View Full Version : Why did someone start smoking tobacco?

10-09-2005, 07:21 AM
I'd like an answer.

Rob :)

10-09-2005, 07:27 AM
Burning herbs to provide various types of relief or stimulation goes way back in folk medicine. I'd guess someone found that burning tobacco had an effect that was useful and so tobacco became part of their pharmacopeia. Eventually someone thought that a more concentrated ingestion would be even more effective and came up with a method, probably a pipe, to get that concentration.

Edit: ok, I didn't see the forum this was posted to until after I'd posted. If this is meant to be a prompt for a story about why someone started smoking then I'm waaaaaaaaaaaay off topic, sorry. Should I just delete this??

Sometimes I'm rather addlepated...

10-09-2005, 07:43 AM
Once upon a time, somebody gave me a cigarette, and it was REALLY GOOD!

Then I would smoke one every so often when one was available (as I was only nine years old, funds and opportunities were limited.)

By the time I was 11 or 12, I was working a part-time job, cigarette machines abounded, and I was hooked.

I quit a few times for a few months at a stretch, but there was always something that pushed me over the edge and I started up again.

Hmmm ... this is really pathetic in retrospect. Maybe it's time to quit for good!

P.S. Why do you ask?

September skies
10-09-2005, 08:05 AM
Not everyone smokes their tobacco ..... some people don't inhale while others chew it and..... cigars, aren't always smoked.

10-09-2005, 08:36 AM
It's 1968. Imagine going school in a foreign country where most of the students were either children of well off expatriots in high level corporate jobs, children of diplomats from various nations or children of the local plutocrats who were paying a small fortune to have their children taught in a Western style school. A small minority were the children of US military personnel. Because their parents weren't being paid but a fraction of what the other students' parents were paid (even the officers couldn't come close) these military brats didn't have the coolest clothes and the newest stuff but they still wanted to be accepted so they worked hard to fit in and do what the other cool kids did.

Oh and another thing, this new school campus contains elementary through high school students. Class assignments are based on an experimental model that has 7th graders and up taking classes in a 'flexible modular' system. A child's schedule looked a lot like a college schedule. There were large blocks of free time (study hall? labs? ha!) between classes. 7th graders were wandering around the same hallways as 12th graders. If you're a 7th grader you're going to want to look and act a lot older since your role models aren't 8th graders - they're 12th graders. 7th graders 11 and 12 year olds, 12th graders, 17 and 18 year olds.

So what did many of the children there do during the free time? Well because of diplomatic immunity there was quite a free flow of drugs available. Many children showed up at school with book bags containing those mini bottles of booze. A very large number of them smoked cigarettes. Kids would do drugs, drink booze and smoke - as young as 7th graders. (that might not seem so shocking now but in '68 I don't think the drug problem went that young - I could be wrong)

If you were new and wanted to do what the cool kids did you'd better at least take up smoking and that was what I did. Both my parents smoked and it was pretty easy to obtain a cigarette here and another one there from their packs. Cigarette machines were abundant and a pack was a dime if you were on base. Twenty-five cents if you bought an American brand in a local store.

That's how I started smoking at 11. I continued through High School smoking whenever I could get away with it and in College. I managed to quit from 1979 to 1988 but when my ex left me I started up again. I'm still struggling with the habit. The best I've done is cut back to about 5 - 8 a day from 15 to 20. I don't smoke to be cool anymore, lord knows here in NorCal smoking is pretty much as cool as leperocy, but if I get stressed or need to clear my mind, I go straight for the pack.

10-09-2005, 07:41 PM
Well, Freud would say I was never satisfied orally as a child, so I've taken an unusual 'oral fixation' into adulthood. Always having to have something in my mouth and such.

Honestly, I don't remember why I started smoking except that I was just curious and really liked the first cig I ever had...I do know why I don't quit. The few times I've tried, I've taken to tearing people apart just to have something to do with my hands.

10-09-2005, 08:08 PM
I've never smoked, but am considering taking it up for two reasons:

1 - Nicotine is a stimulant, right? I need to rearrange my brain chemistry. I'm looking for it to jumpstart my creativity and focus. What say you?

2 - If I learn to smoke with a foot-long, Holly Golightly cigarette holder, I will instantly update my image to a sophisticated, wordly, irresistable femme-fatale. Either that or look like a complete idiot, which is always good for amusing anecdotes at a later date.

Good plan? Or should I stick to coffee and fantasizing?

10-09-2005, 08:11 PM
I've never smoked, but am considering taking it up for two reasons:

1 - Nicotine is a stimulant, right? I need to rearrange my brain chemistry. I'm looking for it to jumpstart my creativity and focus. What say you?

2 - If I learn to smoke with a foot-long, Holly Golightly cigarette holder, I will instantly update my image to a sophisticated, wordly, irresistable femme-fatale. Either that or look like a complete idiot, which is always good for amusing anecdotes at a later date.

Good plan? Or should I stick to coffee and fantasizing?
Just stick to coffee and alcohol and go braless. Perhaps not all at the same time....


10-09-2005, 08:13 PM
Well, two out of three on a Sunday morning isn't so bad...

10-09-2005, 08:38 PM
I smoke. Hubby smokes. My brother and my sister smoke, as does her husband. My mother smoked until she became pregnant with me.

Up until the time I left ex-jerk, I was what I refer to as a social smoker. On the rare occasion that ex-jerk and I would go to a party or bar, I would buy a pack of cigarettes and not buy another until the next time we went out somewhere.

When I left ex-jerk, I moved back home temporarily with my parents and everyone around me smoked but mom & dad. Given my predisposition to liking it anyway, I became an official smoker. It was soothing. I used to be a nail biter,and the cigarettes took the place of that AND food, really. Instead of feeding my hand-to-mouth habit with food, I started using nicotine.

For the longest time I was not dependant on nicotine. I could easily go a week or more without buying a pack if it didn't fit into my budget, and I didn't go nuts over it. This went on for a few years. One day I had to choose between going through the drive through at Fazoli's and buying a pack of cigarettes and the cigarettes won. That's when I knew.

If I could choose to not be a smoker, I just don't know. I mean, of course I CAN choose, but not without a big uphill battle. I don't know if I would choose to stop it if it were an easy thing to do and since it isn't, the choice just floats on by in the waft of a smoke ring....

10-11-2005, 09:35 PM
that reminds me, i wanna thank the guy who looked at a chicken butt and said "im gonna eat what ever comes out of that chicken"


the guy who looked at a cow and said "im gonna pull on those dangly thing an drick what comes out!"

but thats jus me...

10-11-2005, 09:39 PM
To quit speed.

10-12-2005, 12:10 AM
I was a fat, effeminate, freckled, dirty-blonde, pig-nosed kid. Then I saw the Marlboro Man.

three seven
10-12-2005, 12:23 AM
I was a fat, effeminate, freckled, dirty-blonde, pig-nosed kid. Then I saw the Marlboro Man....and now you smell bad too!

10-12-2005, 12:26 AM
I was a fat, effeminate, freckled, dirty-blonde, pig-nosed kid. Then I saw the Marlboro Man.

Yeah, see? That's what I mean. Well not exactly, I don't want to be the Marlboro Man, but those people in the Salem ads always looks like they're having so much fun. I want to light up and feel lively too.

Hmm... it is interesting that they never actually show them with a cigarette, but we all get the inference: you cannot have this great of a time without a Phillip Morris product swirling through your bloodstream. I'm having nicotine withdrawal just contemplating it... really odd considering I've never smoked.

10-14-2005, 09:30 AM
She only smoked sometimes. Whenever she felt like it, and didn't whenever she didn't feel like it. It was just an affectation.

She found it another interesting quirk about him that he had never smoked. He'd done everything else! Any high anyone offered him was one he'd accept. If he had to go out and find it himself, he'd just choose alcohol. He had to have something every day, some kind of high.

When she asked him about it, about never smoking, he said he hadn't thought much about it. Maybe because he'd always been so into sports it just hadn't seemed like a good fit for him. Ah, yes, she thought to herself, I guess that's a good thing about sports -- makes folks care about their bodies. The only thing she liked about sports was lolling on the couch on winter sundays watching football.

They had broken up again recently and ran into each other in a bar downtown, again. Having had a drink or three, they were walking back to her place. She was smoking as they walked. She turned to him and said, "You're 28 and you've never even tried a cigarette? Wanna puff of this one?"

"Yeah." He took it from her hand. His first puff was a bit awkward. He was used to sucking hard on a joint.


He got the hang of it right away. He smoked at least a pack a day from that moment on. He was still a smoker 20 years later. She felt guilty about that. About saying "Want a puff of this one?" and handing him a lit cigarette. She just wanted him to take one puff.

10-14-2005, 10:06 AM
Jeremy Irons in Brideshead Revisited. Made smoking a cigarette look delicious.

Plus, what does one do between sips of a gin gimlet?

10-14-2005, 08:19 PM
my mother thinks she can get away with smoking (when she said shed stop) by smoking in the bath room with ensence (how ever you spell it) and the fan on

10-15-2005, 01:57 AM
I'd like an answer.

Rob :)
I couldn't get my stress suppositories to light.

and now you have one.

10-15-2005, 02:37 AM
I only smoke because it makes me cool.


10-15-2005, 02:57 AM
I smoke because I love cigarettes and cigarettes love me.

Simple as that.

10-16-2005, 03:35 AM
The buzz felt like I was walking on the moon.

I quit though, hak- hak-wheez, where's my inhaler?

10-16-2005, 05:12 AM
I've always envisioned a group of people, men mostly, getting ready to burn down the fields of a man they hated back in the 1600s.

As the fire raged, the fumes of the tobacco filled the air and they inhaled it no matter which way they turned. The fire grew out of control, but in their mad dashes to get it put out with soaked rags, the snare of tobacco grabbed their psyches and hooked them. After the fire was finally exhausted, the parched men decided to do more burns, but in smaller, controlled environments.

Eventually one of them grew wise to the fact that they didn't truly hate the men whose land they were destroying. They just wanted the tobacco. He figured out a way to concentrate a small amount in a piece of oilpaper, and the rest was history.

11-05-2005, 03:04 AM
Iíve been smoking most of my adult life and have no wish to quit. Iíll probably be doing it until the day I die and I doubt tobacco will be a contributing factor. I enjoy smoking and donít see it as any kind of health issue except that maybe anger can kill me.

When you get away from all the anti-smoking propaganda, there isnít any real proof that tobacco can harm a normally healthy human being. I concur that if it will irritate your lungs, but so will a multitude of other substances. People with unhealthy lungs should stay away from tobacco,certainly. Possibly people with heart diseases although Iím not certain of that aspect. You see its impossible without taking a few years of medical school to find out facts about tobacco. The subject is so clouded at the moment that you canít pick up an unbiased tome to find out.

Most of whatís called proof is in statistics. I remember my first course on statistics. The first three chapters explained how they could be biased to prove a point. Statistics are NEVER proof of anything. By their nature, they can only be used to show trends. And only then if taken in an unbiased manner and as comprehensively as possible. In short, statistics taken to prove a specific point are always suspect. If Ford motors, for instance, wanted to bring out the Edsel Three, they might commission a study. Since billions of dollars would depend on the answer, they would make every effort to do it honestly. Certainly they would want a good result, but theyíd also want an honest one. Statistics against tobacco are the opposite, to prove a point. It took four studies to show that secondhand smoke was bad for you. Each time they would loosen the criteria until they got the result they wanted. By then it was so loose that it was thrown out by a Federal Court.

It galls me that kids have been taught all these years that tobacco is bad for them, all with no or damn little real proof.

Iím in my sixties and grew up with seventy or eighty percent of adults smoking. I also grew up on a farm where we used DDT. I remember going to grade school where the school was fixing the ceilings. Asbestos, both old and new, was piled in the hallways. Us kids sat on it, even threw it at each other. Iíve worked in diesel garages, driven autos all my life, and ingested many tons of hydrocarbons into my lungs and stomach. Now, you can damn well bet that when I get sick someone will only ask if I smoked. Get real people. There are a great many things that just might cause cancer, many still unknown to us, why pick on one specific product?

As to the smell, thatís just conditioning. Think about it a moment without those conditioned preconceptions. For a good many years, since before this country was founded, many scientists and experts were paid good money to get as good a taste and smell to tobacco products as possible. How could it smell so evilly except that youíve been taught that since you were a kid? That point just doesnít make sense. If it smelled so bad people wouldnít have even started to smoke. Medically, you can get it out of your system in about ten days. The reason its so hard to quit is simply because, deep inside you, you canít accept that itís so evil. Admit it. It gives you pleasure, calms your nerves, gives you something to mark time with, a cigarette break.

Oscar Rat

11-05-2005, 04:03 AM
You know, I really like you Oscar. Welcome aboard. I hope you stick around.

(Watch out for the fanatics, though...they're myriad.)

11-05-2005, 02:18 PM
You're both smoking way too much of something!

It's your hair, Kevin. And when I finish this one, you'll be bald.

11-15-2005, 07:04 AM
I thought it would be relaxing. Funny thing was every time I lit one up, I would take one drag and put it down and then get so busy I'd forget about it until it burned itself out.

01-15-2006, 11:13 AM
Why did someone start smoking tobacco?

Because it was no good as a garnish?