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Laurette .Laurette

    Cigarette addiction? I have one of those!

    (Actually, I prefer the term “cigarette habit”; “cigarette addiction” and “cigarette vice” have a bit of a negative stigma.)

    Almost all smokers pick up the habit in their teens, as I did, when they’re not yet mature enough to understand the consequences, as well as the powerful addiction that would come with. I grew up being infatuated with my mother’s smoking. She was (and still is) a non-repentant and regular smoker; I was always exposed to it when I was growing up. I got the nerve one day, when I was 8, to ask her why she smoked. Her answer was that smoking was something that many adults choose to do, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. At that moment, I just knew I too would be a smoker one day. That day came on my 12th birthday, when I asked to try it. It agreed with me immediately! The taste wasn’t the best at first, but I quickly became accustomed to it. The big difference was that stray cigarette smoke no longer bothered me. Not only did it feel so good to actually smoke, but it felt so ADULT!!! I’d stand in front of the mirror, and watch myself smoke. I looked forward to going out to dinner with Mom, so I could smoke in public. I had to deal with the addiction when I started back to school; I couldn’t smoke at school, it would be two years before I was in high school and they had student smoking areas. But I got through it. Since that 1987 summer, smoking has become a permanent part of my life, as well as who and what I am.

    Being a smoker is a chain of cycles, that I go through about 20 times a day. About 45 minutes after my last cigarette, the urge hits me to light up again. After an hour, the urge turns into cravings. If I ignore those cravings, and I’m not wearing a nicotine patch, after three or four hours, then come the withdrawal symptoms kick in. These symptoms include anxiety, irritability, and nervousness. And these symptoms are quite intense and unforgiving. BUT, once I have that cigarette, everything’s pure bliss. For another hour or so, anyway.

    I must confess that I enjoy being a smoker! The one time I regret it is when I have to abstain from smoking for prolonged periods, and cravings shift into withdrawal symptoms. It’s the most satisfying thing I do. I do worry about the health risks, and hope that my 35 years of being a smoker don’t catch up with me in a bad way. But I accept those risks, and try to live as healthy a lifestyle as otherwise possible. Another note, I’m 5’3″ in flats, I weigh only 120#, and I’m quite certain that my pack-a-day Misty 120’s habit has a lot to do with that.