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Smokers of Reddit, how did you start smoking?

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7.4k points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

"Only at parties"

"Eh when I'm walking someplace far"

"The nicotine boosts my marijuana high"

"It makes me look casual when im nervous"

"There's still a few left, im not smoking a pack a day"

"I haven't been smoking for that long, a few years won't hurt"

Wow I feel so exposed

406 points · 6 months ago

I can see your smoldering nipples, ak47genesis.

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528 points · 6 months ago

Damn that sounds similar. I found that I stopped smoking when I stopped hanging around smokers. It's easy to bum a cigarette when there's 5 friends with packs around. A lot more effort to drive to the gas station and buy a pack.

160 points · 6 months ago

God damn, this is my life right now. I'm on a Navy ship and most of the friends I've made is from smoking. It's hard to break from your group of friends when they are all smoking.

Try starting a habit that you only do with your mates out on the smoke deck. One of my Chief's used to chew gum. Whenever his mates would leave to take a smoke break, he would bring a piece of gum, and spit it out when he went back inside. When asked, he just said "I'm trying to quit".

87 points · 6 months ago

That sounds fairly reasonable actually. I'll give that a try.

I’d like to chime in that I do this. I chew gum like crazy lol. Most of my friends smoke. When they go out for a cigarette I join them & chew my gum. They don’t really question it, and kind of applaud the fact I don’t smoke.

Now in the winter time I don’t go out with them lol. I offer to watch drinks. I’m not going to freeze.

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then the last one


at 30 right now. 3 days without a puff. The last year has been weird. stop smoking for a week, pick up a pack and kill it. go another week or so. weird.

Hang in there! I am also 30 and smoked every day from the time I was 14 until just last year. It was tough but I am so much happier (and less stinky!) since quitting. Good luck!

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112 points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

My friend jokes that he’s just “social smoking”, as in smoking only when he’s talking.

When he’s not talking, he says that he’s texting so he’s still social smoking.

When he’s not texting, he’ll say he’s in a social setting, outside the pub or wetherspoons, so it’s still social smoking.

If you're there, wouldn't he always be social smoking around you?

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Might be the most accurate answer ever

The first and third one is so accurate it hurts. It starts with the occasional one or three drunk cig. Then, after smoking a bowl with friends, you go outside to enhace your high with friends. Not fully smoking yet. Now you’re smoking cigs before and after smoking weed with friends. Now they stop bumming you some, so you ask your older friends to buy packs for you. Then you turn 18 and buy your own packs.

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I quit smoking for about two months last September after nearly 10 years of a two pack a day habit. Since those couple of months, I'm at 1 or 2 cigarettes a week, having bought my second pack since quitting last week. I'm not addicted to them anymore, but I'll be damned if I don't miss it. I know for sure now that on top of any addiction, I really just liked to smoke. I like the taste of it, I like the way I feel relaxed after, and although I still like the social aspect, I generally still only smoke alone now. Truthfully, if there weren't any upsides to smoking (which quitting smoking ads, DARE, etc would like you to think), no one would start in the first place.

This is not to say that benefits outweigh the detriments by any means! I simply mean that there can be plenty of upsides to smoking as well.

relaxing with a smoke outside on a brisk night is one of the best things ever especially while your camping

96 points · 6 months ago

Fuck. I've been quit for nearly 6 years, but you just gave me the most powerful craving I've had since the beginning. Especially the camping part. I shouldn't be here reading this shit.

Less smoking == more years of camping.

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98 points · 6 months ago

I can walk / drive / bike any distance as long as I have my smokes. In fact, it’s far more enjoyable!

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2.6k points · 6 months ago

My first job as a kid was in tobacco. Handling it all day causes a buildup of thick black "gum" all over hands and exposed areas. Nobody knew at the time but the gum serves as a transdermal patch, delivering 2 or 3 packs worth of nicotine into my 13 year-old's bloodstream.

No surprise then, that most of the people who worked in tobacco also smoked heavily in the off season. Took me 40 years to quit.

Same here. I remember getting sick from working in the tobacco field all day, throwing up in the evening. Was told it was from the heat.

When handling the dried leaves, stringing them - it was a method to tie the dried leaves on long sticks to hang in the smokehouse to further cure the leaves, my heart would race and I'd have restless legs all night. Was told it was the heat, or for standing and stringing all day.

Nope, it was nicotine sickness. Never knew this was a thing until I was much older, and yep, a smoker.

Finally laid it down after years of being a closet smoker, having a few each evening on my porch before dinner. Now, I do vape with the lowest level of nicotine, but I still like my nicotine hit every evening.

Too bad you didn’t just become addicted to working.

“Fuck, man, I could really go for a couple hours of work right now.”

gives a whole new meaning to quitting work.

delivering 2 or 3 packs worth of nicotine into my 13 year-old's bloodstream.


Has your name ever yeilded any results or does it just make people feel awkward?

It mostly yields anatomical diagrams and cow udders, but very occasionally I get pictures of naked, human breasts. I know, weird.

I mostly get pictures of actual wooden chests, haha.

I've gotten a couple of female ones, so at least that makes up for it!

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I worked in tobacco and everyone there dips or smokes except for me.

40 points · 6 months ago

I grew up in NC, where Jesse Helms got his start as a TV station manager with a nightly opinion minute.

When he quit smoking, I could see the writing on the wall.

Also grew up in NC - we literally have a town called Tobaccoville.

Yep, went to elementary school in Tobaccoville. Passed a few tobacco fields on the bus ride every morning. Tobacco singlehandedly built most of that region of NC, Winston-Salem especially.

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I’m sorry to hear that. To quit isn’t easy, I really appreciate your strength to end your addiction. I salute you sir!

361 points · 6 months ago

It's easy after the first heart attack.

My neighbour had the same "reaction" a few years ago, neither him or his wife has smoked since

Tell that to my dad. 1/3 of his heart has been dead for over 20 years and still he refuses to quit. Honestly however, at this point, quitting for him would likely mean death.

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I’m sorry to hear that. I wish you the best of luck on your future endeavors!

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I live in Kentucky so I've been around tobacco farms my whole life. It really hurts to see farmers continuing this tradition. My state really needs to put forth a plan to emphasize non-tobacco crops. Fewer and fewer people are smoking each day.

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3.9k points · 6 months ago

I actually went up until I was 18 never smoking a cigarette. Then on my 18th birthday I bought a pack. That was that. What's really stupid is I actually got sick from it at first and essentially forced myself to get over that so I could continue smoking. So, yeah. Grade A dingus over here.

487 points · 6 months ago

What was your reasoning behind forcing yourself to continue? Just curious

I also got sick from my first cigarette. Not like puking sick but my knees went wobbly after a few drags and I had to lay down for a while in the grass. I could differentiate between the buzz and the sickness though and was like "Oh that's nice. I could definitely see me liking this once I don't get sick immediately after."

Basically like when you drink alcohol for the first time and it tastes gross but you're like "Obviously there's something good about this if so many people do it" so you power through until you actually enjoy the stuff.

Damn man, this hits too close to home.

This. Essentially.

85 points · 6 months ago

That's not enoying it, that's bloody Stockholm syndrome!

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I also started at 18 and also got sick from them. I think I was just in a really self-destructive phase at the time. In fact, my friend who first gave them to me said "here, this will kill you slower" (meaning slower then the other stuff I'd been doing). They made me throw up a few times, but I just stuck with it. If only I had that kind of persistence with everything else in life!

I've quit now, but smoked for probably ~10 years.

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I was 18 when I started smoking too. It was a combination of my parents smoking for years and a bunch of my friends. What really got me into it is the girl I had a crush on was staying with me so I started because she was smoking around me all the time. Kinda paid off as we dated for 4 years. But now shes gone and left me with this habit.

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1.6k points · 6 months ago

I was trying to impress a girl. Bought some cigarettes, tried them with her.

Nothing happend.

Except I ended up with a 20-a-day habit for 13 years, while she never took to it...

$20 a day for 13 years? That's almost $100,000

463 points · 6 months ago

20 cigs in a pack is what I believe he meant

151 points · 6 months ago

At around $5 a pack, that's only $25,000 wasted.

Actually in Australia they are $20+ per pack.

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Where's your ferrari?

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4.0k points · 6 months ago

I realized it was a great way to make friends.

See someone attractive? "Can I bum a smoke/do you have a lighter?"

At a party - bored? Take a smoke break. Want to meet new people? Go outside to where they all hang out.

Want to procrastinate? Go outside for "just one cigarette." At my school, the designated cigarette spots always had at least a few people there, who eventually became my friends, so it was always a social chilling spot. And once these people BECOME your friends, well.. you're all doing it, it's hard to get away.

2.3k points · 6 months ago

The one thing I really miss is the secret society of smokers.

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463 points · 6 months ago

Nice cold winter night walking around with a buddy smoking a few best nights I can remember.

I don't even smoke and that sounds like a good time to me.

I don't even have a good time and that sounds like a smoke to me

I don't even have smoke time and that smokes like a good sound to me

I don't even smoke a have time and that sounds like a good smoke to me

I think I’m having a stroke

I think I'm having a smoke

I don't even smoke and that sounds like a good stroke to me

I've upvoted all of you weirdos.

I've weirdos all of you upvoted.

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Eh... A warm clear summer night wearing shorts, tee shirts, with a friend or two, a pack of smokes and the stars above us aimlessly walking down a back road with fields on both sides of the road. I still wish those nights never ended and I'm reminiscing about 15 years ago.

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It really is great, isn't it? Especially strangers, you have the most genuine, weird and lovely conversations with strangers over a smoke in the middle of the night.

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We changed the handshake, you'd never get in now.

The best part of smoking cigarettes to me is having a reason to stand outside with nothing to do and no electronics for 10 minutes

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I am an ex smoker; I still hang out with the smokers, but I eat mint drops, while they smoke.

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Me too I switched to an e-cig still have to go outside with the smokers, but I know they despise the douche flute people

60 points · 6 months ago

If you're cool and don't bring attention to it they probably don't care. It's the hipster vapers that constantly talk about their rigs and feel the need to show off their "huge clouds" that annoy the fuck out of people.

Source: Ex-vaper and current smoker.

Isn’t it supposed to go the other way around?

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This is how you start smoking again after years of quitting.

Oh, this.

You've met an attractive woman and want a private conversation? If she announces she wants a cigarette then go with her and light up your own, or she might offer you one. The latter also works if you're talking to her outside anyway and she pulls the pack out.

Coincidentally, being a smoker will also allow you to stand the taste when you kiss her and stand the smell when you hug her.

I guess I’m weird in that I love the smell of cigarettes on people. And the taste never bothered me when I kissed a smoker.

I just really love tobacco I guess.

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I don't smoke but, whenever any of my friends wanna go outside for a butt I'm always down. There is always a way better conversation going on outside with the smokers, and the change of atmosphere is also nice when your at a party or a bar.

Yeah you can go outside and not smoke, I do that all the time with my mates

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That's exactly what I always thought when I saw the smokers at my school.

Yup. It was a bit glamorous. I was with some people smoking shisha in a basement lounge and this cute French girl asked me if I could do the French inhale with a cigarette. I asked her for one with which to learn and she gave me her own. I smoked on and off for as long as I was in Berlin.

I don't know what a French inhale is, but I know how Russians smoke joints and that shit fucks you sideways.

What's the Russian thing. Asking for a friend

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I go hang out outside with the smokers, but I've never smoked.

While I quit when I had my son, these Are all tje same reasons for me as well. I was in the navy when I started smoking, and it was a lot easier to get a break if you were a smoker on the ship.

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at work whenever the machinist goes out for a smoke break i take a break and walk around outside for a few minutes then get back to the grind

43 points · 6 months ago

To piggy back on this, I started smoking to be cool. All the cool kids smoked. So I stole cigarettes from my dad and shared them. It gave me a common interest with them and they welcomed me afterwards.

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Would have adamantly denied it at the time, but I definitely started because I wanted to be cool. Or, more specifically, I didn't want to look uncool when someone offered me a smoke.

Then I started working at a restaurant and that just sealed the deal.

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I worked at a gas station for a few years right after highschool. Curiosity got to me being surrounded by cigarette packs behind the coubter. Plus only the smokers were allowed to go outside for a break every hour. The non-smokers only got a fifteen in the break room twice a shift. Those two things combined had me try one. The feeling was damn good so I got hooked.

Yah I worked in a kitchen and if you stopped working for a minute you were lazy, but the smokers were regularly permitted to have breaks.

Yeah same here man, stop for a 3 minute breather and youre getting yelled at. Go out for 5 minutes and have a smoke no problem, made starting really appealing.

That’s the exact reason I started smoking. My boss was addicted so he didn’t care. In fact, he bought me cigarettes one day when the coworker who usually bought be them didn’t show up. And he refused to accept money for it because he wanted to thank me for helping him out thw day before. I was 3 years underrage at the time haha

19 points · 6 months ago

I had a boss that would buy beer for me if I worked overtime off the clock. Super illegal on so many levels looking back on it - but I was 16 and loved beer.

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Yeah, I was the only non-smoker at Domino's once and holy shit they were outside half the damn shift.

This is how my uncle started smoking, back in the navy. Smokers got out of work, period. God help you if you stand around, as a non smoker, doing as much nothing as a smoker.

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116 points · 6 months ago

Exactly what happened to me. Except non smokers didn't get breaks unless you asked and then we're made to feel like you were lazy. I started just smoking at work, then on the way home. Than on the way to work and than at home. 6 months I'm on 2 packs a day.

Now I tell non smoking employees to take a break, because it's not fair and don't want anyone to have the same mindset as me.

Im scared to be the ignorant one, but if you're interested in quitting, Ive found vaping to be incredibly useful as a "lesser" (as if we know) evil. At bare minimum, the aroma is pleasant.

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I worked at Lowe’s for a summer and the smokers and non smokers got the same breaks and you could see when the smokers would start to get edgy. Also no smoking was allowed at all on the property so they had to go to their cars or to the movie theater lot across the street. Only smoking accommodation was two separate coat racks so the non smoker coats didn’t smell like smoke.

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First firefight in Afghanistan had just ended. I'd done well, covered my sector, returned fire, but one guy near me got hit in the armor. Right in the middle of the chest. He was fine, but that put my mortality in perspective in a tearing hurry. I had been in country a couple weeks. Was pretty sure I wasn't getting out. My hands wouldn't stop shaking, so I bummed a cigarette. That cig felt better than sex. Immediate calm, counteracted the adrenalin withdrawel. I was smoking two packs a day when i left 9 months later. Moved to vaping a few years later, but haven't kicked the habit.

I used to masturbate to calm myself. It was an escape, don’t feel guilty about smoking that cigarette, you just needed to escape and relax in the situation you where in. My anxiety has made me feel this way many times.

Thank you for your service!

414 points · 6 months ago

Man could you imagine the sight of just getting done with an intense firefight, getting shot in the chest, and looking over to see your squad mate with his pants around his ankles furiously rubbing one out right there in the foxhole?

I'd have a new level of respect and admiration for that crazy asshat

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For some reason I just imagine some isis trooper walking along to find an American soldier furiously jerking it in a foxhole in the middle of a firefight and just carrying on.

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The enemy overruns your line and charges you, only to get hit in the face full-blast with semen. Take that, ISIS!

Imagine if dudes ejaculated as a self-defense mechanism, like skunk spray or squid ink. World would be a whole lot more hilarious.

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Everyone in my family smoked grew up thinking it was normal so i started when i was 14 wish i never did.

I’m with you. Friends and family smoked, started at 15.

92 points · 6 months ago

I started smoking at 15 too but only bc I heard it boosted your weed high and I've recently tried stopping but I'm really having a hard time (I'm 19)

It is a hard time man. Try cutting back first, instead of quitting all at once. Try gradually cutting back.

14 days into my quit now bud

Oh you got this. That's longer than my friends lasted before going back and then quitting successfully again later. You're basically on the home stretch.

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Older generations smoked a lot. Smoking wasn’t seen as a bad thing until the 60s I think.

80s, really. And even then you had to go to the late 90s for smoking to become something nice people didn't do.

My father always told me that smokers where losers for some stupid reason. He says the same thing about tattoos. I highly disagree with that statement, I guess he just wanted me to be afraid of smoking.

Mom grew up with grandpa telling her that if you drink or smoke you go straight to hell. I remember being 10 years old and dad had me hide a case of beer under a laundry pile because my grandparents were coming over. Growing up, my grandparents were awesome. Now in my mid 20's, and grandpa being dead for nearly a decade, I'm learning how before I was born he was very verbally abusive and degrading and how grandma had the patience of a saint for putting up with him for all those years. Right before I was born he went on some kind of medication that mellowed him considerably and was all "I haven't seen you in a week! Here's a shopping cart full of toys!"

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Yea didnt doctors recommend it for certain illnesses?

Doctors were bought out for advertisements. Plus they smoked too

Camel cigarettes branded themselves as the brand most doctors smoked.

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Luckies make your throat feel BETTER!

I have no clue but I think it was considered healthy in some way. It made people “calm” down and so many people where doing it so people thought it was normal.

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821 points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

I had a panic attack in the parking lot of my high school and an older guy offered me one and told me it would help me calm down.

It did, and I started smoking them after every panic attack from that point on.

I had crippling anxiety and a tendency for addiction, even at that age, so I smoked a lot. I knew I was in trouble when I would start getting anxiety as a result of not having one too.

I quit 12 days ago, after 15 years.

Good luck! Keep it up!

101 points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

So far, so good! Thank you!

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3.1k points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

For some reason when I read this I thought you meant smoking meat and was getting ready to share and got all excited.

EDIT: Holy shit! A lot of you apparently want to hear about how I started smoking meats. It's not really that interesting of a story, but here it is.

Pretty much, for Father's Day a couple years ago, I'm thinking 2014 maybe, my mom and I bought my dad a Big Green Egg (One of these bad boys! I suppose when we bought it, it was really a gift to the whole family because we would be getting such delicious meats from now on, but it also turned into a small hobby of mine and a big hobby of my fathers. Anyway, we got him the Egg for Father's day and some guys came out a couple weeks later and set up as it's actually quite large. From there on, my dad and I have made everything from pork shoulder to brisket to turkey and oh my goodness is it the best meat you will ever eat. Every now and then we'll try some new recipes but we're on break due to winter right now. Trying to stretch this out because it's not exactly a long story but yeah, that's how my dad and I started smoking meats. If you can afford a and are willing to put the time into smoking meats, trust me, do it, it's so freaking good!

I like smoked meats.

131 points · 6 months ago

Ugh. How discriminatory!!!! I like ALL meats!!

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137 points · 6 months ago

Fuck it, share anyway, I don't know anything about smoking meat.

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101 points · 6 months ago

Please share

Smoking is smoking. Share with us!

Smoking meat is still a form of smoking. Do share!!

23 points · 6 months ago

Gonna drop a comment just in case you say something about it

Us as an angry mob DEMANDS KNOWLEDGE

Im interested

Explain please

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Pot smokers of Reddit "Smoke what"

562 points · 6 months ago

I don't smoke weed anymore, it makes me paranoid and anxious as fuck. I just remember the glory days of being so high everything in the universe was hilarious, the music was a chorus of angels, every food my lips touched was the nectar of the gods and every orgasm was earth-shattering.

My soul lives on, in memory.

Sorry it did that to you. If you're still interested, they got all kinds of weird strains that might not give you anxiety. :)

Comment deleted6 months ago(13 children)

Raspberry Kush, Grape Ape, Blue Cheese, and God's Gift are some good strains. But! I have a great resource for you. This website can show you all kinds of strains, and even dispensaries! Good luck to you dude. Hope you can find some good kush!

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I got a notification for this thinking it was r/trees and was really confused when I started reading about people being addicted and smoking a pack a day

As someone who is experiencing weed withdrawals you can get addicted. Plugging /r/leaves for people wanting to quit trees

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I was looking for this comment before I did so lol

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A cute stock boy at the produce shop I worked at handed me one on New Years Eve while we were working and everyone else was enjoying the event we had to celebrate (I was cashier on staff because I was 17 and he was 20, everyone else was 30+) - I didn’t know if I was supposed to light the filtered side or the non-filtered side... never really hung around with smokers prior... so I took it and put it in my purse and said “thanks!” (I was also trying to avoid the embarrassing coughing by not smoking it)

He thought it was weird that I saved it for later but when I got home I decided to walk to the park and smoke it myself to see what it was like.

Ended up a pack a day-ish for 4 or so years. Quit October 2016!

247 points · 6 months ago

Friends smoked. I turned 18. I wanted to flex my rights so I bought my first pack, that’s where I went wrong

Should just gotten fireworks or spray paint

Or finally visited a porno site

Or gone on without parent’s permission

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I was 13, it wasn't illegal. I didn't know any better and likely wouldn't have cared because of buzzes. Planned to stop when the buzzes did. I did not.

63 points · 6 months ago

I was a college student living in NYC. I saw a bunch of kids outside of class doing it all the time. I was suffering from anxiety and depression and thought it would be a good way to self medicate. Walked into a bodega one day and bought a pack. That was that.

Do yourself a favor. Don’t start.

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187 points · 6 months ago

I was offered a cigarette and i said fuck it why not.

30 points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

A lot of people start smoking because of group pressure. Some people just want to fit in so they smoke. My dad started smoking because of this, he was convinced by his friends that it was cool and all all that. I think that he started smoking in the early 90s or so it he later stopped with it (early 2000s).

It's interesting that one person can just instantaneously change another person's life that quickly and not think about it.

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Saw all these other guys in bootcamp get a break, the rest of us had to keep working

Screw that, started smoking, got up to 2.5 packs of Marlboro reds a day till I quit cold turkey 2 years later. Felt a shit ton better and could taste how great (or shitty) food was.

Loved smoking, if someday I’m diagnosed with something terminal? I’m starting up again.

No substitute for a coffee and a cigarette first thing in the morning.

Don’t start kids.

Gotta love how Uncle Sam is still handing out cowboy killers. That's where I started too, for the same reason. 10 years later and I'm down from almost 2 packs a day to about 1/2 a pack a day.

sitting in the morning sun on the terrace with a coffee, a cig, reading the newspaper. Bliss.

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Stole cigarettes from my dad in high school. He found out and I was scared of getting in trouble but he gave me a pack and said "Id rather you be a smoker than a thief".

Awww, this one makes me sad. :(

there are 2 types of people in this world that everyone is not only allowed to hate, but also usually encouraged to hate. liars and thieves.
can confirm. my dad would say that too.

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279 points · 6 months ago

ah, run of the mill bad kid, family smoked (ironically most of them stopped now) so when I started and when it got known past being an open secret they were like "well we tried" (they didn't).

I lost my virginity and got handed a smoke when I was close to sixteen and I think part of me just fell in love with the romance of it all, so I was like fuck it, lets do this. And since then it's been...shockingly useful to make friends.

I don't smoke much anymore, it's getting to 6 pm and I haven't had a smoke yet for example and yesterday (before the wine came out) I had two, so I'm not as desperately chain smoking as I was when I was younger.

Still, something about standing in the garden alone with my thoughts and staring into the air still feels romantic to me, and I do like it. How stupid is that.

That's what I like weed for.

I'm 19, 20 real soon, and I don't smoke much at all, maybe a cig or two a month, bummed off of friends when we're hanging out or coworkers after a shift, and I know exactly what you mean. The little lift the nicotine and other chemicals combined with the romanic or coming-of-age movie atmosphere is such a nice feeling. I go visit my college friends and one of them gives me a cig to smoke otw to or at a party, or just chilling at their house and we go outside to this wall to sit or drive out to the lake at night and smoke and look at the stars and talk about typical teenager shit like school and relationships and life. I chase that. Glad to know I'm not the only one experiencing something similar.

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My friends bought a smoker over the summer. First it was salmon, then it was pork belly, then the thanksgiving turkey, and today it's brisket. I'm addicted, but I would recommend it to anyone.

Thought this was going to be about buying people.

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Terrible really, but I always likes the smell as a child. My parents didn't smoke but relatives did. I started smoking daily at quite a young age, and even 18 years later I enjoy the taste. I have been using a vaporiser up until very very recently and now when I have a cigarette the smell on my clothes is disgusting. But the taste...

The smell is like bacon, good when it's fresh, nasty af when it's old/stagnant

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I was first exposed to cigarettes when I was in the womb. Mom was a smoker at the age of 16. She quit school and went to work in the shoe shop like many of her peers did at that time. You didn't need an education to work, jobs were everywhere. Cigarettes were cheap and a large percentage of the population smoked. It seemed that the worst health hazard from smoking at a young age back in that era was that perhaps it would 'stunt your growth'. Mom never grew more than 5 feet tall. (Probably just a coincidence). Mom and Dad got married in Feb of 54, shortly after I was "on the way". Folks back then were not aware of the dangers and risks associated with smoking while pregnant. So many of us smokers got our first dose of nicotine thru the umbilical cord.

From my birth in Dec of 1954 my odyssey with cigarettes began with exposure to second hand smoke. Every where you went there was someone smoking. No one gave it a thought that perhaps the smoke filled rooms and automobiles might harm the ones that didn't smoke. Smoking just seemed to me as a normal thing for grown-ups to do. I fully expected to become a smoker myself someday. Thanks to some candy manufacturer's, I was able to simulate smoking by buying some candy cigarettes. I was very careful to hold it between my fingers like a real one and put the filter end in my mouth. The end you would light, if it was a real one, was dyed red to simulate the lit end. Candy cigarettes even came in the popular brands and similar styles that the real ones came in. This helped in establishing a loyalty to a particular brand at a young age I suppose. Now that I reflect back, I seem to recall a toy cigarette that would emit simulated smoke when a kid blew through it. I guess it made me feel good to emulate something that adults did.

I recall getting my first feeling of comfort from cigarette smoke when I was a toddler of perhaps 4 or 5 years of age. I suffered from horrendously painful earaches. I would wake up in the middle of the night with my inner ear throbbing with pain. I remember the sound of drumming, snapping and crackling inside my ears as the drainage from the ear infection would flow and the tissues were swelling. Inevitably I would cry out to Mom. Mom would take me in her arms and bring me to her rocking chair in the living room. She would light up a cigarette, inhale, then very gently blow the warm smoke into my hurting little ear. This always seemed to help relieve the pain, or at least make it bearable. After the cigarette treatment Mom would put a few warm drops of baby oil in my ear, insert a wad of cotton and rock me until I fell asleep. An act of love and compassion from mother to child that meant a lot to me back then, but would probably not be considered a good thing to do in case of earache now. I got my first actual puff on a real cigarette at around age 10. I recall a real boring afternoon visiting some relatives with my folks. The relatives didn't have any children at home. They had all grown up and moved on. So there I was bored out of my gourd, when I decided I would take a nap in the car while my folks finished their visit. that's when I noticed an ashtray with some partially smoked butts and a cigarette lighter, right there in front of me. Curiosity got the better of me. I chose one of the longest stubs I could find, straightened out the kinks where it had been crushed out, and put it to my lips. I pushed in the cigarette lighter handle , like I had seen mom do many times, and waited for the familiar click that signaled when the lighter was hot enough to light a cig. I took the cherry red tip of the lighter and placed it on the end of the cigarette butt and sucked. I got a mouthful of the foul hot smoke, blew it out, and wondered what the attraction of cigarettes was supposed to be. They tasted awful. I don't think I tried them again for several more years.

When I was around 12, I started delivering TV Guides to homes around town to earn some money. I would always be on the look out for bottles to cash in for the deposit. I also got an allowance from my folks for doing chores around the house. It was great having some coin in my pocket to buy Slim Jims, popsicles and Beatle trading cards. One summer afternoon I was out delivering my TV Guides. One of my customers had a boy a year older than I was, Jim was his name. His parents were not home, but Jim invited me in to hang out with him and his buddies. They were playing cribbage for cigarettes. I didn't know how to play cribbage but Jim offered to teach me and even gave me a few cigarettes to get started. Well I must of had one massive case of beginners luck, because an hour or so later I was the owner of a pile of cigarettes. I was also the owner of a brand new habit that would haunt me for many years. I was well on my way to becoming addicted to cigarettes.

I didn't inhale at first, just sucked in the smoke and blew it out. One day another of my smoking buddies asked me If I inhaled. I said no, I really didn't realize that was part of smoking. He said to take a puff on the cig and then just breath it back into the lungs. I tried it and choked and coughed and got dizzy like every one does when they first inhale. But I was determined to keep it up until I could smoke with the best of them. Why didn't I take that strong hint that my body was trying to give me, that CIGARETTES ARE BAD FOR YOU. Lets face it the choke, cough and gag reflex is a part of our bodies for a good reason. It is a bodies natural defense mechanism shouting NASTY STUFF, FOUL AIR, UNNATURAL THING TO DO........ Yet peer pressure, wanting to be cool and do grown up things gave me the incentive to keep on inhaling till I got it right and became thoroughly addicted to the proverbial cancer stick.

Winstons were my cigarette of choice. I remember a childhood version of the Winston song. "Winston tastes good like a cigarette should. No flavor , no taste, just a 30 cent waste". I used to buy Winstons for my Mom at the neighborhood stores. So naturally I bought the same brand so as not to arise suspicion that I was the one I was buying cigarettes for. Even back in the mid 60s it was not considered good form for a 12 or 13 year old kid to be smoking. So we would find places around town that were out of site and a kid could smoke away from the disapproving eyes of adults. Under the bridge in the center of town or up on the railroad trestle were good spots to smoke. At any given time there was always someone there you could smoke and joke with. Sharing a cigarette was kind of a social thing. You could always "bum a cig" if you needed one or you would give one to some one else who needed one. I very seldom had to bum, as I had my own TV Guide route, and eventually went on to sell newspapers as well. Some of the guys used to steal their cigs, either from a store or from their parents. Of course I never did, being the darling little angel that I was.....

By the time I was 16 I had permission to smoke, as was common back then. I am sure my folks knew I had been smoking for quite some time, but now I could smoke in the house. I didn't have to hide it, except at school. I remember sharing a cigarette with buddies in the bathroom. Some one would stand guard at the door scanning for teachers. While the other ones would huff down a quick cigarette. You had to be quick and make every hit count, especially if your next class was way on the other end of school. I was smoking over a pack of cigs a day...

I showed my coworker how long this post was and he said, “Well, read it aloud.” So I did, and we had a story time and really enjoyed it. Thank you.

Oddly enough, I actually enjoy reading aloud to people. Much better than standing there staring at them while they read.

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Well written

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Thoroughly enjoyed that read. Thanks!

53 points · 6 months ago

About the earache remedy- it’s not the nicotine, any warm air will do. Use a hair dryer on low setting, blow it into the ear till it’s good and warm, then lie down with the bad ear down on the pillow to keep it warm. Works every time. I suppose the ear candles would help too.

29 points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

Thanks for sharing this, it’s really well written. I myself can see the appeal with smoking but the effects of it are terrible. I myself can’t stand cigarette smoke, it smells awful. Being around smoke makes me unable to breath.

Whats the next part of the saga

I'm enjoying the story

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73 points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

I had sort of broken up with the guy who I thought was the love of my life. I was in such fucked up place, I was stressed out and sad all the time. People say cigarettes help with stress, and I was looking for anything at the time, so I went and got myself a pack. My sort of ex (we “broke up”, but were still seeing each other a lot and fucking, but he got to date other girls because we weren’t “together) smoked camels, so I got that. I started off super slow, just a couple of cigarettes a day, barely a pack a week.

Then, he and I got back together just in time for me to help him and his roommate move (he didn’t have a car). Then he invited me to his company Christmas party, started talking about a girl at work a lot, then uninvited me, didn’t talk to me for three days, then finally responded when I IMed him, saying he couldn’t forgive himself if he didn’t try going out with this girl.

We broke it off for good, and went NC, which I’m proud of, but I was a fucking emotional train wreck and started drinking a bunch. You know what goes really great with alcohol? Cigarettes.

I quickly moved from a pack a week to a pack a day.

That was 10 years ago. I still smoke once in a while, usually when I go out. On a happy note, I’m with a wonderful man who treats me great and is 0% emotionally abusive, which is nice.

Edit: spelling

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My old boss was very strict, and didn't allow people to mess around often, even if you finished you work early. A few days after I started working at my job, I discovered that people in my office would be allowed to take smoke breaks. I thought I would be clever, and just buy a pack of cigarettes and instead of actually smoking, just stand around outside and browse the internet on my phone. However, when I went out the first time I tried this tactic, I walked right into by a group of fellow co-workers also on their smoke break. One of them recognized me and said "I didn't know you smoked". I began to panic, so I just responded with, "Uh, I didn't know you did, either". His expression quickly changed, and he said " それは私の秘密のテクニックです", threw a smoke pellet hard onto the ground, and disappeared into a puff of smoke. Since I was new, I didn't want the reputation as the office liar and slacker, so I smoked the first time to blend in.

God damnit!

This must be my new favorite novelty account. Keep it up good sir!

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29 points · 6 months ago

I watched my whole family smoke and thought it was what I was supposed to do. Plus it gave me a personal identity and made me kinda a badass in my own eyes. I started when I was 13 and I wish I never had. Used it as a coping mechanism and still do.

32 points · 6 months ago

When I was still a kid, around 5-10 years old I saw alot of people smoking in bars etc.. But I knew back then it was bad for your health but somehow I really liked the smell of it. Since I was 16 I was allowed to purchase cigarettes in my country, so one day me and my friend were curious and decided to buy a pack of Malboro red and smoked one, it felt really delicious somehow while both of us expected to choke on our first cigarette. We ended up smoking until now. I want to quit though, but you know how it goes -.-“

Just quit cold turkey, it's really not as hard as you'd think.

...after the first few days.

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7th grade, was really curious and liked the smell of it when I went to visit my uncles and grandmas (no one in my immediate family smoked). Riding my bike I started looking for the largest cigarette butts, I even found some that looked like they had 2 hits taken and then tossed out the window.

Grabbed one, went to the woods by my house and lit up and enjoyed it right away. Told my parents I was at my friends house and his mom smokes, that's why I smell like cigarettes. I became a pack to pack and a half a day smoker for 14yrs before switching to vaping.

Worked at a restaurant, couldn't take a breather unless you smoked pretty much, I have since quit that job and quit smoking. Just hope those few years didn't do too much damage.

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103 points · 6 months ago

Note: Vaping only now, for a while, but I was a cigarette smoker for over half my life, starting at age ten or so.

Every adult in my life smoked cigarettes. I associated it with being an adult, and seeing them use cigarettes to ease their nerves, etc, taught me that was the thing to do. I had a pack a day habit by age 13. The first time I actually bought my own, I got my mother's brand, because that was what I knew.

Please don't let kids see you smoking, especially if you're influential to them.

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I was a cool and edgy teen that didn't care about anything and rebelled against society standers by smoking.

God smoking is so fucking stupid. I wasted so much time, money, relationships because no one wants to kiss a smoker.

And your penis does not work at full power when you smoke. So I had a lot of half ass orgasms that felt like a sneeze that didn't come out.

Wasted time.

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Young new marine infantryman during a training exercise. On our way to a target house in the Humvee to clear and quardon the area. On the trip in Sergeant bad ass up front tells me to smoke it. I say no thank you sergeant. You don't say no to a dude who went through Fallujah. I inevitably smoked my first cig on the way. Arrive at Target house to clear, Humvee doors bust open. I fall right on my face because of how light headed it made me. Semper fi

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Comment deleted6 months ago(2 children)

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Cigarettes are great on Adderall. Started my nasty habit my senior year of college because I was taking addy for my capstone projects.

Nicotine and amphetamine acutely cross-potentiate their behavioral and neurochemical responses in female Holtzman rats. -

Nicotine and Addy is a hell of a combo.

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Clubbing, when the interesting and more fuckable women are outside smoking.

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I was 11 and I started bumming from my parents, who were chain smokers and didn't notice. The late 90's early 00's were a great time for teenage smokers, and most of my friends did as well. I quit, but struggled for a long time. Its hard to explain you've had the habit for ten years when you're 23.

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I'm one of those that doesn't anymore (shoutout to r/vaping) but it was over stress. The first time was for juat a year after my divorce. It started as Al Capone cigarillos and other cigars.

Moved onto Camel Silvers. They kept me sane with all the stress.

I quit, stone cold. It's easier to if you're not years and years into it. The second time I picked it up I had finished my degree, then my dad died then my girlfriend died. So all that was within 6 months of each other. The deaths within the same month.

I moved onto Black and Mild Jazz woodtip ( plastic tips GTFO ) into Marlboro ultra lights. Then last year I decided I needed a new way to quit. Vaping held a contest and I won a gift certificate.

Stress is a bitch though. Esp grief induced stress.

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Sold cigarettes at a gas station in a district where my particular store was top in cigarette sales. Eventually i wanted to help suggest people different ways, tried all the main brands and flavors, now I know what i like and what others will like. Now im a super casual smoker (pack every 7-10 days.) I know its awful for you, i know what it causes, and i carry a cologne with me so i dont smell, but theres something about those damned sticks of cancer that help take the edge off when i feel like im about to blow up. I hate that I enjoy that feeling that vapes and E-Cig’s cant provide. Its a light relief and a release of tension.

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Don’t smoke but I started dip at 13 when my wrestling coach passed a can around the bus so we could spit some water weight. Unfortunately still at it 9 years later.

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23 points · 6 months ago

Better question... HOW DO I STOP?!

I think you need to figure out why you feel like you need one. For me, it was needing to sit on the porch and be sad about a breakup for a few minutes every couple hours. I started doing that with a mug of tea instead. That and nicorette and I was smoke-free after a month of tapering off. Every body/psyche is different, but possibly worth a shot?

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I wonder which clickbait article these answers are going to end up on.

Funny Story.

14 year old me walked into the a local drug store and asked for a "a 12 pack of menthol regular cigarette's please." Guy just laughed and told me to get the fuck outta the shop. I walk out and something amazing happens. There in a nearby ashtray is a brand new, unopened pack of cigarettes. God wanted my to smoke.

I stroll over to the Chinese church across the street, sit down, and light up a smoke. I take 3 drags and instantly shit my pants. I mean, honestly my ass just gave in. I vowed I would never smoke again. I chuck the pack of cigarettes in the air, they fly all over the place, and I run home to clean up my shit.

So I get home, sitting on the toilet, thinking about what I just did. I smoked a cigarette & shit my pants, fuck me I'm getting old. I look out the window and it begins to rain. I say to myself "I'm addicted..... I want another." Yup, I went back out to the Chinese Church. I picked up one of the wet soggy cigarettes and sucked it down like Coca-Cola. Been smoking ever since!

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Had severe depression. Was sent to an in-patient facility. As well as anti-depressants, I was put on Adderall for ADHD. All the other patients were smokers, to be social I joined them and eventually started smoking as well.

Fast-forward six months, I'm out of the facility and my doctor takes me off the Adderall because he doesn't think I have ADHD (and neither did I). Smoking instantly makes me nauseous without all the speed running through my system.

Haven't smoked or taken Adderall since.

I always thought it looked really cool, watching people like james dean and the Beatles do it, i thought damn that looks nice. So i tried it, got addicted, started to use dipping tobacco, then started vaping after i was told my gums were receding. Nicotine is a REALLY addictive chemical, dont try it. It just is a negative drug.

A hot girl asked me to hold her cigarette while she was in the bathroom and said "You look good with a cigarette" when she came out.

Tobacco companies would love to use that as a slogan.

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