whole world. I was so upset at the my Girlfriend at age 15 (Man that was pathetiic...Puppy Love:-)) that my best friend pressured me into smoking. What a great friend eh? I too was nieve at that young of an age and I though smoking was cool. I had no idea what I was doing to my body. I quit because of a lot of reasons, mainly because I did not want to live with my fiance if I was still smoking. I didn't want her to be married with someone that was going to have a short life and have their kids lose there daddy at an early again. After I quit and the fog was gone from my mind I realized I quit for a lot reasons but I couldn't see them or touch them until I quit.
It sure is worth being smoke free. I just do not have the desire to smoke after smoking for 7 years and that is the best feeling in the world
Great article Joel!!
Look...I'm almost GREEN!!!!!
Three weeks, 8 hours, 15 minutes and 42 seconds. 426 cigarettes not smoked, saving $70.43. Life saved: 1 day, 11 hours, 30 minutes.

Joined: 09 Jan 2009, 20:47

05 Jun 2001, 22:50 #8

I think the main reason I started was out of anger. My parents were divorcing and I was mad at the world and going to show them. My Dad quit smoking about the time I started but my mom continued. She died almost five years ago from lung cancer. Guess I showed her!!
Two weeks, six days, 11 hours, 47 minutes and 16 seconds. 409 cigarettes not smoked, saving $61.47. Life saved: 1 day, 10 hours, 5 minutes.

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:15

21 Sep 2001, 11:58 #9

I believe I have been wanting to quit for a long time but have been afraid to admit it to myself for fear of failing.

But the advice and warning from a doctor did have a strong affect on me; I actually LISTENED to her! Over these past few days I have remembered certain situations over the years that really made me quite ashamed of being a smoker. The smell has probably been the most embarrassing aspect, and often made me feel like a stinky outcast!

I hope I will continue to be as determined to stay quit as I was when I decided to "learn" how to smoke!!!

Thanks Joel!!!


Liv~ Smoke free for 4 days!!!

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

22 May 2002, 09:05 #10

I see where we have some newer and younger people joining starting to analyze why they originally took up smoking. There is another post around here by John titled something like, "Why did I take the second puff" that probably addresses this issue to. If anyone finds it before me bring it up.


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

15 Jul 2002, 21:47 #11

From: coldchicken (GOLD) (Original Message) Sent: 7/13/2002 8:13 PM
I was 13 and went to a friends house for a sleep over. We crawled out to the roof and smoked all night! After that (actually for the next 20 years) I told myself I could quit anytime I wanted to! Ha...you quit when YOU are ready...I was tired of smelling like smoke all the time....and think of how many minutes of my life I am NOT wasting by stopping to smoke! What a great feeling to be in control!

Free 1 year, 5 months, 13 days, 8 hours.....a LONG time, no regrets and glad I have this much time behind me smoke free!

First Previous 2-7 of 7 Next Last
Recommend (0 recommendations so far) Message 2 of 7 in Discussion
From: janetd (Silver) Sent: 7/13/2002 10:14 PM
Hi Tammy, I started smoking because I no longer valued my life. I was young and foolish. I now realize that I have one life to live, and I want to live it well. I am so happy that I quit smoking. I love having so much extra time to do those things that I enjoy. Or those things that need to be done.

yqs, Janet
Recommend (0 recommendations so far) Message 3 of 7 in Discussion
From: JamieLynn Sent: 7/14/2002 7:27 AM
When I was 14 I hung out with 16 &17 year olds.They smoked and looked cool doing it so I tried.It made me so sick at first but I kept it up because I wanted to be like my older more mature friends.
My mom and dad both smoked.They would always tell me how bad it was and tried to warn me about smoking.I figured it really couldn't be that bad if my parents smoked!
One of my many reasons for quitting is to give my children a chance.I do not want them to smoke and I don't want to tell them how terrible it is and sit there smoking a cigarette at the same time.I remember thinking that if my parents did it then it must not be that bad.I don't want my children thinking that.I want them to know the truth.

1w 4d 7h 55m smoke free 226 cigarettes not smoked
$42.49 saved 18h 50m life saved
Recommend (0 recommendations so far) Message 4 of 7 in Discussion
From: David Sent: 7/14/2002 7:48 AM
I started smoking when I was 14. I did it for all the same reasons everyone starts. I really liked the "Grown Up" feeling. I didn't realize that kids really look stupid with cigs in thier mouths. It really didn't help that my parents smoked.

Free For 2 Weeks and 3 Days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Recommend (0 recommendations so far) Message 5 of 7 in Discussion
From: Roma Sent: 7/14/2002 7:59 AM
Me. I was young, uneducated to the dangers of smoking, and had a low self-esteem. I'm so happy that I've grown up, educated myself, and feeling good!

Day 9
Recommend (0 recommendations so far) Message 6 of 7 in Discussion
From: juan Sent: 7/14/2002 9:04 AM
The need to belong to a teen group in country, a new country for me at that time, where smoking was allowed in school, and everybody did. Silly, very silly. That was it.

Recommend (0 recommendations so far) Message 7 of 7 in Discussion
From: Janie Sent: 7/14/2002 7:30 PM
As a true addict, I had broken away from two previous addictions - alcohol and drugs. What was left out there? Cigarettes. In my mind, I had to have something. I didn't start until I was about 20 or so. The trigger...I was studying for a seriously difficult test at college and just snapped! I needed something immediately to take the strain off. I guess young and stupid qualify as additional reasons.

I have chosen not to smoke for 1 Week 14 Hours 30 Minutes 22 Seconds.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

02 Nov 2002, 18:41 #12

The first time I tried smoking I was in the 8th grade. All of my friends smoked, and I took a drag off one of theirs. I didn't like it and didn't do it again until I was 21. I was in college and had a friend that smoked. We would sit in the cafeteria doing home work and she would be calmly (it seemed) smoking and writing....while I was going crazy and pulling my hair out. I thought that by smoking, I would become calm like she was. So I asked her for one.

During my last quit, before freedom, I found myself in the same situation. It was a year later, I was studying for finals, with the same friend. Her smoke curling around my nose. I thought if I smoked one I would go back to smoke free bliss. It didn't work. Before I knew it, I was back to my old level. I knew nothing about the power of addiction.

Since being here, I am dead serious about my quit and am not deceived by the devil also known as nicotine!

your quit sister

Five months, three weeks, two days, 10 hours, 45 minutes and 7 seconds. 5293 cigarettes not smoked, saving $1,058.69.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

27 Dec 2003, 00:12 #13

Why did I ever start with the nicotine gum or lozenge?

Talk about a bit different spin, a new November study reports that 36.6% of all current nicotine gum users are now chronic long term users.[1] Although persistent use data on the lozenge is being kept a closely guarded NRT industry secret, a just released study (Jan. 2004) is now reporting that a person using a 2 mg. fully disolvable nicotine lozenge is receiving over 25% more nicotine than someone using a 2 mg. piece of nicotine gum, that actually traps a portion of the nicotine within the gum itself.

If we started smoking nicotine because of peer pressure but after repeated use became addicted to it, imagine trying to explain how we tried to stop smoking nicotine by using new forms of delivery, only to find ourselves having transferred our addiction from one nicotine delivery vehicle to another.

"I started so I could stop but soon found out that stop really meant stay. "

Hopefully most NRT studies will for the first time begin reporting the actual number of participants still addicted to nicotine at study's end, and appropriate dependency warnings will be required on all regulated nicotine products.
Only one rule, no nicotine today! NTAP!

[1] Shiffman S, Hughes JR, et al, Persistent use of nicotine replacement therapy: an analysis of actual purchase patterns in a population based sample, Tobacco Control 2003 November; 12: 310-316. Link to study abstract - http://tc.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/abstract/12/3/310

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:36

29 Mar 2004, 12:25 #14

" Keep focused on every good reason not to smoke. This becomes your ammunition to stay the course, to ride out those annoying craves and urges that pop out of nowhere. Whether or not you ever accurately remember why you started to smoke, as long as you remember why you quit and why you stay off you will keep your resolve strong to never take another puff. "................Joel

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:06

25 Mar 2005, 23:18 #15

"People start for a few reasons, but they continue for one--they became drug addicts, the drug--nicotine."

I think I was one of those people who was instantly addicted, I can remember back in college when I started smoking I would be sitting in class counting the minutes until class was over so I could run back to my dorm room and smoke. I remember craving the "ahhhhh" feeling. I mean I would literally sit there and wish I could be sitting alone in my dormroom with a lit cig. I didn't see the warning signs...

It's this memory and the knowledge that there is no such thing as one that keeps me free. I remember how easily I was caught the first time and I certainly don't remember how horrible I felt towards the end of my smoking days: always tired, a slave to my habit, having a headache every single day. I'll never forget the early days of my quit, the whole withdrawal process.

Nope, I'm not going back because I understand why I started smoking. I was addicted. I still am.

Kicking Butt for 2 years, 5 months +

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

10 May 2008, 22:36 #16

Video Title Dial Up High Speed MP3 Audio Length Created
"Why did I ever start smoking?" 1.23mb 12.1mb 1.54mb 03:22 09/27/06