I smoked my first cigarette when I was 12 years old. My friend and I stole his mom’s pack out of a cupboard late at night and smoked them in his backyard. They were disgusting, but I was fixated on being rebellious and cool -- a dynamic that led me to smoke on and off for the next seven years.
By the time I got to college, I was a full-time smoker. By the time I graduated, I was up to a pack a day. By my 24th birthday, I had “quit” a number of times… one month here, three weeks there. Sometimes I’d get sucked back into it slowly while other times I just bought a pack and picked up where I left off. But in the winter of 2008, I was broke, unhealthy, and ready to quit. Perhaps the realization that I had spent half of my life as a smoker inspired me on some level. But regardless of its source, my decision to quit had been made.
…And I did what every smoker does: sneak a cigarette in here and there with an, “Oh, I’ll quit tomorrow,” thrown in for good measure. My girlfriend at the …
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