How quickly we get addicted
I can speak to this from first hand experience...
My parents were chain smokers and I was an ardent non-smoker, until my freshman year in college. One day some friends and I were sitting around in our dorm room trying to think of ways to cheer up my roommate...she was really down in the dumps. Knowing my passion against smoking, they thought it would be really funny if I took a few puffs on a cigarette.
After much cajoling, I finally agreed. I coughed and sputtered and everyone had a great laugh. In fact, it was so funny that they wanted me to do it again the next day.
The day after that, I was buying my own cigarettes.
I smoked for 6 years.
It wasn't until years later
that I realized how
quickly the addiction had kicked in and completely altered my actions and erradicated my perception of myself as a nonsmoker.
It never occurred to me that I was becomng a smoker.
I was just buying some cigarettes.
A friend, also a child of chain smokers, was in a play and had to portray a character who smoked. He looked awkward and unnatural, so the director suggested that he buy a pack of cigarettes and practice. Before the play was over, he, too, was a chain smoker.
Eight years later he he woke up one morning and realized that for 8 years he had been mindlessly engaging in a behavior that he never really wanted or chose for himself. He had become addicted to a behavior that he detested, so he quit.
"I began, like many I'm sure, as a social smoker...
I smoked when I drank in crowds with other smokers. Innocent enough, I thought, until I began to progress. I'd start smoking in the afternoon if I knew I was going to drink later that day. Then it snowballed into justifying smoking if I had been drinking the night before. Soon enough I was cracking a beer just so I could have a smoke. I was creating more problems than I was solving. I had to admit that I was a smoker".
A young musician told me that he was a nonsmoker, but had to play in smoky clubs.
Finally he got tired of that lifestyle and left his band and the club scene behind. But he noticed that he kept gravitating to the cigarette counters, feeling an urge to buy a pack of cigarettes.
After the second or third struggle with temptation, he realized that he had become addicted to the second-hand smoke and strengthened his resolve to resist.
"When I was littler,
my grandmother used to
let me take puffs off her cigarettes
so I could blow smoke rings.
Then I started really smoking and I've been doing it ever since."