Smoking Tales of a Six Year Old


The first time I had a cigarette, albeit only a drag or two was at the tender age of six years old.  My best friend was in the position of having both parents as smokers, and having watched them role for the earliest formative years of his life had got it into his head to give it a try.  I lived within the grounds of my first school, both sets of our parents were teachers, and thus we had free reign over playing fields and climbing frames in the afternoons.  

My friend suggested that we do something a little naughty, not a new concept, as previous exploits had seen us steal such delights as magnets from classrooms, setting fire to interesting looking chemicals with “FLAMMABLE” written on the side, or on one spectacular occasion drinking a bottle of cider vinegar in the belief that the cider part would have an effect on us.

We wended our way to his parents car where he knew his parents stubbed out their rollies in an ashtray on the door, being the early 1990’s, the car was still open and we bundled in, grabbed some reeking butts and a lighter and scrambled off to a wooded area within the schools grounds.  I hardly recall whether I found the taste offensive or not, most likely due to only a drag or so being left in each butt, but do remember the situation; huddled under a muddy bank under a tree feeling like escaped prisoners or spies on a mission.  

I hardly think I realised the consequences of starting a career in inhaling tobacco at the time, but knew that it was “a bad thing” which I was under no circumstances to relate to my parents.  Furthermore it was of paramount importance that we cover our tracks.  We buried the fag butt, deeper than was strictly necessary, just in case an investigation ensued and ate slightly green apples from the trees in the garden to cover our breath.  My best friend went on to be a smoker and still is to this day, I however, did not inhale until the much older and wiser age of 9, when I was given a drag of my first spliff, but that’s a story for another day.