I am pretty sure that all the smokers remember their first time – their first cigarette, that is! I think I speak for everyone when I say that the first time you smoke, you find it really disgusting, it makes you choke and cough and splutter, and you feel very nauseous ! So why do so many continue with it? That is indeed the question.
Speaking for myself, it definitely made me feel quite ill when I had my first cigarette at the age of 14. I was on a school trip to France, on an exchange visit staying with a French family, who had a girl of around my age. The French at that time were a nation of very heavy smokers (and I don't think very much has changed there!) They also smoked extremely strong cigarettes like Gauloises, which are really disgusting in their smell (even more so than normal cigarettes, I mean). The family I was staying with were all moderate smokers, and their daughter was smoked quite heavily, despite being only about 15. I had never smoked at the time and thought I never would, but I was out with Claire, my French friend, one day and some of her friends, and someone offered me a cigarette. This had happened a few times before, and I had always refused, but this time I accepted, just out of curiosity really. It was horrible: I was coughing and spluttering for ages and felt sick and faint. I couldn't understand why anyone would do that for pleasure, and it put me off, for a few years at least!
As I have described in a previous blog, I then stupidly started smoking for real, as you might say, at the age of 20, and really only because I was working with a lot of human chimneys, so I came under their corrupting influence!! At first I still coughed a lot and didn't enjoy it, it took a long time for those physical reactions to go away.
I am fairly certain that is the case with everyone: that the initial response to inhaling a lot of burning toxic chemicals, all the coughing, choking and nausea, is the natural one, the one everyone should have, but we ignore that, we "persevere", if you like (I am not sure that is the right choice of verb!), and once the physical symptoms have subsided, we get hooked. If only people could stick with their immediate physical reaction, what their body is telling them, they would never get to the point of being addicted to it.
I was never a heavy smoker and never addicted, but it was habit-forming with me, nonetheless, and obviously I wish now I had never smoked at all. At least I have been smoke-free for about 6 years now though, so hopefully I can try to live the rest of my life in future as healthily as possible.
Hope you enjoyed this blog, and I appreciate your votes and comments.