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?
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.