Why I’ll Never Smoke A Cigarette

When I tell people that I’ve never smoked a cigarette before, it’s usually met with complete shock. “Are you serious? Not even when you were drunk?” Nope. Not once. It’s not because I’m a prude. In fact I’m pretty sure many people wouldn’t try some of the things I’ve done. They’d be like, “Wait so you’ve tried *insert scandalous drug here* but you’ve never smoked a cigarette? Isn’t that kind of backwards?” I guess it is but there’s a reason behind my decision. Whether it makes a whole lot of sense is up for debate.

My mother has been a chain smoker for most of her life. Growing up, she would try to conceal the habit by smoking in her bathrobe in our backyard, but the smell was unmistakable. I always urged her to quit (dying a slow death in which it feels like you’re constantly drowning doesn’t seem too fun) but I’ve had no success. As a result, I’ve watched her go into crazy coughing fits and have trouble catching her breath, which have been enough to quell my curiosity.

Cigarettes don’t get you high. I mean, smokers have told me that there is a buzz but whatever it is, it sounds pretty weak. So basically if I smoked, I would spending a ton of money a year on some weak buzz that’s slowly killing me? As if! My number one rule with drugs is never do it every day. And while I’ve met some casual smokers—people who only smoke when inebriated or on some other drug—the majority have a daily habit. I’m not about to do ANYTHING harmful every day for an extended period of time, okay? My body gets enough abuse as is. There’s no need to dangle anything (that’s not a penis) from my lips 24/7. Speaking of penis though, I will NEVER seriously date a smoker. Yeah, I don’t mean to be That Guy, but smooching an ashtray is not my ultimate idea of sexytime. If I’ve never even smoked a cig before, can you blame me for being turned off by daily smokers?

There have been a few fleeting moments when I’ve considered doing it. Sometimes when I’m listening to something douchey like Edith Piaf in my apartment, I’ll stare at my window and wish I had something to exhale and flick ash from. If my desire was particularly strong though, I would just cave and roll a joint, which is a much more satisfying solution, in my opinion.

I’m not going to lie. A small part of the reason why I’ve abstained from cigarettes comes from being able to have the bragging rights. It just feels good to say no to something that everyone else had said yes to. You feel superior, which, in turn, makes you feel awesome. Ah, the secrets of life! But, in reality, not smoking is my way of rebelling against my mother’s poor life decision and not spending more money than I already do. We’re all going to die. I’d just rather not give someone thousands of dollars to slowly kill me. TC mark

image – Super Fantastic

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

Read Here

More From Thought Catalog

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    I thought cigarettes give you a high — that rush to your head via nicotine that lasts ~10 min

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    I thought cigarettes give you a high — that rush to your head via nicotine that lasts ~10 min

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    I thought cigarettes give you a high — that rush to your head via nicotine that lasts ~10 min

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    I thought cigarettes give you a high — that rush to your head via nicotine that lasts ~10 min

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    I thought cigarettes give you a high — that rush to your head via nicotine that lasts ~10 min

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    I thought cigarettes give you a high — that rush to your head via nicotine that lasts ~10 min

    • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

      If you aren’t a regular/heavy smoker, sure. But they quit having that kick after a few years and multiple cigarettes every day. (That’s why it’s so satisfying/depressing to start up again after quitting.)

    • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

      If you aren’t a regular/heavy smoker, sure. But they quit having that kick after a few years and multiple cigarettes every day. (That’s why it’s so satisfying/depressing to start up again after quitting.)

    • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

      If you aren’t a regular/heavy smoker, sure. But they quit having that kick after a few years and multiple cigarettes every day. (That’s why it’s so satisfying/depressing to start up again after quitting.)

    • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

      If you aren’t a regular/heavy smoker, sure. But they quit having that kick after a few years and multiple cigarettes every day. (That’s why it’s so satisfying/depressing to start up again after quitting.)

    • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

      If you aren’t a regular/heavy smoker, sure. But they quit having that kick after a few years and multiple cigarettes every day. (That’s why it’s so satisfying/depressing to start up again after quitting.)

    • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

      If you aren’t a regular/heavy smoker, sure. But they quit having that kick after a few years and multiple cigarettes every day. (That’s why it’s so satisfying/depressing to start up again after quitting.)

    • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

      If you aren’t a regular/heavy smoker, sure. But they quit having that kick after a few years and multiple cigarettes every day. (That’s why it’s so satisfying/depressing to start up again after quitting.)

    • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

      If you aren’t a regular/heavy smoker, sure. But they quit having that kick after a few years and multiple cigarettes every day. (That’s why it’s so satisfying/depressing to start up again after quitting.)

    • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

      If you aren’t a regular/heavy smoker, sure. But they quit having that kick after a few years and multiple cigarettes every day. (That’s why it’s so satisfying/depressing to start up again after quitting.)

    • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

      If you aren’t a regular/heavy smoker, sure. But they quit having that kick after a few years and multiple cigarettes every day. (That’s why it’s so satisfying/depressing to start up again after quitting.)

    • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

      If you aren’t a regular/heavy smoker, sure. But they quit having that kick after a few years and multiple cigarettes every day. (That’s why it’s so satisfying/depressing to start up again after quitting.)

    • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

      If you aren’t a regular/heavy smoker, sure. But they quit having that kick after a few years and multiple cigarettes every day. (That’s why it’s so satisfying/depressing to start up again after quitting.)

    • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

      If you aren’t a regular/heavy smoker, sure. But they quit having that kick after a few years and multiple cigarettes every day. (That’s why it’s so satisfying/depressing to start up again after quitting.)

    • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

      If you aren’t a regular/heavy smoker, sure. But they quit having that kick after a few years and multiple cigarettes every day. (That’s why it’s so satisfying/depressing to start up again after quitting.)

    • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

      If you aren’t a regular/heavy smoker, sure. But they quit having that kick after a few years and multiple cigarettes every day. (That’s why it’s so satisfying/depressing to start up again after quitting.)

    • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

      If you aren’t a regular/heavy smoker, sure. But they quit having that kick after a few years and multiple cigarettes every day. (That’s why it’s so satisfying/depressing to start up again after quitting.)

    • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

      If you aren’t a regular/heavy smoker, sure. But they quit having that kick after a few years and multiple cigarettes every day. (That’s why it’s so satisfying/depressing to start up again after quitting.)

    • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

      If you aren’t a regular/heavy smoker, sure. But they quit having that kick after a few years and multiple cigarettes every day. (That’s why it’s so satisfying/depressing to start up again after quitting.)

    • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

      If you aren’t a regular/heavy smoker, sure. But they quit having that kick after a few years and multiple cigarettes every day. (That’s why it’s so satisfying/depressing to start up again after quitting.)

  • Spector1235

    What is the point of this piece? Really. To come off holier than thou that you’ve never smoked? You immature about 15 years with this one, Ryan. 

    • Anon

      I don’t think that was the attitude at all in this piece. It’s just a piece about the reasons why he chooses not to and his attitude about it. Your comment sounds more pretentious than his writing does, at any rate.

  • Piers

    well said!

  • Sophia

    i agree 110% with all of this. well said.

  • Anonymous

    When I was a kid my mom told me that if I smoke, my hair won’t shine, my teeth will look oily, my skin will get old sooner, and my eyes will look empty. As a chainsmoker who is very pretty, my mom said if I smoke, I will be ugly. I have never touched a single cigarette all my life.

    • Anonymous

      PTSD much?

      • ATL

        Ever seen someone who has smoked for 20 years?  That description hit the nail on the head.  I can spot a long term smoker from a mile away.

      • Anonymous

        True. I think Im too vain to be cool.

      • http://twitter.com/mung_beans Mung Beans

        I’ve smoked for ten years and I still look younger than most in my peer group.  I’M NOT A TEENAGER DAMMIT

  • https://twitter.com/iamthepuddles Jordana Bevan

    “A small part of the reason why I’ve abstained from cigarettes comes from being able to have the bragging rights. ”
    i get how fuccking annoyed readers get about articles like this but i’ve finally figured out why TC needs them – it allows the readers and the authors to see their weakest traits. Feeling good about the bragging rights of never having smoked a cigarette is fucking stupid (except in the “i haven’t abused my lungs” way, but you snort things, drink things, and smoke enough other substances for any good feelings stemming from non-self-abuse to be moot). I hate that I started smoking because I promised my uncle I wouldn’t (he was horribly, horribly addicted (to everything, ever))when I turned 18 and when he died this summer I was still smoking and I wish I had been able to not do it while he was still alive. Feeling good about being unique omg!!!!!! is ridiculous
    God dammit Ryan, when your articles aren’t on these stupid “How to…” “Things you should be/not be at 20…” “Why I Always/Never..” (etc) subjects, you’re a really great, insightful writer. Please, please let your talent shine, stop masking it with things like these.

    • Joy

      Whatever. I’m also kind of fucking proud I’ve never smoked a cigarette and I consider it somewhat of an accomplishment. You say “feeling good about being unique omg!!! is ridiculous” but if we can’t feel good about our accomplishments, big or small, insignificant to others or not, then what is there to feel good about?

      I’m not trying to be insensitive but you say you wish you had been able to stop smoking when your uncle was alive..well maybe you could’ve/would’ve if you never started smoking in the first place..

      • https://twitter.com/iamthepuddles Jordana Bevan

        Totally be proud of your accomplishments (fucking humblebragging article), but if you (not YOU you, general you) do other equally/more detrimental drugs, activities, etc, then being proud of never having smoked is not an achievement.

        Nah, totes not insensitive. I should have phrased better because I’m a casual smoker but my uncle only knew I smoked and he died suddenly and I just wished he could have known that I COULD stop whenever – that I wasn’t addicted, ya know? My initial reaction to the article was that if you never want to smoke, don’t ever forget it because when times are #dark and life gets fucked up, it’s one of those activities that seems kind of instinctive for people – it’s like when you (general, again) get mad/sad and just want to get drunk, but getting drunk addresses an immediate emotion and cigarettes address a long term, deep rooted pain. If you grew up never wanting to smoke and find yourself in a dark time and suddenly find the urge… for me, that was kinda it, no more hope (#dark #angst)

      • https://twitter.com/iamthepuddles Jordana Bevan

        Totally be proud of your accomplishments (fucking humblebragging article), but if you (not YOU you, general you) do other equally/more detrimental drugs, activities, etc, then being proud of never having smoked is not an achievement.

        Nah, totes not insensitive. I should have phrased better because I’m a casual smoker but my uncle only knew I smoked and he died suddenly and I just wished he could have known that I COULD stop whenever – that I wasn’t addicted, ya know? My initial reaction to the article was that if you never want to smoke, don’t ever forget it because when times are #dark and life gets fucked up, it’s one of those activities that seems kind of instinctive for people – it’s like when you (general, again) get mad/sad and just want to get drunk, but getting drunk addresses an immediate emotion and cigarettes address a long term, deep rooted pain. If you grew up never wanting to smoke and find yourself in a dark time and suddenly find the urge… for me, that was kinda it, no more hope (#dark #angst)

  • imsickofthisnight

    i smoke a e cigarette while reading this

    haters gonna hateeeeeeeeeee

  • Iamsoy

    my question is: if cigarettes give you a 10 minute high, and many adults are known for taking multiple cigarette breaks throughout the regular work day, then why can’t I smoke a joint before work (let’s be honest, it’d wear off by lunch) or have a vodka tonic with my Lean Cuisine? BTW, Ryan are we kindred spirits? I’ll take some ganj over anything (alc included) but I’m the girl who literally ducks and dodges smokers and their disgusting byproduct as I walk to work. Smoking cigs is horrific.

    • Iamsoy

      correction, I’d smoke a bowl or vape before work. Joints taste bad.

    • Iamsoy

      correction, I’d smoke a bowl or vape before work. Joints taste bad.

    • Iamsoy

      correction, I’d smoke a bowl or vape before work. Joints taste bad.

    • Asdfkja

      why can’t you? it’s not like anyone is stopping you but yourself.

      • Anonymous

        Actually, the federal government, and probably his boss too, would be trying to stop him.

  • Alison

    the whole “kissing a smoke is like licking an ashtray” thing is pretty false. that is, unless the person you’re kissing has actually been licking ashtrays…then…ew.

    • Madame Rax - Dominatrix.

      Hey, human ashtrays need love too.

  • Burnddrumma

    When you’re out at a bar and all of your friends leave for a smoke break, leaving you as the odd man out, you have to be proud.  Sometimes people who smoke don’t understand that they’re making themselves exclusive.

  • Burnddrumma

    When you’re out at a bar and all of your friends leave for a smoke break, leaving you as the odd man out, you have to be proud.  Sometimes people who smoke don’t understand that they’re making themselves exclusive.

  • Burnddrumma

    When you’re out at a bar and all of your friends leave for a smoke break, leaving you as the odd man out, you have to be proud.  Sometimes people who smoke don’t understand that they’re making themselves exclusive.

  • Guest

    I’ve never gotten a solid reason for smoking cigarettes. I would be more inclined to partake if they were simply enjoyable like a good cigar or glass of wine. I demand my vices either be enjoyable or get me high. Preferably both (weed brownies!)

  • Erin

    I’ve never smoked a cigarette either, and I don’t have any plans to do so anytime soon, but I HAVE kissed a smoker, and to be honest he tasted fine.  -shrug-

  • N. Chaplin

    Cigarettes smell bad. They kill people who overuse them or sit to close to people who overuse. Ultimately we’d probably be better off as a world without them but the same could be said of combustion engines. If there’s one thing I hope we call all agree on it’s that people who adamantly don’t smoke and people who adamantly do smoke are equally likely to come off as insufferable assholes when they choose to make a big stink about it. If more people will promise to not blog about not smoking, I’ll promise to not blog about the people who roll up on crosswalks with their windows down and make coughing noises because I’m smoking a cigarette. Dude, you’re driving a car. Cough cough.

  • Guest

    Maybe if you take up smoking you will become a better writer.

  • Maggie

    i don’t smoke but i honestly feel like i don’t care if someone smokes or not

  • Karen

    I have one main reason why I’ll never smoke a cigarette: my dad died because of a heart destroyed by nicotine. It kills. Just putting that out there… I’m sure smokers now. Well, it’s their lives.

  • Anonymous

    edith piaf is not douchey :(

  • http://mocdartens.tumblr.com Bianca G.

    It does feel very satisfying to brag about not ever smoking a cigarette. Also posting pictures of black lungs on smoker’s profiles is great too.

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