I started smoking when I was 16 out of peer pressure. My classmates and I would sneak out after class and buy imported cigarettes from a store near a Starbucks.
Once I started college, I wasn’t pretending to like the bitter taste anymore.
I’ll smoke anytime and anywhere. I smoke when I’m sad, stressed or anxious. I smoke when I’m happy. I smoke to celebrate. I smoke when I’m bored. I smoke when I’m full. I smoke when I work. I’ll probably only stop smoking if I run out of money to buy cigarettes.
This isn’t a justification of cigarette smoking nor does it have a lesson or realization at the end. I’m a smoker and I’m a girl and there are others like me. Just so you know.
1. Smokey hands
My routine would be to smoke then vigorously wash my hands twice with soap and water. I’d replace the soap and water with hand sanitizer or wet wipes if I was out. The lingering smell never appealed to me. My most rude awakenings are times after a night out wherein I’d wake up to the smell of an ashtray that only turn out to be my hands.
2. Smokey breath
There’s nothing like ending a romantic evening with a non smoking guy than a kiss after I’ve had 3 cigarettes. I felt sorry for him.
3. Permanent smokey breath
Ah. After more than a decade of this habit, I have achieved the dreaded permanent smokey breath. Now, no matter what fancy dental hygiene product I use or how many, I seem to have bad breath all day every day. Thus forming the new habit of having a pack of mint gum in my purse.
4. Less of a woman
A friend and I were standing at a curb; him bustling around trying to keep his heart rate up mid jog and I smoking a stick. After a few minutes he got tired of our spot and asked that we started moving. I declined. He asked if this was because I thought that walking in public while smoking a cigarette will make me less of a woman. I replied with a blunt “Yes.”
5. Fancy lighters
I get excited about cute lighters as much as I do when I’m clothes shopping. It is an expensive hobby. The cuter the lighter gets, the more expensive it becomes.
6. Non smoking people
It’s so hard and frustrating when I really need a smoke and a little kid will be staring up at me with sad, watery, cute, puppy dog, so cute eyes. The same emotion that escapes me when I’m sitting with my girlfriends at brunch.
7. Non smoking places
I feel personally judged at these places because I tend to justify my habit in my head. Why can I not smoke because it offends non smokers? Shouldn’t non smokers be conscious about our feelings too?
8. Yellow teeth
Sometimes I stare at posters or billboards and see the model’s perfectly white smile and check my yellowed teeth in the mirror for comparison. I’ve toyed with the idea (toyed would be putting it loosely) of having my teeth whitened and even had a consultation with my dentist. The procedure was fine with me until he got to the part about quitting smoking. I got up and said thanks and switched dentists.