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There a lots of reasons you might want to start smoking (social encounters, looking cool, etc.). There are also lots of reasons you might want to not smoke (death, etc.). But these issues are all covered in other nodes. What I'm here to tell you are some things to remember if you do decide to start smoking. Some may seem obvious, some might not.
  • Inhale when you light it.
    There is a reason people put cigarettes in their mouths when they light them. The damn thing just doesn't light if you don't pull the flame towards the end. You can get it to light without inhaling, but you look goofy.
  • Breathe it in
    If you are smoking for real, you usually want to breathe in more after inhaling. This draws the smoke from your mouth to your lungs.
  • You don't have to inhale every breath.
    You need oxygen to survive. Remember this. You don't have to draw the smoke into your lungs every time to take a drag. More importantly you don't need to put the cigarette into your mouth each breath.
  • Real men roll their own.
    Ok, this is up for debate, but rolling your own is fun. If you choose not to, the most generic cigarettes are Marlboro lights. If you do choose to roll your own, be careful, they are a lot stronger than filtered ones, and it's easy too smoke to much. Which leads to the next point.
  • Don't smoke too much.
    Cigarettes have nicotine, this is a drug. If you get all angst filled and decide to smoke a half of a pack in one sitting(as I have :-< ) you will get ill. You will get light headed and dizzy, and you will have to poop. you will do that and then you will have to vomit. you will do that, then you will feel better. So take my advice, and take it easy.

But really, you prolly don't wanna start smoking.

created as part of Everything Quests - Smoking

If you are still new at this, the most timely piece of advice anyone can offer you at this juncture is simple: quit. Don't wait. Do it now, before you become addicted.

Millions of the already-addicted wish they could quit. Oh, sure, some of them try to cover it up by pretending it "looks cool" but trust me, not a single person still capable of clear thought really believes it looks cool. It doesn't look cool. It never has. Only the depths of denial make anyone claim it does.

Social interactions are also a completely invalid reason to start or continue using tobacco. Do you really want to be friends with anyone who won't like you unless you get yourself hooked on an expensive substance?

I could ramble on about studies comparing the addictiveness of nicotine and heroin, emphysema, lung cancer and all sorts of other unpleasant things, but that wouldn't serve any real purpose except making this writeup longer. Chances are, you already know about all of that.

So just do yourself a favor and quit while you still can.

This is also good advice for new noders.

I can't say that I completely agree with the oft-stated claim that social interactions are an invalid reason to start or continue using tobacco. In fact, I disagree. Smoking, especially in today's smoker-unfriendly world, places the smoker in a situation highly conducive to socializing. With a common bond, especially one that separates you from "the rest" of society, starting a conversation is that much easier. Having a smoke is a form of taking a break -- if you're on R&R time anyway, why not strike up a conversation? You know you're probably not interrupting a smoker from anything important by saying hi. It's also worth noting, as Tlogmer mentioned to me, that nicotine decreases anxiety, which makes it that much easier to start chatting up a stranger.

It isn't so much that smokers won't be your friend if you don't also smoke. It isn't even that you won't meet them, or other people, if you don't smoke. It's just *easier* to meet *more people* if you do smoke. It's a group activity, just like going to the pub or playing on a sports team. Humans are pack animals.

I don't mean to encourage smoking. It's a dirty, expensive, unhealthy habit, and kissing a smoker really is like licking an ashtray. But it is not an activity completely devoid of value or pleasure. If it were, nobody would end up with an addiction in the first place, right?

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