Learn-from-my-mistakes Monday: Starting Smoking


CIGARETTE (Photo credit: Fried Dough)

When my friends and I were about fourteen, we decided it would be fun to try smoking.  The thing was, we didn’t have access to any cigarettes!  Instead of smoking actual cigarettes, we took some notebook paper, rolled up some grass from the ground and tried smoking it.  We even put a little toothpaste on the end to make it menthol!

By the time we were fifteen, my mother had started smoking, so we had access to the cigarettes in the ashtrays around the house.  When my mother left half-smoked cigarettes in the ashtray, my friend and I would steal them and smoke the rest when nobody was home.  She didn’t leave half-smoked cigarettes very often, so most of the time we stole the stubby butts out of the ashtrays, emptied out the tobacco and carried it around in little plastic baggies.  We would eventually take the nasty old tobacco, roll it up in paper and smoke it.  It tasted pretty gross!

At sixteen, I had friends that would buy cigarettes for me and that’s when I started to really smoke.  That was a big mistake!  I really enjoyed smoking cigarettes and I continued to smoke until I found out I was pregnant at twenty-four.  Before I had found out I was pregnant, I had tried to quit multiple times throughout the years, but without any success.  This time, it was hard to quit, but being pregnant made it easier.  Not only did I have excellent motivation for quitting, I also had morning sickness which made cigarettes less than appetizing.

I was able to quit for three years before I started up again.  I didn’t smoke to the extent that I did before I was pregnant; this time I was more of a social smoker.  I usually just bummed cigarettes off of friends, especially when out drinking.  This continued for about three years or so, until I found out I was pregnant again.  For some reason, this time seemed a lot harder to quit (even though I didn’t smoke nearly as much)!  To this day, every time I smell a cigarette, I feel that pull to start smoking again.  Even typing this out is making me want to smoke!  I really, really wish I had never started to begin with!

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