Blowing smoke: My 30-year love affair with cigarettes

What made me, a woman who has spent most of the past 20 years editing and writing for health magazines - continue to engage in something as stupid as smoking?

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Published in More Magazine in September 2007

I started smoking when my best friend, Marilyn Haydenluck* offered me a Du Maurier Light in the Grade 9 schoolyard.

Already suffering from "minor-niner" high school anxiety and a desperate need to fit in, I lacked the guts to just say no.

As I inhaled my first drag of nicotine, praying that I wouldn't sputter and cough and thus display my obvious inexperience, I wondered how anyone could possibly enjoy the taste of bitter tar in their mouth, the burning sensation of smoke in their lungs.

Within days I was hooked. It would be 30 years before I quit.

What made me, an educated, otherwise fit, middle-aged mom with two young daughters, a woman who has spent most of the past 20 years editing and writing for health magazines - continue to engage in something as stupid as smoking?

Well, it's complicated.

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