Social Question

Haleth's avatar

If you've tried smoking, what was your experience?

Asked by Haleth (19538points) May 10th, 2010

As a kid in DARE and health class, I saw the same scenario again and again when it came to smoking. Some older, meaner, bullying kids peer pressure a good kid into smoking, and the kid tries it- then they throw up or practically cough up a lung. My first time smoking was nothing like that. I was a freshman in art school and another freshman offered me a clove. I lit up and really, really liked it. I liked the crinkly black paper, the sugar on the tip, the taste of tobacco and cloves, the way it crackles and pops when you take a drag, and most of all, the sensation of drawing smoke into my lungs. Smoking pleased all my senses. (It’s four or five years later, and I smoke two or three cigarettes a week. Cloves other flavored cigarettes are illegal now.) Even though I know how unhealthy it is, sometimes I smoke just because I enjoy it.

I’m very interested in everyone’s thoughts on smoking. What did you physically experience? Does smoking affect your self-image? (We’ve had images in advertising and pop culture of smokers as fashionable and sexy, as tough badasses, unhealthy slobs, gross and smelly, and everything in between.) Smoking isn’t the only unhealthy behavior that’s widespread- drinking and overeating are also very big problems. Do you try to justify making an unhealthy decision, and if so, how do you justify it?

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13 Answers

kenmc's avatar

Cloves are extremely user-friendly cigarettes, so that’s probably why you had an easy time with them. Smoking has caused me to vomit when I first did it.

I use it as a crutch while working now a days. Also, I smoke if I’m out drinking, but that doesn’t occur too often anymore.

kevbo's avatar

I didn’t smoke a cigarette until sometime in college. My last semester, I smoked two cigarettes a day. I generally only smoked Dunhills since I perceived them to be of higher quality and better taste.

Since then I have had cigarettes here and there, mostly induced by drinking or watching movies of people smoking. Maybe the equivalent of a pack a year, but I couldn’t really say.

Now, I don’t really like the taste and can tolerate maybe half a cigarette if I ever get so wrapped up in the idea of wanting one.

Tonight, I had a fat Montecristo cigar, and relished it all the way down. I like a cigar every now and again.

TexasDude's avatar

I tried a cigarette for the first time freshman year of college and I’ve hated them ever since. It was solely out of morbid curiosity.

Cigars and hookah, on the other hand, are two of my favorite pasttimes, though I definitely wouldn’t consider myself “hooked.”

mcbealer's avatar

@kevbo ~ Mmmm… Dunhills…

I began cigarette smoking when I was 18, mainly while hanging out with coworkers after work. I would have a cigarette at work, and maybe one on my walk home. As a young female adult walking around in Miami, smoking gave me a false sense of security – I thought I appeared tougher, and therefore people were less likely to %$&% with me.

Over the next few years smoking became less of a social activity and something I did when I wanted to ponder somethingon my own. I went on to wrongly associate smoking with relaxation, and it was always in the back of my mind when I became stressed. While I was having that cigarette, the world could melt for all I cared.

As a smoker I hated the way my clothes reeked, and would wait until I knew I was home for the time being to have a cigarette. I also knew I was setting a poor example for my kids, and although I only smoked outside, sometimes even that was a hassle if we were enjoying an outdoor family event.

As a nonsmoker I have a better lung capacity and don’t weeze when I’m laying down. I did put on a considerable amount of weight this last time I quit, and it was very difficult to lose that weight. Now that I’m back down to an ideal weight and improving my cardio fitness I hope I will be able to stay committed and not start smoking again.

Although I have managed to quit several times (with the longest stretch being 8 years) the fact that I went back to a habit I know is deadly proves to me just how addictive nicotine is. The most recent time I quit was 2 years ago, and as @kevbo points out, just seeing someone smoke in a film or having a couple of drinks can bring the cravings back.

escapedone7's avatar

I am always a nervous wreck. I became curious after so many people I knew insinuated they needed a cigarette to calm down or steady their nervousness. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard someone say they need a cigarette to calm their nerves.

Since I am such a nervous wreck, I was curious if cigarettes really calm your nerves. When I tried one, it had no effect whatsoever on me. I was just as anxious, jumpy and nervous as before. I came to the conclusion that nervousness and agitation are simply exacerbated by withdrawals. If withdrawal makes a person feel more nervous then I can see how some people feel their cigarettes help calm them.

As a non addicted person, smoking didn’t calm my nerves at all. I just had to try once since so many people act like it’s the cure all for shaky nerves. In the end I decided it didn’t help and adding an addiction would just make my nerves worse, not better.

rooeytoo's avatar

I started smoking in 1963 when I was a senior in high school. At that point in time it was still a cool thing to do and I loved it. I smoked pretty heavily until July 31 1990 when I gave it up along with all mind altering substances.

I have not touched anything since but let me tell you, I loved smoking then and I would start again this very minute if it was decided that it was all a mistake and it wasn’t really harmful to my health. I still live in hope that may happen.

I know a lot of people who smoked until the day they died which was in their 90’s so obviously it’s not a killer for everyone. Booze however is a different story, I know that would have killed me and I hope that one day at a time, I never have another drink.

Society is now so opposed to smoking and yet I have never heard of a person smoking a cigarette and then wrecking their car or abusing their spouse or children or glassing someone in a bar. Why do you suppose smoking has become such an evil but drinking has not??? It is just as much a killer in so many different ways.

SuperMouse's avatar

I tried very hard to get a smoking habit going, but it just never worked for me. I was able to inhale from the jump, but every single time I took a drag I got a horrible stomach ache. No matter how determined I was or how hard I tried, I could not, I could not smoke cigarettes. Looking back of course that is a blessing but then I felt like a real wimp.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I tried smoking for 17 years, and it was to fit in with my peers at the time who smoked. The first cigarette of the day still gave me a hit in the brain, even until the last one. It felt like something reverberating through my body from the top down. I take it that that was the nicotine. They never calmed my nerves like I thought they would. I never smoked more than a half a pack a day, but when I found that it was increasingly hard to breathe or climb stairs or run, I stopped. That was almost 2 years ago now.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I’ve been smoking since I was 14 and wish I’d never started. I was much younger than other college students and I thought smoking made me look more adult.

With this new FDA ban on Kreteks, I’ll just have to get them the same way my father got his Havana cigars (Canada). They’re a nice change, but too cloyingly sweet to smoke all the time. Government bans just make me more stubborn than ever. If I have to, I’ll figure out how to treat the tobacco myself and roll my own. If they want to ban tobacco outright, I’ll be growing my own like some folks grow pot now.

wonderingwhy's avatar

I guess when I had my first cigaret was probably in 6th grade. Didn’t like it, didn’t pick it up again till college when I had a g/f who was a heavy smoker. At that point it didn’t bother me, but I never thought it was anything special, and could never really justify more than a pack a week at most (usually it was closer to a pack or two a month). Started in on cigars the same year, now those I liked. Cigarets quickly became a strictly situational thing, going through maybe three or four packs a year and when she and I broke up, that tapered off to nothing almost over night. Cigars on the other hand became something of a habit, at first I’d go through 2–3 a week, that quickly became too expensive and changed to 2–3 a month. That habit lasted for a maybe two years ebbing quickly to a cigar every other month before I just sort of stopped. Now I might have one or two cigars a year if that, and now that I think about it, I’m probably not even smoking one a year anymore.

As a physical experience, I can’t really say it translates for me that way other than the taste that comes along with a really good cigar. Smoking has never really had any impact on my self-image one way or the other. My only justification for smoking a cigar every now and again is I enjoy it.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

First time I inhaled, as a kid in high school, I hurled. We didn’t have cloves back then, just menthol, which contributed to the hurl, I think. Should have learned something from the experience, but I was determined. I didn’t quit until I was 30, and it was one of the hardest things I ever did. I can understand why smokers have the same recidivism rates as heroin addicts. You do not want that monkey on your back. You’ll know it when you are out of cigarettes and you go fishing through your ash trays looking for a long butt to light up, or you go out in a storm in the middle of the night to get a pack of cigs down at the gas station.

Fernspider's avatar

My parents smoked throughout my childhood and I hated it. Smoking inside where children lived was not as frowned upon in the 80’s and early 90’s as it is now. I distinctly remember holding my top over my nose to breath as a child because I hated it so much. It saddens me now that my parents continued chain smoking in a small space seeing how distressing it was for their daughter.

For this reason, I didn’t succumb to the teenage peer pressures to smoke.

My first boyfriend was a smoker and I wasn’t that bothered by it (he would smoke outside). I remember one day he left a pack of cigarettes on the bench and went to work. I was bored and curious about all the hype about that damn things so I lit up. It was the most horrible feeling I had ever experienced. Dizziness, nausea, breathlessness. Yuck. Never tried them after that.

I asked my mother if she had experienced the same feeling when she first started smoking and she said he had. I, for the life of me, couldn’t understand why one would continue smoking/or push past those horribile feelings. It is like tasting a new cuisine and hating it but being ressured that it will get better if you eat it more often.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Since they banned clove cigarettes, ive switched to Djarum Black Clove Cigars . Theyre a bit bigger than a normal black and not as strong in flavor nor do they taste as good, but oh well, ill deal.

i miss my blacks :(

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