I started smoking when I was 16, my younger sister had a house party and there was a girl there that I was in to, I thought I was being hard so when she asked me if I wanted to have a fag I wanted to seem big and clever because I was older and thought there was some sort of act that I had to live up to, we went behind the shed in my garden (so my parents couldn’t see me) and that’s when I had my first cigarette.
I used to work in retail and everyone there used to smoke, I wanted to fit in so I started smoking more. I would ask people at work to buy them for me because I was still only 17. I kind of used it as a way to get more breaks too because my boss would always invite the smokers out for a quick paid smoke break.
When I smoked at college I was always so scared that my college tutors would smell it on me and tell my parents so I would wear a ridiculous amount of perfume. I vaped for a little while to try and stop myself from smoking more, I bought my first vape just after my 16th birthday and this was a little while after my first cigarette.
The vape worked for a while, but then I had to deal with a family breakdown, when this happened I resulted to smoking a lot more again, I say a lot more, it was around 10 a day which seemed a lot to me because before I was only smoking 3 or 4 a day.
Whenever I felt upset, depressed or angry I would go for a walk and have a cigarette, my mum still didn’t know about me smoking at this point so I had to leave the house to do it. However I was depressed a lot, so I smoked a lot.
Smoking has been my coping mechanism for a while, before my first driving lesson I smoked 5 cigarettes, one after the other to try and calm my nerves, and the thing is, it works for me. I used to self harm and I’ve replaced doing that for smoking and I know that it is just dropping one bad habit for another.
When I turned 18 that’s when it got kinda silly, I used to go out to town Friday and Saturday every week so I would buy at least two packets of cigarettes each night because when I drink I smoke an unholy amount. One weekend I smoked 120 cigarettes. In one weekend.
My mum wasn’t too annoyed when she found out I smoke, She didn’t find out till I was 18 so she just told me that I’m 18 and I need to make those decisions for myself now.
A lot of people romanticise smoking as this incredible thing that will make you seem cooler and more popular, when I was 16 I thought the same. But smoking shouldn’t be romanticised it’s a dirty habit and it is so hard to get out of. I smoke about 20 a day now, my voice is a lot more husky and croaky than it ever was because of how much and how regularly I smoke. I am always catching coughs to the point where it feels unbearable.
I am not trying to tell you that smoking will take away all your problems, it just relaxes my mind it doesn’t get rid of the problem. There are so many health problems that come with smoking and it really isn’t worth it.
Smoking isn’t cool guys, look after yourself