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Disgusting habits ...  [message #69699] Tue, 26 May 2015 16:07 Go to next message
NW is currently offline  NW

On fire!
Location: Worcester, England
Registered: January 2005
Messages: 1560

I've just given up smoking (again!) - hopefully for the final time. But my record is patchy: I started smoking at age nine, gave up at thirteen, started again at sixteen, gave up when I was 51, started again at 54, gave up for nearly six months last year (aged 58/59), and have so far been free of cigarettes since the beginning of February, and so succeeded in being a non-smoker at the age of 60. Now that I'm officially retired, I don't have "the stresses of work" as an excuse!

It got me to wondering, though.

Nearly all the teenagers I know smoke. Many, perhaps most, give it up in their late teens or early 20s - often on leaving school, or leaving University/College. But the stories dealing with teens, both here and elsewhere, very rarely feature smokers, of any age, though there are plentiful descriptions of the early-morning coffee, and wonderful cups of tea! I'm not sure why this should be ... perhaps the authors (having reached the age of discretion/giving up) don't want to portray smoking for fear of glamourising it? Perhaps the teens the authors know don't actually smoke? Perhaps nearly everyone who writes these kinds of stories is a lifelong non-smoker? I'd be interested in what others - whether writers or not - think.

Off-hand, I can only think of one story sequence where the main characters smoked regularly (the wonderful Foley-Mashburn Saga, by Brew Maxwell), out of the several hundred I've read over the years.

And what about electronic "cigarettes", or "vaping" as it seems to be becoming known? Do kids go for these? I've just started, as part of my giving-up process, but most of the users I see around the place are late 20s to early 40s.

"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. ... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars." Martin Luther King
I was a lifelong smoker...  [message #69700 is a reply to message #69699] Tue, 26 May 2015 17:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
The Gay Deceiver is currently offline  The Gay Deceiver

Really getting into it
Location: Canada
Registered: December 2003
Messages: 869

... started out of necessity in my very early teens to combat an allergy to tobacco smoke that the quacks had discovered I had.  I found a cigarette or two a day deadened the nerve endings in my nasal passages and this allowed me to tolerate the 4-pack-a-day smokers in my family who resided under the same roof as I.  Funny how that works out, isn't it?  Not.  As I ended up smoking for the next 50-years, and today, in addition to damage done to my lungs during my open-heart surgery almost 5-years ago now, I have been diagnosed with chronic COPD.

Amazingly, quitting was exceptionally easy when I got right down to it:  My eldest son Alan and I had attended our family physician for routine maintenance.  She had finished with me and was about to call Alan in for his go, when she turned to me and said "Warren, I think earlier, before coming here, you had had your last cigarette for the day, didn't you?"  I replied "Do you think so?  Ummm, OK."

Twenty minutes later awaiting the bus home outside the medical centre, I rolled a cigarette for my son; but, none for myself.  When we next transfer buses, I rolled another cigarette for my son; and again, none for myself.  When we disembarked the bus for the walk on the final leg of our journey home, I paused to rolled one more for my son; and once more none for myself.

Upon arrival home, shedding our outerwear and shoes and otherwise getting settled which included my making the first pot of coffee for the day, my son turned to me asking as I finished pouring, black for me, fully loaded for him "You going to have a cigarette now?"  "No" I replied "I've quit."  And that was that, it will be 6-years now this coming August.

Admittedly I had been aggressively cutting back for 12-months or more before, going from the equivalent of 4-cartons a month to less than one at the time my Doctor planted the suggestion.  Surprisingly in the interval, I've had no cravings, no nothing.  I've quit.  I can handle the stuff for others, I can be in the same room with them while they are smoking so long as the room is well ventilated (air-conditioning is a blessing in this regard) the whole enchilada; but, I have no desire to ever again pick up the habit.

Warren C. E. Austin
The Gay Deceiver
Toronto, Canada

[Updated on: Tue, 26 May 2015 17:10]

"... comme recherché qu'un délice callipygian"
Re: Disgusting habits ...  [message #69703 is a reply to message #69699] Tue, 26 May 2015 20:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13757

I wonder, might it be as simple as "I don't smoke, so I can't write about it"?

Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Disgusting habits ...  [message #69704 is a reply to message #69699] Tue, 26 May 2015 23:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ray is currently offline  Ray

Getting started
Location: Sydney, Australia
Registered: July 2014
Messages: 26

I am honestly surprised you say most teenagers you know smoke. I never did. My boys are late teens: neither ever smoked and hardly any of their friends do (or did) either. 
Here it seems to have lost much of its former cooling-out effect amongst youngsters.

My book is almost finished, and the only appearance smoking makes there is that I don't like kissing ashtrays.
I do agree that it is interesting that it is so rare in stories: maybe we are a group with minority interests?
Re: Disgusting habits ...  [message #69710 is a reply to message #69704] Wed, 27 May 2015 23:23 Go to previous message

Likes it here
Location: Earth
Registered: April 2013
Messages: 276

I'm actually with Ray on this - most of the teenagers I've know don't smoke (or at least don't admit to it or make it obvious that they do, if they do).  I also haven't ever written smoking or any other drug use into any of my stories; the short stories over on Nifty just never had any room for such things, and in the longer stories like "An Apprentice's Adventures" there was just never an opportunity, just because there was never really any place where any sort of reference to drug use was really needed (although in one story I have on Nifty, there is a passing reference to an alien version of coffee, if one considers coffee a "disgusting" habit in the context of this thread).
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