Hello Matt, thank you for the invitation to explain how my smoking progressed.
I had "smoked" my first cigarette. Just standing there holding my cigarette was exciting. Later on, I had another one when my friend invited me to try another. The taste was quite pleasant ( I did not know at this point that menthol and non menthol cigarettes had a subtle difference in taste) and I felt that I was becoming part of a "club", a feeling that I had not experienced before.
I bought my first packet of cigarettes the next day whilst out with my friend. The excitement, and anxiety, of doing this was confusing. I was still concerned about what people would think, how they would react and why I was partaking in a habit which could affect my health.
Opening that first packet was, I admit very exciting. I lit the first and asked my friend how I should start to inhale. She gave me clear instructions which I followed, a tiny drag of smoke breathed in with some air. I managed to suppress the urge to cough and the resultant exhale was, to my great pleasure, similar (but not in volume) to that of my friend. Another couple of theses tiny inhales and I could feel the effects of the nicotine which was now in my body. I felt that I was now a smoker at last!
Over the next few days I continued, gradually inhaling more and more smoke and enjoying the feeling it brought. I was still a private smoker, only 2 people knew that I had started. My lack of self confidence prevented me from smoking in front of others.
By the time friday came around I had smoked the packet of cigarettes and since I was going home for the weekend (and did not want my parents to find out) did not replace them. On my way back to university on Sunday, I bought another packet. The feeling I got when I had the first one was much more intense and pleasureable than anything I had experienced, I was becoming slightly addicted.
That evening, when out with my friends, I smoked in public for the first time. I was nervous, felt very self conscious but the desire to have that feeling gave me the push to smoke openly.
Over the next few weeks my smoking increased, my confidence increased as did my dependence on smoking which I now accepted as the price I had to pay.
My end of term exams went successfully, thanks to me smoking, and I had one last hurdle to cross, how to tell my parents that I was a smoker. Sari