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    Posted January 11, 2009 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Tobacco tax increase

    Why I smoke


    I first lit up when I was 14. My cousin told me it would be fun and I was curious. I loved it. I was expecting myself to feel sick and turn green like in the cartoons, but it was great. I felt so 'grown up'. I always looked young for my age and this bothered me, so anything that made me feel older was a plus.  I continued smoking about one cigarette a week for the next four years. I didn't smoke socially because my friends were not the kind that would aprove of it. I was my little secret. When I got married at 20, my husband was a smoker. I came out of the closet and started full-time smoking. I quit the first time when I got pregnant the first time, but only for the duration of the pregnancy. What did change was that I now only smoked outdoors and much less. Never near the baby. After four kids I now smoke only on weekends away from home or when I drink. My husband quit all together 11 years ago, but I have not been able to yet. I can completely forget cigarettes during the week, but as soon as I'm out on the weekend or have my first drink, I crave a cigarette horribly. I don't like that I smoke. I makes me feel dirty and weak. But the way I feel when I don't give in to the urge is worse. I am petrified of getting sick, especially with 4 little ones, but I forget all about that when I crave a cigarette. It's only when I wake up the next day that the regrets settle in, by then it's too late. I want to quit, but I don't want to feel deprived...if that even makes sense. I do hope one day to be free of this. I know I am the only one that can decide when that will be and that makes it even more humiliating. I do wish there was a way to make kids understand the pain that will come if they  give in to the curiosity of lighting up. To make them see the permanence of such a choice. But, I know kids will continue to be kids. The best we can do is educate them. I know I'm not a good example, but at this moment I can't help it.

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