It all started one winter’s eve when I was walking back home and spotted a man smoking by the road. The thought of him smoking and blowing out a thick cloud of smoke intrigued me enough to actually find out what it felt-like to smoke. The next moment I had a cigarette in my hand and I took my first puff of the blazing tobacco only to hack and cough for the next 2 minutes. Well that is exactly how I began my journey of smoking and no blames to peers, television or for that matter the man who I watched before smoking my first cigarette.
People begin smoking for many reasons but it is their own choice. Blaming anyone and everyone for it is just silly! So while few of my friends smoked as they wanted to fit in the ‘Cool’ crowd of high school, many grown-ups do it to calm their senses and relieve their stress. Let’s just say when a couple of my friends were asked about their first experience with the smoking; the responses were quite different from usual.
My childhood friend had a completely strange take on her first cigarette. She said, I smoked my first cigarette when I was 15 and I did it as I wanted to know why my dad looked so calm and tension-free after one. Trust me I received my answer to that ten years later after a crazy meeting with a client.
I was the only non-smoker in my close group of 5 colleagues. I was 27 then. Once when I was sailing through a rough patch in my married life and was discussing it with them, one of them was quick to say that everything will be fine with time, just chill and have a smoke. It was quick for me and without a second thought I took it from him and had my first puff. And it’s been six years now, I am still in love with that first puff as I continue to smoke till today, but not more than 3-4 a day. It makes me feel in total control of life, says another close friend of mine.
Coming back to my experience, it wasn’t in a jiffy that I bought a cigarette, but a lot of research went behind it. As first I had to pick a location where no one can see me, then a vendor of my confidence who would not yell and tell it to everyone, and finally the perfect moment when I could experience my first puff. The entire drill of finding the right moment to take my first cigarette was quite like a James Bond movie except that I was fighting with my own fears. Finally I took the first puff and mapped the motion of the smoke which I inhaled. It was cool at first and later ran down my throat cooling my system and I could actually feel it engulfing my lungs only to cough like a tuberculosis patient. But it felt good – I felt nice even though my eyes watered and there was a subtle irritation down in my epiglottis . The second puff was similar to that I had watched on television, where in this time I stayed slow and steady with my moves and nailed it with a thick cloud of smoke coming out of mouth.
My shoulders that looked tensed suddenly felt light and so did my mind that was running multiple thoughts in it. I must have never felt so contented and happy, though a bit dazed after completing my cigarette, but a gulp of water and it was me back to my usual self. Even though your mouth reeks of smoke just like your hair; first timers are advised to always keep a peppermint gum and a body spray handy to avoid unwanted stares and questions from family members. Did I just take you back to your first cigarette experience?
In all, smoking for the first time wasn’t as bad as it sounded to be. It has been 15 years now since I have been smoking and let’s just say until done in moderation with a proper diet you have nothing much to worry about.
So this was my story. What about yours? When was your first cigarette? How was the experience? What triggered you to your first cigarette?