Why Do People Smoke?

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cigaretteI know I did it. My best friend Kim Snelling and I wanted to be cool in the summer after the eighth grade. We snuck her mom's cigarettes and tried them on the slide at the elementary school playground. Our throats hurt. But we were hooked.

I smoked off and on until I was 28 years old. I smoked as a teen, college student and then during the breakup of my short, first marriage. I can't believe I did that now. It was crazy to pay money for packs of cigarettes that will just wind up killing me. I quit for good and forever by my 29th birthday.

This is the question smart health blogger Marijke: nurse turned writer asked on her blog this week. She says that sure, as a teen, some of us think it's cool or do it because of peer pressure. But why do we continue to do it when a) we have to stand outside in the cold and rain and heat for smoke breaks, b) it's very expensive, c) it's not good for us?

Check out this interesting online map from Good that tells us the areas of the U.S. where the most Americans are still smoking. I am from the state of Kentucky where the most people in the country still light up--28.6 percent. Maybe that's why I did it. I grew up in tobacco country.

Are you trying to quit? Check out the Stop Smoking Support Group and see my recent post on No More Addictions: Stop Smoking & Other Bad Habits.

What do you think? Did you ever smoke or do you still? Why?

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