I have never smoked a cigarette. There are different reasons for this. The first one is because my friends in high school never smoked. I participated in band activities and smoking was not something that the band people did. There were students in my school who I suspected of smoking, but I never spent time with them because they had an aggressive personality that did not appeal to me. They also did not try to include me in their social circle because of my dad.
For most of my time in high school my dad worked as the police officer for my school. My dad was well liked by everyone and everyone also knew I was his daughter. Since the main group of people who smoked were under age and did drugs, they did not associate with me because of the fear of getting caught. My dad also knew the people who had been caught with drugs and told me to avoid them because he did not want me to get pressured into starting drugs.
After I graduated from high school and started college, my father’s status as a police officer did not matter anymore. For my on-campus job I met several people who smoked. I would sit with them on their smoke breaks when I was not working. They asked me if I smoked and when I replied “no”, they told me never to start.
My off-campus job was at a gas station. I worked at the register and behind me was a wall filled with a variety of cigarettes. In the U.S. the majority of the price of cigarettes is tax that the state puts on them. This causes the price of cigarettes to go up periodically, which makes the price of a pack of cigarettes unappealing to people who do not smoke. Seeing the price of cigarettes also deterred me from trying them because I did not want to spend money on a pack of cigarettes just to try one since I did not plan to smoke the whole pack. The reason I wouldn’t smoke the whole pack was for health reasons.
All throughout grade school I was taught about the negative effects of smoking. Pictures comparing a healthy pink lung with a black, smoke damaged lung accosted my young eyes. The idea of tar in my lungs and losing my sense of smell and taste scared me. Now I know that these affects do not take effect until after smoking for a long time, but I have never wanted to be tempted to keep smoking after trying one cigarette.
When I was growing up I was not exposed to cigarettes. The only person I knew that smoked was my grandpa and I did not see him often because where he lived took a four-hour drive to get there. It wasn’t until after I graduated from high school that I became more exposed to people who smoked. By that time I wasn’t going to succumb to peer-pressure and the people I was with were not going to pressure me into smoking with them. They also encouraged me to never start. The most peer-pressure I got to smoke came from a customer at the gas station I worked at.
The lady bought a small pack of cigarettes. It was half the size of the other packs and I became extremely curious about how twenty cigarettes fit inside the tiny box. When the lady bought them I asked her if I could see what they looked like. She opened the pack and pulled one out. The cigarette was skinnier then normal which allowed for the box to be half the size of a normal pack but still contain the same number of cigarettes. She started offering one of the cigarettes to me saying I could have it. I said no and she offered two more times before shrugging and leaving.
I think the main reason I have never smoked is because when I was in high school nobody pressured me into trying it. After high school, the people I spent time with didn’t feel the need to pressure me into smoking. The result is I have never smoked in my life and I probably never will.