The Roots of My Addiction I've been a smoker for four years now; however, just recently (over the past eight months) I've really been sucking down the Marlboro's. Now it seems like every time I find myself with another cigarette in my mouth I'm asking myself "Why?" . Once I think about it for a while I realize that I had no chance even when I was just a thought in my parents mind. My mother was a smoker since she was twelve years old.

So by the time she found out she was pregnant with me she was already physically addicted to cigarettes. As I developed I was being given all the nutrients and other chemicals she put into her body. One of those chemicals being the nicotine that 'hooks' people onto smoking every day. My mother is a caring women, though, so she did manage to cut down to four cigarettes a week instead of her usually three packs a week. Over a span of nine months those four cigarettes a week add up to a total of, approximately, one hundred and ten cigarettes.

So the nicotine from one hundred and ten cigarettes was already flowing through my body before I even came out of the womb. Then once I came into this world there was no longer any reason for my mother to continue cutting down on her habit, so she picked right back up to where she was before. I've heard (from people I know, television, and the news) that a person is most impressionable in the first seven years of their life. During this time is when their environment that they live in will develop the type of person that they will be for the rest of their lives. This could be another root of my addiction. Because for the first seven years of my life my mother smoked like a chimney.

She smoked until my father got so fed up with it he threatened to leave if she couldn't control her habit. Since their still happily married today, one can probably guess what she decided to do. But for those seven years of my life I watched her smoke every day. I remember one day I got enough nerve to ask her if I could smoke with her.

As a little kid I wanted to be just like my parents. She looked down at me through a cloud of smoke and told me that I should never smoke because it was bad for me. One of those speeches where I should do what she says and not as she does, but we all know that that never works. Thankfully my mother did end up quitting while I was still young or I probably would have started a lot earlier than I did. When I got into the freshman year of high school it was like the first seven years of my life all over again. I have always been one of the 'popular' kids in school and because of that I tended to run with a much older crowd.

Most of the people I hung out with were already eighteen and could buy their own cigarettes. So when ever I would hang out with them they would always offer me a cigarette. I thought this was the greatest thing in the world. When I took that cigarette from them, put it in my mouth, and lit it up I felt older; like an adult.

It felt good not to be treated like some kid any more because now I'm smoking a cigarette just like the older kids do. At first it made me cough to inhale, but after a while it didn't. Then I started to get light headed, and it made my whole body really calm. I loved it! Furthermore, I wasn't coughing and gagging every time I exercised, my teeth weren't yellow, and I wasn't falling over dead on the floor like I was told I would.

I never got to see the down side of smoking, only the up. So I continued to do it. During this time I wasn't smoking like I do now because after a while people get sick of handing out their cigarettes to some kid that never can get his own. This is really all that held me back from making smoking a habitual thing. Once I turned eighteen, however, this wonderful country said that it was alright for me to buy my own. By this time I had a job, and the law allowed me to smoke whenever I wanted.

It never was a problem for me to keep it away from my parents either, but even if they did know there wasn't really anything that they could do about it. So what was used to be a thing I would do to feel older, now became a thing that I did just because I could. It didn't make it any easier that I was around it even more now that I was older. I still hung around with that same crew I did before, as well as new people that smoked. My best friend Jake, for example. We would hang out with each other a lot during the course of a week.

During this time we would usually party, or whatever else came to mind. The one thing each event seemed to have in common was that we both had a cigarettes in our mouth. If I didn't have any left, he would give me some, and vise versa. Another example would be my girlfriend. If I wasn't with Jake I would be with her, and sometimes both of them at the same time. The same rules applied.

Whoever had cigarettes would share with the person who didn't. I thought that this was kind of nice. Everyone was helping out each other. The thing is we were all just hurting ourselves even more by giving each other cigarettes. When, instead, we should have been encouraging each other to stop. Now it is too late.

All of us are physically addicted to them. We no longer do it because it makes us feel older, or because we can get away with it and we know there isn't anyone to stop us. We do it because we can't stop. Our bodies physically need that nicotine their so used to having. Myself in particular, if I go even a few days without smoking for whatever reason I'll get headaches, my hands will shake, and if it's real bad I'll feel nauseated.

These are all the things that people have to go through when they " re trying to quit. I have enough stress in my life with school and trying to maintain a long-distance relationship without having to be worried about quitting smoking. So I continue to do it. I know that there will always be some kind of stress in my life, but I'm a strong enough person to know when it is time to stop. Right now I'm only hurting myself, and I'm fine with that. When it starts to hurt anyone else, like my children, I will be forced to stop.

I wouldn't want my children to smoke, and I'll do everything I can to prevent that. Until then I don't see myself stopping because I don't have anything in my life that would make me want to.