My first cigarette

I smoked my first cigarette when I was fifteen at break-time at school since then after many years smoking this year was the first time that I've seriously tried to stop.

I think, there were several factors that rouse me to smoke that first cigarette; firstly there was curiosity, next experimentation, peer pressure and the last of the need to feel like an adult.

At that time there were many stimuli around us that stir us to smoke. Music, films and media publicity that invites teens to enter the adult world. We are bombarded with messages with values attached that appeal to young people; freedom, security, self-confidence, autonomy, friendship, maturity, popularity, pleasure, adventure...smoking in a time of stress or nervous tension has a relaxing effect.

The biggest stars of film and music appeared in movies or in magazines giving us a picture of glamour or sophistication. These stars were our icons. We imitated their ways of dress, their hair and their cigarettes as well, they were an example for us. The image of some great actors of actresses from the big screen as Humphrey Bogart, Robert Mitchun, Yul Brime, Steve McQueen, all died of lung cancer as a result of tobacco, others popular stars such as Bette Davis, Groucho Marx and Marilyn Monroe are strongly linked with to cigarettes, even today after their death.

Time has passed and now the big stars are trying not to be so open about smoking because there are rules that prohibit it or because it is not good publicity for themselves and for society.

For my part I keep trying to quit smoking because I do not want to live behind a curtain of smoke and attached to something that takes away my freedom and independence, and now I think that it is important to have information and educate from prevention and not from rehabilitation when harm is done.