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AIBU to not understand why people start smoking?

(88 Posts)
Mirrorwriting Tue 22-May-18 20:22:22

I’m in my 40s. Everyone my age and younger grew up knowing smoking will kill you and probably painfully. So why do people START?

I know they CONTINUE because they are addicted, but WHY start? Omg.

Is it that they watch old ladies aged 115 who say they smoked a cigar every day of their lives and thank, yes that’ll be me, not the 32 year old with smoking related amputations?

I read the previous quit smoking thread here and saw the WhyQuit website and still genuinely can’t understand why one would start.

Teenagers surely don’t think the yellow teeth and smell are ‘cool’, let alone emphysema and cancer. Is it simply rebellion. (Literally sometimes) cutting your nose off to spite your face?

A conscious act of self-harm/slow suicide?

chocolatestrawberries Tue 22-May-18 20:39:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

chocolatestrawberries Tue 22-May-18 20:39:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Justmuddlingalong Tue 22-May-18 20:40:51

To annoy non smokers, in the beer garden in summer?

KirstenRaymonde Tue 22-May-18 20:42:06

I don’t smoke anymore (occasionally when pissed) but I started at 13 because I wanted to harm myself and I didn’t think I’d live long enough for it to matter anyway. I quit at 22, I’m now 30.

lulu12345 Tue 22-May-18 20:43:11

I think most smokers start as teenagers when you genuinely do believe you’re invincible from a health perspective and you can’t see beyond how grown up and cool you’ll look puffing away in front of your mates (that was my thinking anyway blush).

Canwejustrelaxnow Tue 22-May-18 20:44:25

It is as cool as fuck when you're young.

You never think you'll get old.

You probably think you'll just quit when you've had enough.

dudsville Tue 22-May-18 20:44:38

I was 11. It was a combination of non existence parents, access to cigarettes and no sense of my own existence and what else I might do with my life. Can you really not grasp this kind of situation op?

YerAuntFanny Tue 22-May-18 20:45:04

YANBU. I started at 13 (I'm 31) because most of my friends did it and it gave us something to do at breaktime.

It's bizarre really, why anyone ever thought it was a good idea to pick up a chemical filled stick, set fire to it then shove it in their mouth is beyond me.

I say that as an ex-full time smoker who still can't kick the habit of smoking when i get so much as sniff of alcohol!

MiggeldyHiggins Tue 22-May-18 20:45:20

Because they don;t give a shite. I started smoking at about 12, what did I care that it would probably kill me when I was 65?

RomeoBunny Tue 22-May-18 20:45:46

I'm not addicted. Many people are not. They just enjoy it. I smoke maybe 3 or 4 times a year. Why? Because it tastes absolutely delicious with a cold beer on a cool summers night, or in winter with a hot coffee outside in the garden.

I can pick them up and put them down whenever without issue or cravings. I can go months or years happily without.

My last pack of 20 were binned with 16 still in them as they'd gone beyond stale after 2 months in my car.

Maybe I buck the trend shrug

Blizzardagain Tue 22-May-18 20:45:54

We all do things we know aren't good for us. Not exercising, not eating healthy enough, drinking a little more than we should etc. Most adults I know have to work hard at these. Mix in being a teenager/young adult and the emotional rollercoaster a lot of us go through at a younger age it's no surprise surely?

SerenDippitty Tue 22-May-18 20:47:56

Most people don’t enjoy their first cigarette do they? It seems to take some effort to get addicted.

MistAmougstElephants Tue 22-May-18 20:48:15

Woaahhh there OP judgey much? Some of us used to be teenagers and teenagers aren't exactly known for their consequential thinking skills, then you grow up and your like 'fuck I actually crave this death stick in a worrying kind of way'.

NotUmbongoUnchained Tue 22-May-18 20:48:37

Because all my friends were doing it. I have an occasional fag now and then. I do still enjoy it. Might also have a puff on my husbands morning joint!

Calic0 Tue 22-May-18 20:48:49

I was 16. It was the late 90s, height of Brit Pop and smoking was still cool - cool enough that, as a teen, believing myself to be immortal, the benefits outweighed the risks. And, do you know, I enjoyed smoking - from that very first cigarette.

I’m 37 now, have more or less quit for good (occasional lapse when our drinking). I know that it is an expensive, ridiculous, stinking habit but a very small part of me will always kind of love it.

Runningshorts Tue 22-May-18 20:50:30

I started at 11.

11 year olds don't always make the best decisions, or think about consequences.

(I've since quit)

DaisysStew Tue 22-May-18 20:53:58

Because I was 14 and terrible things happened to other people and not me.

I’m obviously fully aware now and do panic about dying a horrible, premature death from cancer, emphysema, heart disease etc... but fuck me I just love a ciggie..

SleepFreeZone Tue 22-May-18 20:54:04

I started smoking at 16 because I wanted to rebel and thought it was cool. I gave up about four years later, I was done.

Mari50 Tue 22-May-18 20:55:46

I started smoking because friends were doing it and I thought it would give an extra buzz with the alcohol.
I kept smoking because everywhere I looked in the media cool people were smoking (this was the 90’s and yes, I’m very impressionable) I genuinely thought it was cool as fuck. But I always hated the smell, couldn’t ever smoke on a regular basis because it stank.
I gave up over a decade ago, was really easy. I now think smoking looks shit (and even more so when you’re over 35.)

NewDOOFUSfor18 Tue 22-May-18 20:56:56

I started smoking at 10 years old after my lazy ass mother would send me downstairs to light her fags on the cooker when she couldn't be arsed to get out of bed. I remember being so curious and started toking as I walked up the stairs, 25 years later I still smoke. However, despite this, my 6 year old has never seen me with a cigarette and never will as I have always waited until he is in bed or at school.

I don't know why I'm sharing this tbh, your OP was rather fucking pompous and somewhat judgy....OMG.

Robinkitty Tue 22-May-18 21:00:52

I started smoking at 15 to help me loose weight. Skip lunch and have a Diet Coke and a fag. I’ve given up now.

Mirrorwriting Tue 22-May-18 21:10:10

I’m not trying to be pompous. Most other bad things we do are understandable. This is not.

It’s like seeing a news story where people are popping their eyeballs because sticking a needle in your tear ducts is the new thing and people say it feels great. Why the fuck would one do that when it’s pretty obvious what could easily go wrong.

I suppose it’s just mainly down to kids being stupid then becoming addicted.

Those of you who smoke go to and download the book. Can anyone find the link to the other smoking thread?

All you still smoking, even though some of you are CFs and goady and all the rest, not one of you mumsnetters deserves to lose their life over this, or to suffer painful illnesses, amputations or death. I wish I could will people to stop as the consequences are awful.

NotUmbongoUnchained Tue 22-May-18 21:14:12

Why is it any of your business?

Mirrorwriting Tue 22-May-18 21:16:26

Is anything on mumsnet anyone’s business?

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