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I started smoking when I was 17. I was curious; my friends were too smart to fall for the ‘peer-pressure’ thing, and I wanted to know why they started, and why they kept going. I asked a friend for a cig (a Marb red), and I smoked it down. Neat! I got a little light-headded and my hands got shakey, and I was ‘buzzed’ for a few minutes. Well, that was fun, I thought. Nothing I’ll ever do on a regular basis, though. Then, the inevitable happened-I bummed more and more until I bought my first pack (just for the weekends, of course).

I quit for college-none of my college friends smoked, and I didn’t like standing in the cold for a useless drug. It was tough, but I’d only been smoking for a year and a half, so I made it through. Summer, though, was a different matter altogether. All my home friends smoked, and who was I to go against it? So I started again, and quit again when fall came. I always wanted a cig, though. Every time someone lit one up, or I smelled it, or I saw someone smoking on TV, it made me crave just one more drag. Then I dropped out of college and moved back home (for the band). Cigarettes! One a day, five a day, a pack a day, and I was unemployed! I always managed to come up with the money, though. Food, gas, drugs, these things I could do without-but cigs? If I couldn’t afford them, they went on my credit card. I was well on my way to being a lifer.

Then, the unimaginable happened. My addiction broke. I was sitting in my bandmate’s car, taking out a cigarette, and I realised I no longer wanted one. I smoked it anyway. The next cig I had was the last in my pack; both tased like ass. They made my head hurt. They made my breath stink. And they cost me money. So, I quit. Like that, no withdrawl, no cravings, no sneaking a drag on a rough night, nothing. An easy quit, completely unexpected. If you are jealous, I’m sorry-I almost would have liked to fight for it, but I don’t think I would have won. If you are envious, I wish I could help you, but I don’t understand it myself. And if you are a non-smoker, good. Don’t start. The “benefits” wear thin pretty quick, but the addiction is (usually) forever.

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