An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

A story about a "casual" smoker

Discussion in 'Tobacco / Nicotine' started by Juan, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. Juan

    Juan Active Contributor


    I started smoking cigarettes when I was 11 years old.

    As with many kids, smoking came to me through a little peer pressure, combined with low self-esteem and wanting to feel "cool". At the time, there weren't any age restrictions in my country for buying cigarettes, so my friends and I would save up and buy a pack of cigarettes and go to a friend's house (sometimes my own), and smoke while our parents were at work.

    Being young and naive, and since I never really bought a pack for cigarettes for my consumption only, I labeled myself a "casual" smoker. Since I would only smoke in social gatherings, or hanging out with people who smoked, then I wasn't really smoking every day. This kept going through adolescence and young adulthood. I had about half a dozen girlfriends from 16 to 29, most of them didn't like cigarettes, so I'd end up smoking behind their backs or going out with friends who didn't mind my habit.

    At the workplace it became a costume. A couple in the morning, a couple in the afternoon, sometimes more, depending on how stressful my day was. I started buying packs of cigarettes more frequently.

    When I turned 30, I started realizing that I wasn't as agile as I was in my twenties. Since I had gained around 20 pounds from when I was 21, I thought it had to do with my weight. However, I started going out with this woman who really, really hates cigarettes. While I still smoked behind her back, because of all the time I spent with her I ended up smoking less. Believe it or not, it gave me a significant improvement on my life. I started doing some excercise, and smoking less, although I was still seeing myself as a "casual" smoker, so I wasn't planning on quitting completely either.

    When I decided I wanted to marry this woman, one of the concerns I had was that I would have to quit smoking. When I realized that it WAS a concern, I understood that I was never really a "casual" or occasional smoker. I had been smoking for two thirds of my life. And while I was fooling myself thinking that I could quit whenever I wanted, the fact is I never meant to quit in the first place.

    Long story short ('cause this is too long already), I married, quit smoking and never felt better. My endurance at every physical activity improved, and yes, I also mean endurance at what you're thinking right now... One of the things that helped me the most was learning to substitute the habit with other activities.

    It's only been four months since I quit, but it's still the longest I've been without smoking since I was 11 years old.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2014
    MichelleVL and xTinx like this.
  2. stariie

    stariie Community Champion

    Congratulations on being cigarette-smoke free for 4 months. It's too bad that you started smoking at such a young age, because 11 years old is almost just a baby, but it's great that you have been able to stop smoking now for your health, and for a better lifestyle with the woman you married.

    I have smoked on and off for years. I haven't smoked in a while, thank goodness. I can definitely tell the difference in my energy level between the times that I smoke on a daily basis to those times that I don't. I just feel better over-all when I don't smoke.

    Continued success to you.
  3. DaniMiranda

    DaniMiranda Member

    I commend you! Just one day smoke free is something to be proud of. I share many of your experiences and I understand your journey. Don't give up!
    stariie likes this.
  4. Askani

    Askani Active Contributor

    Good job and congratulations on quitting. It helps when you have someone to quit for, but it sounds like you were quitting for yourself also. It will be a hard journey and you aren't out of the woods yet. Be strong and just remember how long you have been smoke free when you are tempted to light back up. Good luck.
    stariie likes this.
  5. jackslivi

    jackslivi Active Contributor

    It is hard to quit smoking! You should be patting yourself on the back! Remember when it comes to an addiction you have to look forward instead of back. Isn't it amazing what love makes us do? I am glad you found the one who really made it clear to you what was going on. All addictions usually start off causal but the best thig about it is, is that the person who has the addiction usually realizes what is going on without someone pressuring you into quiting and making it harder for you.
  6. Davienna

    Davienna Community Champion

    Awesome, I love when people can use their natural willpower to quit even though hard it may be. The key is to teach your mind to control the body and not the other way around. Your body may feel hot but you should be able to use your mental power to cool down, just the same way you may feel for cigarettes or alcohol you can use your mind to tell the body that you don't want it. Easier said than done eh, but it can be done.
  7. Survivor21

    Survivor21 Member

    Congratulations on quitting smoking and thank you for sharing your story. It's really inspiring. I'm also struggling with quitting smoking. I already quit once through sheer willpower, but sadly I started again. I'm going to try again, and this time I'm determined to kick the habit for good. Wish me luck!
  8. notodrugs

    notodrugs Community Listener Community Listener

    Congratulations Juan! I wish you more power and determination to finally end smoking.

    Aside from having someone to inspire you to quit, always think of the positive effects it has on you. You've already done it and that's good enough reason and motivation to quit smoking for good.

    All the best to you and to your marriage as well!
  9. clptwo00

    clptwo00 Member

    I can completely relate to this. I've been a "casual" smoker for about 12 years now and at some point I know I need to just accept that I am addicted to cigarettes. Since I've been a smoker, I've occasionally gone a few months without smoking and thought that proved how in control of the habit I was. Without fail though, I'd have one or two social cigarettes at a party, then a couple in the morning the next day, and in no time at all I was up to a half pack a day.

    For me, as with many addicts, the hardest part about smoking is the lack of control I have. It gets me down on myself to not be able to quit so it usually tags along with drinking and losing interest in all my physical activities. So smoking for me is never just smoking and it's encouraging to see that you did away with it by replacing it with healthy activities. I have noticed that every time I quit, I am almost automatically more active and feeling stronger.

    Today is November 1st and I have already challenged myself not to smoke or have a drink this month -- time to hit the gym!
  10. maryannballeras

    maryannballeras Senior Contributor

    You are such an inspiration. I know a lot of people who just can't quit smoking, and you're one of the very few who can. Kudos to you and continue living clean!
  11. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    11 years old! No that is so young. I don't even know what that does to a child. Still developing your whole body. It can't be good. Well thank god somebody got you to stop. Fall in love and want to spend the rest of your life with someone. Yes it is a very good reason to change. Reminds me of the famous last words. Oh he'll never change. You'll never change him. Love does wonderful things. Good for you.
    I guess some people have not actually been in love to know something like this.
  12. Joethefirst

    Joethefirst Community Champion

    Well done.: ) A very inspiring story. The longest I have been with out smoking was a month, and yes I felt great, but stupidly I tried a cigarette and got hooked again. Never forget there isn't just one cigarette, you will become hooked again.
  13. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    Congratualations! Quitting smoking is so hard but the benefits are immesurable, as you are finding out. Here's to a smoke free future : )
  14. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    I hope you are currently doing well. It's been a year since you shared to us your story. Hopefully, you were able to start a new leaf and are living happily with your family. You were only a casual smoker but your love for your family was enough to encourage you to change.
  15. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    Congratulations on quitting smoking, I think that this shows that it doesn't matter how long you've been doing it, with the willpower and the right kind of motivation then anybody can achieve it.

    Motivation is a key factor as it was in your case, and I think that's why a lot of people will fall back into the habit. They want to quit, but they don't have a reason.
  16. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Congratulations both for being able to quit smoking and being a newly wed. :)
    True that anything is possible with love and strong will power. Even you have been smoking for almost all of your life, you can still manage to totally quit.
  17. p4lse

    p4lse Member

    That's a really uplifting story! The things the person you love could bring in your life is beyond anything. I'm glad you're clean now and you're also happy to embrace it. All the best with your life and never go back!
  18. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    You will probably end up with more stamina after quitting too. That's one benefit of not smoking, you won't get winded after a work out as fast. You can really feel the difference. I have heard of people who can smoke and work out also. But over all quitting is better for your health.
  19. MichelleVL

    MichelleVL Senior Contributor

    What I great story Juan! I'm so happy that you were able to quit. I've been trying to quit for a while and have still been unsuccessful. I started out casually as well, I would smoke with my friends from college in the weekends, and then I started smoking more and more. After a year or 2 I started buying my own packs, and that is when I realized I had a problem. I haven't been able to stop since. I'm so happy that you were able to find someone that could motivate you to put the best of yourself forward. Keep up the good work!
  20. cpinatsi

    cpinatsi Senior Contributor

    Setting up a goal in life really helps overcome things such as smoking and drinking for example. I always try to focus my energy into something productive such as sports, and basketball in particular.