The Six Weeks

(by, 01 March 1997)

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Article 33617 of
From: (Stu Bash)
Subject: ASFS: The Six Weeks (A Story)
Date: Sat, 01 Mar 1997 05:23:04 GMT
Organization: SB Sports Wagering
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The Six Weeks

Karina awoke to the smell of cigarette smoke.  God damn it, she
thought, as she hid under the covers to get away from the smell, "What
do I have to do to get away from these things?"  At 16 years old, she
had always hated the smell of the tobacco smoke which seemed to come
interminably from the kitchen as she awoke each morning.  This
morning, she was going to do something about it!  As she got out of
bed, she glanced at the clock.  6:45 and she's at it already!  All
Karina could think about was the disgusting smell of the smoke that
seemed to permeate throughout the entire house 24 hours a day.
Quietly opening her bedroom door, she peered out into the hall, where
she had a good view of the dining room and kitchen.  Here Mom, Keiko,
was quietly sitting at the table, with a freshly lit Salem 100 in her
hand.  Her elbow was propped on the kitchen table, with the cigarette
propped up next to her ear.  Yuck!  Karina hated this sight more than
anything.  How could her mom be so stupid?  Didn't she know what she
was doing to her body?  She quietly watched as her mother took the
cigarette to her mouth and sucked on it for what seemed like an
eternity.  She then opened her mouth and breathed in deeply.  After a
few seconds, Keiko opened her mouth and blew a thin stream of smoke
across the room.  This must stop, thought Karina.  But how?  She had
pleaded mercilessly with her mother on several occasions to stop this
filthy habit.  All to no avail.

Brrrinnngggg!!  It was the phone.  As her Mom went into the den to
answer it, Karina raced into action.  Her first target was the
cigarette left burning in the ashtray on the table.  She grabbed it
and took it into the kitchen, quickly dousing it in the kitchen sink
and washing it down the drain.  Her next target was the pack of Salem
100s.  She grabbed them and twisted like she had never twisted before!
Back and forth, up and down, until there was no way possible that
anyone could smoke them.  Then she dumped them in the trash can under
the sink.  Feeling a little bit scared at what she had done, Karina
retreated to her bedroom, where she laid in her bed and waited for the
inevitable to happen.  About 30 seconds later, the door opened slowly
and her mom walked in the bedroom.  Karina!  Where are my cigarettes?
Karina!  After realizing that feigning sleep would do her no good,
Karina got up to face the music.  "Mom, I hate the smell of your
smoke!!  I'm sorry, but you should quit!!"  "Karina, where are my
cigarettes," repeated Keiko.  "All right, they're under the sink,"
replied Karina.  "I talk to you later, " said Keiko, as she left the

Karina Nagasaki had always been a very strong-willed girl, which was
very alien to her mother.  Keiko was born and raised in Japan and had
moved to the U.S. from Japan when she was 20 years old and pregnant
with Karina.  Being unmarried, she was fearful of the reaction of her
family and friends in Tokyo.  She knew that the U.S. was much more
tolerant of this sort of behavior and she could blend in much more
naturally in such an environment.  But she was still very much a
traditional Japanese girl at heart, and did not understand the
Americanized ways of her daughter, who, though she looked completely
Japanese, could not even speak the language!  Her Mom had tried to
teach her, but being the stubborn girl she was, Karina always
questioned why she needed to learn Japanese when she lived in America.
Karina was a very pretty girl, very much like her mother, who had been
involved in beauty pageants as a child, and had even won a few.
Karina was extremely outgoing and active in school events.  She was
the star player of the field hockey team, even though she was only a
Sophomore.  She also played basketball and softball. Although she was
quite pretty and looked very Japanese, she was decidedly un-Japanese
in almost every respect, from dating to her taste in clothes.

Karina heard nothing more from here mother that morning.  She got up
at her usual time of 7 am to prepare for school.  As she left at 7:45,
she said a simple "Siyonara," to her mother (one of the few phrases
she knew in Japanese) and was out the door.  She noticed that her
mother was smoking again as she left.  "She must have a million packs
in that house," she thought as she hurried to school.  She wondered
why her mother, who seemed to have everything going for her (beauty,
brains, a good job), would sacrifice all that to smoke 30 cigarettes a
day.  As she made her way to her homeroom, Karina noticed a group of
three girls smoking outside the school.  "How stupid," she thought.
"Why would they do that?"

As the day proceeded, Karina wondered what her Mom would do when she
got home from school.  At 16, she was too old to punish, she thought.
But surely here Mom would do something to voice her disapproval.  At 3
PM, the final bell rang, and Karina headed home, unsure of what
awaited her.  Her Mom, who worked as a beautician, would not be home
from work until about 5:30, and she waited listlessly and completed
her homework in her usual quick and impeccable fashion by 5.  When
Keiko arrived, she simply stated, "Karina, we need talk."  "We need TO
talk," said Karina, quickly correcting her.  "Oh yes, you perfect
English speaker," said Keiko.  She realized that Karina was far more
versed in correct English than her, and would not hesitate to
embarrass and correct her whenever she felt like it.

"Karina, you are bad child," said Keiko.  "You always do bad things to
your Mother.  You show no respect for elders, like you should."
Karina rolled her eyes, "Mom, its different here, kids are much more
advanced and, well, its just different!  And I don't like to smell
smoke!"  "Karina, I am smoker, and you must accept that.  I cannot
help it.  I made a bad choice many years ago, in Japan, and now I must
live with it."  Karina didn't quite understand what her Mom meant by
this.  "Mom, I care about you, and I can't understand why you smoke
those things."  Karina had never really paid much attention to
smokers, other than her Mom, and she obviously wasn't going to show
any empathy towards her mother, and when Keiko stated "Karina, you are
a beautiful young girl, but you show no respect.  Haven't you ever
heard that its hard to quit smoking?" her only reply was "How hard can
it be to stop sucking on white sticks and blowing out yucky smoke?  I
could do it in a minute!!  With that, she stormed off into her room,
slamming the door behind her.

It was only 6 pm, and Karina, stuck in her bedroom after her fight
with Keiko, was already done with her schoolwork.  After a few hours
of boredom in her room, Karina went into the kitchen, only to find her
Mom smoking yet another Salem 100.  "Well, Karina, you have come to
apologize?", said her Mom.  "Hell no, I'm just thirsty," said Karina,
walking past her Mom.  "You should just quit," she added.  She grabbed
some orange juice and proceeded back into her room.

Over the next few days, the only conversations between Keiko and her
daughter were short and all seemed to involve smoking.  "Just stop
inhaling!" or "How hard can it be?" were all Keiko ever seemed to hear
out of Karina's mouth.  Keiko only listened, unable to quickly think
of a comeback in English.  But her thoughts, in Japanese, were
beginning to become hostile to her daughter.  Finally, after the third
day of harassment from her daughter, Keiko had had enough.  Although
it was decidedly against her nature, she decided to attack back.  "If
you ever smoke, you know it is impossible to quit!!" she said to her
daughter.  Karina, somewhat shocked at the surprising tone of her
mothers voice, replied "Well, if I did, I sure would quit.  I don't
understand what the problem is!"  Uncharacteristically, Keiko then
rose from her chair and offered her daughter a cigarette.  "Here," she
said.  "Be my guest!"  Before either of them realized it, Karina was
seated next to her mother, with a cigarette in her hand.  Still
overcome by hostility, Keiko flicked her lighter and held it out to
her daughter, who somewhat embarrassingly put it into her mouth and
accepted the light.  Karina then sucked on the cigarette and
immediately blew it out without inhaling.  "Yuck!  How can you do
this?  You're stupid!!"  "No, you stupid," replied Keiko.  "You're not
even doing it right.  Watch and learn."  She then put her cigarette to
her mouth, clamped her Asian lips around it, and sucked.  Accentuating
every action, she then opened her mouth, and with a very loud
"Swoosh," inhaled the smoke into her lungs.  After a few seconds, she
again opened her mouth and began blowing out the smoke, directly at
her daughter, as if to punish her.  Karina then looked down, as if
contemplating her next action.  After a few seconds of deliberation,
she then looked directly at her Mom and mimicked her actions of a few
seconds before.  Putting the cigarette to her mouth, she gently drew
the smoke into her mouth, as she had done before.  But this time,
instead of blowing the smoke out, she opened her mouth and breathed

She tried her best, but could not help coughing as the harsh smoke
penetrated her young lungs.  "Good lord, Mom, that was awful!" she
said, spouting smoke with every word.  "Well, I got used to it, and if
you get used to it, you cannot stop," Keiko said softly, expecting a
few kind words from her daughter, but got instead  "Oh hell Mom, what
are you, a wimp?  Sometimes you've just got to bite the bullet."
Keiko could not believe that she had raised such an unforgiving
daughter.  "Well, ok then, I make you a bet.  If you start to smoke
and become used to it and you quit, then I too will quit."  "Deal!,"
shouted Karina, putting her right hand out.  The two women had no
sooner finished shaking hands then Karina was taking another puff from
her still lit Salem 100.  Another cough, however, was the result.
Keiko simply smiled and said "Keep it up, big mouth."  By the third
puff, Karina was questioning her decision to smoke.  Although she
didn't cough this time, she started to feel a little dizzy and decided
to stop.  "Mom, how long does it take to get used to this?"  "What are
you, wimp?" Keiko said laughingly.  "Sometimes you should eat
bullets!!  You smoke every day for six weeks and you will definitely
be used to it."  One cigarette a day for one and a half months, Karina
reasoned.  I should be able to handle that.  "OK, but after six weeks,
we both will quit together..  Deal?"  "Ok, Karina, but after six
weeks, if you EVER smoke a cigarette, I don't have to quit."  Somewhat
hesitatingly, Keiko shook hands with her daughter.

As she drifted off to sleep, Keiko wondered just what she had gotten
into.  How stupid could she be, forcing her daughter to be a smoker
just to get her off her back.  What if Karina became addicted?  Keiko
knew that she herself could not quit, and she hated herself for it.
She had tried everything:  Nicorette Gum, the patch, and Cold Turkey
more times than she could remember.  She had tried so many, many
times.  Strangely, Keiko fretted even more over what would happen if
Karina didn't like smoking.  What if she had no trouble quitting?
Remembering her own personal history, this didn't seem possible, but
it was enough of a worry to cause one extremely sleepless night..  At
that moment, Keiko realized she didn't want to go through the agony of
nicotine withdrawal again, and she realized she must make sure that
Karina likes smoking.  After the six weeks were up, she reasoned, she
would help her daughter to quit.  She had a few leftover patches in
her closet, and after only six weeks of smoking, it would be a snap
for Karina to kick the habit.  This way, she would not have to quit
herself.  Finally satisfied with her plan, she finally drifted off to
sleep at 3 am.

Karina awoke to the customary smell of cigarette smoke and immediately
popped up out of bed.  Still in her pajamas, she proceeded to the
kitchen table, sat down, and said "Well, give me one.  I'm ready for
my daily ration!"  Somewhat surprised, Keiko pushed the pack, along
with her lighter, across the table to her daughter.  As if she had
done it all her life, Karina shook a cigarette out of the pack, put it
in her mouth and lit it, although it took her two or three tries
before she could work the lighter correctly.  Trying to avoid her
mother's stare, she gently sucked on the cigarette and then blew out a
puff of uninhaled smoke.  "Listen, if you don't do it right, then deal
is off."  Remembering her experience from the previous night, Karina
frowned and resigned herself to her fate.  "OK, ok," she said and
proceeded to inhale the next puff.  She then blew out a tiny stream of
smoke without coughing.  "There, now get off my back!" she said to her
Mom.  After a few more seconds, Karina took another, slightly longer,
puff and blew out the smoke in the direction of her mother.  "We'll
see who's the wimp now!," she said.  After a few more inhales, she put
out the half finished cigarette.  "What, that's all?, "said Keiko.
"Gotta get ready for school," she said, although in truth she was
feeling somewhat queasy but just didn't want to admit it.  Feeling
somewhat guilty, Keiko did not pursue the matter.

As Keiko arrived home at 6:30, Karina was, as usual, already finished
with her homework and was sitting on the couch watching TV when her
Mom arrived.  "Where have you been," questioned Karina.  "I went
shopping, can you please help me unload?"  After carrying in the four
bags of groceries, Karina was helping her Mom put the groceries .  She
was caught off guard when her Mom presented her with a pack of Salem
100s.  "Here, " Keiko said, "I don't want you to keep bumming off me.
And here's a lighter too.  Go ahead, take them."  After a moments
hesitation, Karina grabbed the cigarettes and lighter and turned to
walk away.  "Let's smoke now, honey," said Keiko.  "But Mom, I already
smoked today."  "You call that smoking?  If you want me to quit, you
have to smoke naturally.  Please sit down."  Karina responded to this
friendly gesture and realized that her Mom was no longer hostile and
was willing to live up to her part of the bargain.  "OK, Mom, but just
this once.  I want to smoke only in the morning to get it over with.
That way, I don't have to worry about if for the rest of the day."
Keiko just smiled and watched her daughter open her first pack of

The two women then proceeded to light up simultaneously.  Karina still
fumbled with her lighter, but managed to light her cigarette on the
third attempt.  As she inhaled for the first time, Karina made a funny
face, as if to tell her Mom that she would smoke, but she wouldn't
like it.  As she blew out the smoke, Keiko noticed that her daughter
did not cough or show any signs of discomfort.  "Boy, like a pro,"
Keiko commented.  "Yeah, piece of cake," said her daughter.  Karina
managed six more puffs before deciding she had had enough for the

The next morning, Keiko was surprised to see her daughter come out of
her bedroom, carrying a single cigarette in her fist, along with a
lighter in her other hand.  Sitting down next to her mother, Karina
simply said "Might as well get if over with," and proceeded to light
up.  This time Karina had no problems with the lighter and took four
drags in fairly rapid succession before putting her Salem 100 down in
the ashtray, next to her mother's.  "Whoa, talk about a head rush,"
she said, leaning back in her chair and closing her eyes.  "Honey,
smoking makes you feel good when you first start.  It's normal," said
Keiko, stroking her daughters long black hair.  After about a minute
of relaxing, Karina sat back up and reached for her cigarette.
Tapping off the ashes, she inhaled again.  This was her longest inhale
yet, as if she was trying to recreate the effects of her previous
efforts.  "Karina dear, don't overdo it.  The cigarettes will be here
when you get home from school."  "You're right Mom, what the heck am I
doing with this stupid thing.  I need to get ready for school!"  With
that, she crushed out the cigarette, and went to get dressed.

After a busy day at school, Karina returned home.  She thought about
smoking a cigarette, but decided not to.  She would only smoke in the
mornings and in six weeks this whole nightmare would be over.  Her Mom
would quit, and she wouldn't have to worry any more.  At 5:30, Keiko
returned home from work, and immediately sat down on the couch next to
her daughter and lit a cigarette.  "Oh, that feels good," she said.
"Care to join me, Karina?"  "No thanks," Karina said, "I'll have one
in the morning, thank you!"  This worried Keiko.  "Oh no!," she
thought, "she doesn't like it.  I am doomed!"  The rest of the night
was uneventful, and the two women went to bed at around 10.

The next day started just as the previous day had, with Karina making
the trek to the kitchen table, cigarette in hand, and lighting up with
her mother "just to get it over with."  This time, however, she smoked
an entire cigarette for the first time, taking a full ten puffs before
crushing out her Salem 100 next to her mother's.  After she was
finished, she leaned back in her chair and relaxed, seeming to enjoy
the experience immensely.  "You liked that, didn't you?" said Keiko.
"Don't be ridiculous, mother, I'm just tired, that's all!"  That
afternoon, Keiko again offered her daughter a cigarette.  After a
minute of contemplation, Karina grudgingly obliged, taking a Salem
from her Mom's pack, along with a light from her mother.  Karina now,
her mother noticed, was taking slightly longer drags, as if attempting
to feel an effect from the smoke.  Karina smoked the entire cigarette
again, and crushed it out next to her mother's.

Karina woke up early the next morning.  Try as she might, she couldn't
get back to sleep and decided to get up early and do a little
preparation for her exam in third period that day.  Realizing that it
was only 6:30, she knew that her mother would not be up yet, and it
would be a perfect opportunity to get her daily smoking out of the
way.  She could show her Mom the butt in the ashtray as proof that she
had smoked her required cigarette.  Grabbing her textbook, cigarettes
and lighter, she went to the kitchen table, where she always studied,
and lit up.  This cigarette seemed to go much faster than the previous
ones, and Karina was finished in about five minutes.  However, she
also noticed that she was only slightly buzzed, and didn't experience
the head rush of the previous days cigarette.  "Oh well, " she
thought, and continued to study at the table.  About 15 minutes later,
Karina heard some rustling upstairs, and for the first time (she
wasn't usually up before her Mom), noticed coughing coming from the
upstairs bedroom.  The coughing continued for a few minutes, and then
her Mom came down the stairs, cigarette in hand and sat down next to
her.  "Well, honey, I see you're ready for morning requirement!" said
Keiko.  "Well, Mom, you see…OK"  said Karina, realizing that her Mom
had no idea that she had already smoked.  Karina then lit up her
second cigarette of the morning.  This time, however, she quickly
noticed the previous mornings head rush reappearing.  "Cool," she
thought, and continued to puff.  After finishing the cigarette, Karina
went to her room to get dressed.

That afternoon, Karina needed no prodding to accept a cigarette from
her mother.  She somewhat eagerly accepted, careful to keep her
excitement in check, and proceeded to smoke her third cigarette of the
day.  As she stamped out her cigarette next to her mother's, she made
sure to say "only two cigarettes a day, that's it!  Then in 5 ˝ more
weeks, you quit smoking!"  She lived up to her promise for the next
few days, smoking with her mother in the morning and in the afternoon.
Keiko noticed, however, that her inhaling was becoming much deeper,
and that she was smoking the entire cigarette, inhaling perhaps 10 or
more times per cigarette.  As she finished her afternoon cigarette,
her mother couldn't help but think she had nothing to worry about.

On her fifth day of smoking Karina got home from school around 3:30.
It had been an unusually light day at school, and she realized she had
no homework to do!  As she walked into her room, she noticed her pack
of Salem 100s sitting on her dresser.  "What if I smoked now, " she
thought.  "Mom would never know.  Cool!"  So she shook free a Salem
and lit it in her bedroom.  She noticed that the pack was more than
half gone.  "Did I smoke all those?, she quietly wondered.  As she sat
and smoked her cigarette, she realized that she actually enjoyed it,
and it felt good.  Keiko arrived home at 5:30 and the two women smoked
their usual afternoon cigarette.  This time, however, both women
finished at the same time and crushed out their Salems simultaneously.

Karina's third cigarette now became a trend, and she would smoke every
day after school, before her mother came home.  After a few days,
Keiko noticed that Karina had run out of cigarettes.  She was of
course more than happy to supply her with another pack.  Karina was
now a 3 cigarette a day smoker.  "I shouldn't worry," she thought, "my
Mom smokes ten times this much!"  This trend continued for the next
week, with Karina inhaling nicotine about 30 times a day and beginning
to enjoy it immensely.  Keiko realized at this point that their were
only four weeks to go, and Karina may be able to quit her 3 cigarette
a day habit, thereby forcing Keiko herself to quit her 30 cigarette a
day addiction.  This called for immediate action, and Keiko responded,
realizing that she did not care to go through the agony of nicotine
withdrawal, even though it meant that her daughter may have to.  That
night, after Karina had already smoked her customary 3 cigarettes,
Keiko decided to offer Karina another cigarette.  Karina needed no
further encouragement, and simply smiled and nodded.  Karina inhaled
deeply and blew a long stream of smoke all the way to the ceiling.
For the first time, Karina noticed that there was enough smoke in her
lungs for another exhale.  Upon seeing this, her mother smiled
knowingly.  She knew then that her daughter was getting hooked.

The next night, Karina brought her own pack of cigarettes with her and
didn't wait for her Mom to encourage her.  She simply lit up after
dinner.  "I've decided I can smoke four cigarettes a day, Mom, " she
said.  Her Mom just smiled and nodded.  Karina continued to smoke her
four cigarettes for the next week or so and then, without informing
Keiko, began to smoke more often.  When asked about it by her mother,
Karina simply said, "Oh, I only have three more weeks to smoke, so I
might as well smoke when I want."  That won't hurt me, will it?  I
won't start coughing in the morning like you, will I"  "Of course not,
Karina, I smoke 1 and half pack a day and for 25 years, since I am 12.
Don't worry."  The next day she quietly slipped her pack of Salem 100s
into her purse in the morning and took them with her to school.  On
the way to school, she stopped in the park and managed to sneak a
cigarette without anyone noticing her.  Feeling relieved that no one
had seen her, she made the same stop on the way home.

With encouragement from her Mom, Karina happily worked her way up to
about 8 cigarettes a day for the next two weeks.  She had two in the
morning with her Mom, one on the way to school, one on the way home,
and four with her mother after school.  On weekends, she kept the same
schedule, never smoking except for her allotted times.  She inhaled
deeply each and every time, without a worry.  Until Field Hockey
started, that is.  The first day of practice called for wind sprints,
ten of them!  Karina had never had problems like this before!  What
was the problem?  She had heard in school that smoking left you short
of breath, but she didn't smoke that much.  Not nearly as much as her
Mom, or even as much as those girls she always saw in front of the
school.  Those girls got cut from the team last year, she realized.
She told the coach she was just getting over the flu, and she'd do
much better the next day.  On the way home from school that night, she
decided not to smoke, because she didn't want to be so short of
breath.  But as she walked the mile and a half to her house, she could
not stop thinking about smoking!  She felt somewhat jittery and
anxious for no apparent reason and could not get her mind off the
contents of her purse.  "What is wrong with me?," she thought.  Oh
well, I guess I just like it, that's all.  So she made her now
customary stop at the park and lit up.  As she crushed out her
cigarette and blew out her last wisp of smoke, she noticed that she
now could concentrate on things other than smoking, and that she
generally felt more alert and less nervous.  "This is weird, " she
thought to herself.  She was now not only concerned about her lack of
performance on the hockey field, but also about her newfound smoking

That night, after smoking her seventh cigarette, she asked her Mom,
"Mom, can you run?"  "What do you mean, dear?" said Keiko.  "I mean
can you run, like play sports, even though you smoke so much?"  Her
Mom just giggled and said "I am out of breath to walk the stairs.
Sorry, honey."  Keiko realized that maybe she was too blunt with her
daughter about the realities of smoking, and tried to backpedal.  "But
that takes a long time, honey, don't worry, you're going to quit in a
week anyway.  We both will!"  "I guess you're right Mom.  The season
doesn't start for 3 more weeks anyway, and I'm going to show you how
to quit!"  She continued to question her Mom.  "Mom, when did you
start smoking?"  "I started when I was 13 years old when I was in
Tokyo," came the reply.  "Why do you want to know, dear?"  "Oh, I
don't know, I was just wondering how you got to smoke so much that you
couldn't quit," said Karina.  "Oh, that's an easy answer, Karina.
Once you get used to it, you smoke more and more and more until you
reach level.  You just can't help it.  Even when I only smoke 10
cigarette each day, I still couldn't quit.  I realize this when I am
14."  With that answer, Keiko again realized that she may have been
too blunt with her daughter and again tried to backpedal.  "But don't
worry, Karina, you don't smoke 10 cigarettes each day, you only smoke
5, right?"  You will be fine."  "You're right, Mom," she said.  Her
Mom didn't realize that she was sneaking cigarettes both to and from
school, as well as one at home before her Mom arrived.  Karina didn't
realize that her Mom was stretching the truth, and was hooked on
nicotine almost immediately.

Karina continued to struggle at Field Hockey for the next few days,
but she improved slightly as she ran more and more.  Her skill was
enough to allow her to overcome her decreased lung capacity.  But she
was worried about being so out of breath and decided to take action.
On the way home from school, she decided to stop at the 7-11 and buy a
pack of Salem Lights.  "Light cigarettes!  This way I'll be able to
finish the bet with my Mom and have more breath!  I only have five
more days of smoking, hopefully this will help."  Although she was
extremely nervous and made sure that no one she knew was in the store,
she managed to purchase her cigarettes.  Although she was just 16, it
was difficult to tell her age, so she had no problem with the clerk
asking for ID.  As she hurried to the park to light up, she felt that
she had solved her problem.  With the first drag from her new
cigarettes, she could tell the difference.  "These taste like air,"
she thought, and quickly took another, deeper, drag.  And then
another.  As she blew out the smoke from her third drag in five
seconds, she at last felt relief.  That gnawing feeling in the pit of
her stomach disappeared and she was able to relax.  She finished this
cigarette in record fashion and started home.  As she walked in the
front door and set her books down on the table, a strange feeling hit
her.  It was the same feeling she now got regularly in the mornings
and during the afternoons at school.  It was an antsy, nervous feeling
throughout her body.  Although she didn't fully realize it yet, it was
a craving for nicotine.  She immediately sat down at the table,
fumbled in her purse for her lighter, and lit up.  As she inhaled, she
again realized that these were light cigarettes, and she compensated
by taking very long puffs and even held in the smoke for several
seconds before exhaling.  After four or five inhales, she again felt a
sudden wave of relief over her entire body.  "Ah, that's better," she
thought.  "I must be extremely nervous about this Field Hockey thing."
Concentrating on her cigarette, Karina failed to notice that her Mom
had arrived home, opened the front door, and was now watching her from
the living room.

"Hi, Karina!," said Keiko.  Startled, Karina spun around, cigarette in
hand and said.  "Oh, hi Mom, I, um, decided to smoke because I was
bored.  Nothing else to do."  "You don't have to explain anything to
me, Karina, except where you get those cigarettes!"  "Oh, these, well,
I wanted to see what these taste like.  That's all.  Plus, they're not
as bad for you, and I don't want to do any permanent damage to my
lungs."  "Honey, you're too young to worry about that stuff," replied
Keiko, somewhat worriedly.  Not worried about her daughter's health,
but about the fact that her daughter had switched to Light cigarettes.
"Maybe she can quit easy now," she thought to herself.  Never having
smoked Lights herself, Keiko had no idea what might happen.  Keiko
then joined Karina at the table and lit up her usual Salem 100.  "Can
I try one of those?," she then said to her daughter.  "OK, Mom, but
you just lit that one!"  "Here, you have this one, and I try one of
yours," she said, handing her cigarette to her daughter.  "Mom!  OK,
but just this once.  I like the Lights better."  With that, the two
women then sat and smoked their cigarettes.  Karina noticed an
immediate difference and felt somewhat light-headed after smoking her
third cigarette in 45 minutes.  Keiko, on the other hand, couldn't
help but comment to her daughter, "These taste like air."  Upon
hearing this, Karina thought that it was weird that , after smoking
for only 5 weeks, her reaction would be so similar to her Mom's.

Later that same night, Karina smoked her seventh and eighth cigarettes
of the day, one at 6:30, and another at 7:30.  This was the earliest
in the day that she had finished her usual allotment, but she couldn't
seem to help it.  Around 8:30, she began to feel jittery, and lit up
again in the living room.  "Karina, how many cigarettes you smoked
today?" asked her Mom in her usual broken English.  "Oh, Mom, five, no
six, because you made me smoke that extra one!" came the reply.
"Karina, don't worry, I am just wondering.  Don't snap off my head.  I
don't care how many cigarettes you smoke.  You will quit in five days,
right?  So it doesn't matter."  "You're right, Mom, sorry," said her
daughter, somewhat embarrassed.  Feeling somewhat comforted by her
mother's words, Karina decided to smoke once more before going to bed,
her tenth cigarette of the day.

The next day went as usual, with Karina smoking before and after
breakfast, and on the way to school.  She noticed, however, that, with
the Salem Lights, she smoked faster and inhaled much more deeply.
"It's ok," she reasoned, "these are Light cigarettes."  In her third
period class, Karina noticed the usual jittery feeling coming back,
much sooner that it usually did at school.  During fourth period, the
nervousness was almost overwhelming, and when the bell rang for lunch,
she knew what she had to do.  Because her school had an open lunch
policy, she was free to leave the campus as she pleased.  Although she
usually brought her lunch and ate with friends, she excused herself
and instead walked out of the school and down the street.  As soon as
she was two blocks from the school, she could take it no more!  "I've
got to have a cigarette," she thought.  So she discreetly opened her
purse, pulled out a cigarette and lit up very quickly.  As she inhaled
on her cigarette and was replacing her lighter, she noticed that in
the bottom of her purse was a half filled pack of Salem 100s.  "Oh
geez," she thought.  "I'll just give those back to Mom tonight."
Being very careful not to be seen, Karina quickly and completely
inhaled her cigarette and felt much better.  As she walked back
towards the school, she felt a tap on her shoulder.  "Hey, Karina, I
didn't know you were a smoker?"  As Karina turned around, she noticed
one of the girls, a Filipina, she had always seen smoking in front of
school.  "I'm Marissa, remember me from Field Hockey last year?"  "Oh
yeah, hi.  I'm not really a smoker, I just have this bet with my Mom
to get her to quit.  I'll quit in a few days," said Karina, very
embarrassed.  Marissa was very good looking, and Karina always
wondered how someone like that could smoke.  "That's cool, I smoke too
you know.  But I was wondering, could I bum a cigarette off you?  I
haven't had one since this morning and I'm really dying, " Marissa
pleaded.  "Oh sure," replied Karina, but you have to promise that you
won't tell anybody that you saw me smoking.  Promise?, Karina said, as
she reached into her purse and pulled out one of the Salem 100s from
her old pack. Karina held the cigarette in her hand, as if to pull it
back if Marissa didn't promise.  "I promise, I promise!," Marissa
pleaded.  Karina then gave her the cigarette and Marissa quickly
pulled a lighter out of her pocket and lit up.  After a few very deep
drags, Marissa exclaimed "Wow, these are strong!!  When I first
started two years ago, I smoked those full-strength ones.  But I
switched to Lights because I was worried about, you know, Lung Cancer
and stuff.  But you know what, I smoke like twice as many every day.
I'm almost up to a pack."  Karina just nodded and said "Look, I really
have to go.  Remember that promise!"  Karina then quickly headed off
back to school, trying not to be seen with the well known smoker

On her way home from school, Karina hurried to the park and quickly
lit up her fifth cigarette that day, feeling very relieved after
several deep inhales.  As she sat smoking on the bench in the park,
Karina thought about what had happened that day.  Marissa was really
good at Field Hockey in junior high, but she just couldn't keep up
with the other girls last year.  She got cut from the team.  Was it
because she smokes?  And what about her comment about the light
cigarettes?  It was true that she was smoking more, but was it because
of the light cigarettes?  Karina felt much better and less worried
after finishing her cigarette.  After she got home, she immediately
sat down at the table and reached into her purse.  Before she had even
realized it, she was already inhaling another cigarette.  "That was
weird," she thought.  When her Mom got home, Karina joined her at the
table and both women lit up together.  When Keiko finished her
cigarette, she crushed out her cigarette next to Karina's, which her
daughter had already finished.  "You are faster than your Mom!  But
don't worry, only three more days until we quit together," said her
Mom.  Karina thought that it was kind of strange that her Mom always
brought up that subject, even though she had always said it was
impossible to quit.  For the first time, Karina realized that it was
going to be hard to quit smoking.  "I'm a lot tougher than my Mom.
I'm sure I can do it," she thought to herself.  That night Karina
smoked four more cigarettes.

For the next few days, Karina continued to smoke 10 Salem Lights a
day.  If she attempted to cut down, she was unable to concentrate on
anything but her lack of a cigarette.  During lunch at school, she
managed to avoid Marissa as well as the other students while sneaking
her now necessary lunch time cigarette.  As for Field Hockey, she
continued to struggle and was demoted to second string.  She noticed
that her lungs now burned if she was forced to sprint more than a few
yards.  Smoking light cigarettes didn't seem to help.  "Oh well, once
I stop smoking after tomorrow, I will show them!  One more day" she
thought.  As she went home that afternoon, she realized that after
tomorrow she had to quit smoking.  As she finished her cigarette in
the park on the way home, she remained worried about what was to
happen the next day and quickly lit another cigarette, which seemed to
calm her down enough to continue home.  As Keiko arrived home, Karina
was seated at the table, smoking a cigarette.  "Oh, Hi Mom," she said,
blowing out a thin stream of smoke that seemed to go on forever.
Keiko then sat down beside her and lit her own cigarette.  After a few
more pulls from her cigarette, Karina crushed her Salem Light into the
ashtray.  "Well, honey, tomorrow is last day smoking for both of us,
so we should make the most of it!," she said to Karina.  "What do you
mean Mom?"  "I mean we should have party to celebrate!"  Keiko then
proceeded to the refrigerator where she removed a bottle of Chardonnay
and placed it on the table.  Karina certainly thought that this was
strange, but really didn't object, other than to say "Mom, I'm only
16!"  Keiko then poured two glasses of the wine.  "To quitting
smoking," she said, holding up her glass.

Karina didn't really like the wine, but she managed to finish her
glass in about 15 minutes.  This was her first ever brush with
alcohol, and she certainly felt the affects after only one glass.
"Wow, Mom, am I drunk?" she giggled.  "I don't know, Karina, but
please smoke!  This is almost last day."  Keiko, although she was
somewhat confident about the situation, still was somewhat worried.
So she decided that Karina should smoke as much as possible, with her
assistance (as well as the wine's), just to firmly place the hook.
"No problem Mom, I'm getting used to smoking," Karina giggled,
cigarette and lighter already in hand.  As Keiko watched her daughter
inhale smoke deeply into her young lungs, she felt somewhat ashamed
that she had done this to her daughter.  But those thoughts were
quickly dismissed.  If she caught her daughter smoking a cigarette
after tomorrow, then she will have won the bet, and she wouldn't have
to quit.  She could then help her Karina to quit.  Karina didn't drink
any more wine, but did manage to smoke 6 more cigarettes that night,
for a total of 13 that day.

As she woke up the next morning, Karina realized that she had smoked
all her Salem Lights and had no more.  Oh well, she would just have to
smoke her Mom's cigarettes.  No use in buying any more Lights today,
because they were quitting tomorrow.  Karina then got up and went into
the kitchen and sat down.  "Mom, can I bum a cigarette off you?  I
smoked all mine last night."  Keiko just smiled and retrieved her a
fresh pack of Salem 100s.  Karina then lit up and inhaled deeply, as
if she was still smoking her Salem Lights.  "Whoah, " she thought,
"this feels really good!"  The two women then sat silently and
finished their cigarettes.  As the day proceeded, Karina smoked her
usual number of cigarettes:  2 in the morning, one on the way to
school, one at lunch, and 2 in the park after school.  The fact that
they were full flavor cigarettes didn't seem to hinder her at all.  As
she finished her last cigarette before heading home, Karina began to
get very nervous about the next day.  "What if I can't do it?," she
thought.  "Why did I start smoking?  I'm so stupid!  Mom was right!"
For the first time, Karina admitted to herself that she was addicted
to smoking.  Karina had discovered what millions of young women before
her had already found out.  

There was little discussion among the two women that night.  Keiko
seemed very nervous and chain smoked all night.  "What if I have to
really quit?  I'll die!," she thought to herself.  Karina retreated to
her bedroom, where she smoked and finished her homework.  Over the
course of the evening, Karina smoked five more of her Salem 100s.  At
10pm, Keiko ducked her head into Karina's bedroom and saw her daughter
laying in bed, with a cigarette burning in an ashtray on the
nightstand.  Tomorrow's the day!  Good luck!"  Karina just nodded and
her Mom left the room.  "Does she know I'm addicted?, " Karina
wondered.  She then finished her cigarette and turned out the light,
blowing a thin stream of smoke into the darkness.

Karina was awakened by the sound of the door opening.  "I'll take
those, young lady, " said her Mom, grabbing the pack of Salem 100s
laying on Karina's nightstand.  "No problem Mom, what time is it?"
"Five am," said Keiko, "I just wanted to make sure you didn't cheat."
"Why would I cheat?," Karina said bravely.  She then placed her head
back on the pillow and tried to go back to sleep.  After about ten
minutes, she realized the effort was futile and sat up in bed.  "Five
am and I already want a cigarette.  Great.", she thought.  She then
tried to imagine how her poor Mom must feel.  But she quickly overcame
any feelings of compassion for her Mom.  "This whole stupid thing was
her idea," she thought.  Getting up, she found her Mom seated at the
table, reading the newspaper.  "OK, how do I make sure that YOU don't
cheat," she said to Keiko.  "I guess we go by the honor system," came
the reply.  "You don't smoke, I don't smoke."  Keiko seemed very
confident, but in reality had already smoked a cigarette that morning
at 4:30, and then showered before she went into Karina's room.  She
had no intention of quitting, realizing the futility of even trying.
All she needed to do was catch her daughter smoking and she would be
home free.
"I searched the house and I think I throw away all cigarettes," Keiko
said.  In fact, she had hidden an opened pack of cigarettes and a
lighter in the kitchen drawer, hoping that Karina would find them.
She carefully counted 9 cigarettes in the pack.  "I may have missed
some.  If you find any, please throw them away," she continued, hoping
this hint would aid her efforts.  Keiko of course also had her own
personal supply hidden in the car.  Karina then got ready for school
and left rather early.  As she made her way to school, she looked
wistfully at the park, where she had spent many hours happily smoking
her beloved cigarettes.  All she could think about was the feeling of
smoke in her lungs and how she missed it.  Oh, how she missed it!  She
was barely able to see straight, let alone concentrate on anything but
getting a cigarette.  She arrived at school very early that day, and
there was still 45 minutes before the first bell.  She wondered what
she was going to do.  Should she really try to quit?

As she sat down in front of the school, she noticed a very familiar,
enticing smell.  Looking behind her, she caught sight of Marissa,
perhaps 20 yards away, sitting and smoking.  "Oh my god," she thought
to herself.  "What should I do?"  Without giving it another thought,
she raised her nicotine deprived body and hurriedly walked over to
Marissa and tapped her on the shoulder.  "Hey, what's up," Marissa
said, smoke emanating from her mouth with every syllable.  "Not much,
just thought I'd say hi," said Karina.  "By the way, you owe me a
cigarette," she said, smiling.  "Oh yeah, I guess I do.  Here"  she
said as she handed a Marlboro Light 100 to Karina.  "Do you have a
light too?," Karina added, realizing that her Mom had taken her
lighter that morning.  Karina quickly lit her cigarette and proceeded
to smoke it in front of the school.  As she watched Karina hungrily
consume her first cigarette of the day, Marissa smiled and said "Slow
down girl!  Talk about a nicotine fit!"  Karina smiled, somewhat
embarrassed, realizing that she was indeed having a major nic fit.
After a few moments, Karina stepped on her cigarette and said goodbye
to Marissa, hoping that no one had seen her.  As she was walking away,
Karina realized that this cigarette was her first ever without
menthol, and she liked it.  Feeling somewhat relaxed, Karina headed
into school.  Her first two periods went rather well, but there was
still a nagging feeling of emptiness, like something was missing in
the middle of her body.  Every time she thought about it, it seemed to
get worse until she finally decided that she had no choice but to buy
cigarettes at lunch.  After what seemed like an eternity, the lunch
bell finally rang.  Karina was the first one out of the room, as she
hurriedly made her way out of the school and down the street to the
Circle K.  She actually ran part of the way.  As she reached the
counter, she noticed the Marlboros were right there on the counter,
and she didn't even have to ask for them.  She quickly grabbed a pack
of Marlboro 100s, and payed the required $2.50 to the woman behind the
counter.  Karina had already began opening the pack of cigarettes when
the woman asked "Matches with that?".  "Oh yes," replied Karina,
realizing that she had no lighter.

Karina then walked out the door, took two paces to the right and
finished opening her cigarettes.  As she removed the gold foil from
the box, she realized that these cigarettes had orange filters.  "Oh
well, they'll do the job, even if they are ugly," she thought.  She
then awkwardly struck a match and held the lit flame to the end of her
cigarette.  As she breathed in deeply, her shoulders rose noticeably,
and she felt a warm tingling sensation in her chest.  Holding the
smoke in her lungs to savor the feeling, she finally exhaled, and her
shoulders slumped to their normal positions.  "Wow, this is a
cigarette," she thought as she began inhaling once again.  Never
before had she tasted such a strong tobacco flavor.  After 12 puffs,
the cigarette was gone and Karina felt normal once again.  Looking at
her watch, she realized that it had only taken her 10 minutes to
arrive at the store, purchase the cigarettes and smoke one.  She had
fifty more minutes to go.  For the first time in the day, she was able
to think clearly and decided to eat her lunch and then go back to
school.  Of course she was no sooner done with her lunch when she felt
the need to smoke another of her new cigarettes.  Karina now realized
she was a smoker, and couldn't easily quit.  It was just too hard.
What would everyone say when they found out?  She quickly dispelled
this notion and walked into school.  Later, as she was finishing her
sixth period class, she again felt a nagging craving for a cigarette.
"It's only been two hours, what's wrong with me?," she thought to
herself.  Most of the students leave after sixth period, except for
the athletes like Karina; they stay for practice.  Karina had about 15
minutes before Field Hockey practice was to begin, and she made the
most of it, hurrying out to the front of the school and quietly
lighting up.

After another agonizing day of Field Hockey practice, in which she
couldn't even keep up with second string, Karina showered and began
walking home at 5:30.  Looking at her watch, she realized it had been
another 2 hours without a cigarette, and she could definitely tell.
It was very difficult to concentrate on anything but her desperate
need to inhale cigarette smoke. "This sucks, "she thought.  "I kind of
like smoking, but I don't like HAVING to smoke so much.  Shit!!"
Reaching into her bag, she quickly removed another Marlboro 100 and
lit up, inhaling quickly and deeply.  Just then the thought hit her.
"Shit, I'm supposed to have quit today!  I can't smoke at home
tonight!  What the hell am I going to do?"  Pondering her options,
Karina continued to puff needily on her cigarette.  By the time she
passed the park, she had already finished her long cigarette.  "I need
to think," she thought, and sat down on a bench.  She knew from her
experiences over the past few weeks that it was going to be very
difficult not to smoke for the rest of the evening.  "I'll die," she
thought.  "I guess the only thing I can do is to smoke again and hope
it lasts."  With that thought, she again reached into her bag and
removed her pack of Marlboro 100s.  Lighting up her sixth cigarette of
the day, she concentrated on taking long puffs and holding the smoke
in for long periods of time, techniques that she had noticed had given
her more satisfaction in the past.  She also counted the number of
inhales, and when she reached 15, the cigarette was too small to allow
any more meaningful nicotine.  Holding in the smoke for the final
time, she held her breath as long as she could, and when she finally
released it, only the slightest wisp of smoke escaped from her young
mouth.  Feeling extremely satisfied, in fact almost lightheaded, she
headed home.  "That ought to do it!," she reasoned.

Arriving home that night, Karina noticed that it was already after 6,
and her Mom would be arriving home soon.  So she quickly went in to
the bathroom and brushed her teeth.  She also sprayed herself
vigorously with her favorite perfume and put two sticks of bubble gum
in her mouth to help hide the smell of her addiction.  As her Mom
pulled into the driveway, Karina jumped on the couch and turned on the
TV.  "Oh, hi Mom," Karina said nonchalantly as Keiko walked into the
house.  She noticed that her Mom was also chewing gum.  "Hi dear, how
was your day?," her Mom asked as she sat down at the table.  "Oh, the
usual," responded her daughter.  Keiko got up as if to begin making
dinner and opened the drawer where she had hidden the cigarettes.
One, two …nine!  "Damn!," she thought.  "Maybe Karina didn't smoke
today."  Keiko had kept up her usual smoking during the day, inhaling
her 15 Salem 100s on the way to work , at breaks (she usually took 3
in the morning and 3 in the afternoon), during lunch (when she usually
smoked 3 more), and on the way home.  But now was the time when she
always smoked her 15 remaining cigarettes in the five hours until
bedtime.  What the hell was she going to do?  She was already feeling
the burn of nicotine withdrawal and she had only been home a few
minutes!!  "It's all in my head, " she repeated to herself.  "I can do
this."  Karina, on the other hand, was still feeling fine and had no
problem starting the conversation.  "So, how was not smoking today?,"
she asked her mother.  "Oh, um, it was fine, dear," shouted Keiko from
the kitchen.  "How about you?"  "No problems here, Mom," she shouted
back.  There was no further talk.  Keiko thought it strange that her
daughter, who just a few weeks before was bragging that she could quit
with no problem, had not bragged or harassed her about quitting for
quite some time before yesterday.  And today she was also silent.

The two women finished eating around 8 and were seated at the table.
Throughout the entire meal, there was hardly any conversation.  Karina
noticed that, as her Mom picked up her fork, her hand trembled
slightly.  "Honey, you don't usually smell so nice.  What happened?,"
Keiko quizzed her daughter, who snapped back "What's the matter, can't
I smell nice sometimes?!"  "Why you nasty girl!  How dare you snap at
me like that!," snapped back the usually even-tempered Keiko.
"Whatever, Mom!," Karina yelled back and stomped into her room.  Both
women were obviously very short-tempered for some reason!  As she lay
down on her bed, Karina caught sight of her purse and, realizing its
contents, began to crave a cigarette.  Keiko, on the other hand, was
already halfway to her car.  She realized that Karina would probably
be stewing for quite some time and now was her perfect chance to
smoke.  She grabbed for her cigarettes hidden in the glove box and, in
a single motion, opened the pack and pushed in the car lighter.  After
what seemed like an eternity, the lighter popped back out and she was
finally able to inhale her nicotine.  She just sat in her car seat and
absorbed as much smoke as possible with each of her inhales.  She was
very quickly done with her first cigarette and quickly transitioned
into another.

Karina was meanwhile miserable.  Her whole body from her head down to
her toes, craved the drug which she had unwittingly become addicted
to.  She opened her purse and pulled out her pack of Marlboro 100s.
Staring at it, she sighed, realizing that she needed to light one and
inhale it several times to even begin to feel better.  Resigned to her
fate, she grabbed her cigarettes and lighter and opened her door.  She
planned on spilling the beans.  She was now a smoker, she would tell
her Mom, and they had both better get used to it.  But when she looked
around, her Mom was nowhere to be found.  She must have gone upstairs
to sulk in her room.  So Karina quickly slid across the room, opened
the front door and very quietly closed it.  Her cigarette was lit
within five seconds of closing the door.  As she inhaled deeply, she
felt a sudden wave of relief as the nicotine entered her bloodstream.
She exhaled her first drag and began another when she noticed her
mother staring at her from across the lawn.

Karina, caught in the middle of a huge drag, embarrassingly blew out
her smoke and looked down to the ground.  "Karina, you are smoking!,"
said her Mom.  "Mom, I just um…decided I didn't want to quit smoking
just yet.  I'm sorry.  You should be happy, you won our bet," Karina
said softly.  Keiko had mixed emotions.  On the one hand, she was
relieved that she could now smoke openly in front of her daughter.
But on the other hand, she was sad to see that, because of her stupid
addiction, her daughter had now become a smoker just like her.
"Karina honey, don't apologize.  Let's go inside," said her mother.
The two women then went inside and sat at the table.  Karina sat her
pack of Marlboro 100s and her lighter on the table and placed her
cigarette in the empty ashtray.  "Karina, may I have cigarette?," said
Keiko.  "Sure Mom, you must be desperate," replied Karina.  "At last
you understand," her mother said as she lit up one of her daughters
cigarettes.  "Now Karina, I am actually very sad that you smoke now.
I feel very bad that I make you smoke, and I hope you quit before it
gets too late."  "What do you mean too late?," Karina asked.  "Karina,
I know you have watched me smoke for many years.  I have to smoke.
Every hour, every day.  You only smoke a few cigarettes a day, so I
want to help you stop before you are like me and have to smoke
everywhere you go, always."  "You mean you don't even like smoking,
Mom?," Karina asked.  "Well, yes, I do enjoy it sometimes, but
sometimes it is a big pain, like in movies or on planes.  We have
Japanese saying:  smoking is like breathing oxygen.  It is not really
fun, but don't try to stop doing it."  "But you didn't smoke today and
you seemed to be fine," said Karina.  "Actually, to tell you the
truth, I cheated…all day," her mother said and then smiled.  "Karina
honey," she added, "remember last year when I tried to quit and got
those patches?  Well, I have almost all of them left.  Please take
them."  Keiko then reached out and touched Karina's hand.  "Mom, I
really appreciate that but I CAN quit if I want.  I just don't want
to, that's all.  I don't need patches or anything.  I'm only 16 and a
half."  Keiko became visibly sad at this comment by her daughter and
silently finished her cigarette.  "She is very stubborn girl," she
thought.  The rest of the evening went normally, with neither woman
mentioning their failed attempt to quit smoking.

Over the next few months, Karina continued to smoke about 10
cigarettes each day, a bit more on weekends.  She decided that she
liked Salem 100s the best and stuck with them, now taking them
wherever she went.  She now became a regular in front of the school at
lunch and made several new smoking friends, Marissa included.  As
summer break approached, she put less and less energy into her sports
and was relieved when Field Hockey season ended.  She often thought
about trying to quit, but always came back for more.  She realized
that, even after only 4 months of smoking, cigarettes had started to
take over her life.  Every day she smoked with her Mom both before and
after breakfast.  Keiko realized that Karina had virtually copied her
smoking style exactly.  The inhales were of equal length, both women
held in their smoke for about the same time, and tilted their heads
back slightly to exhale.  Keiko also noticed that after the first
exhale, smoke would appear from Karina's nostrils for the next two or
three breaths.  Keiko had no doubt in her mind that her beautiful
daughter was fully addicted to her cigarettes.

During the three month summer break, Karina found that the extra free
time, as well as her new friends, caused her to smoke even more, and
soon she was smoking 15 cigarettes a day.  When she would go out with
her Mom, both women would light up at seemingly every opportunity.
"You smoke too much," Keiko told her daughter on more than one
occasion.  "Look who's talking," Karina would reply, realizing that
her Mom had no comeback.  One night in July, the two women decided to
go see a movie.  Keiko smoked right up to the door, putting her
cigarette out in the ash can on the way into the theater.  Karina only
smoked one cigarette in the car and none in front of the theater.  She
waited patiently while her Mom finished her Salem 100.  The two women
sat through 5 previews, lasting about 10 minutes and then the movie
began.  It was a Spike Lee film, and Karina didn't realize the length
was well over two hours.  After about two hours in the theater, Keiko
noticed her daughter seemed very fidgety.  Finally the movie ended.
They had arrived late and were therefore seated near the front, and
had to wait for everyone else to leave first.  Keiko watched sadly as
her daughter opened her purse and pulled out her box of Salem 100s as
they were filing out of the theater.  After making their way through
the lobby, both women had cigarette and lighter in hand upon reaching
the door.  Karina was first to light up, and inhaled twice without
exhaling, something her mother had never seen her do before.  As they
walked to the car, Keiko realized Karina was addicted as she was.  The
next time they went to a movie together, Keiko noticed that Karina lit
a fresh cigarette and smoked it before going into the theater.

Near the end of the summer, it happened.  Karina woke up at her usual
time and all she did was sit up and breath.  She suddenly felt
something catch in her throat and started coughing.  It wasn't an
uncontrollable cough, but something which needed to be done.  After a
few minutes, she was able to catch her breath and went out into the
kitchen.  She lit a Salem 100 and waited for her Mom to come
downstairs.  Karina was often the first one up.  After a few minutes,
she heard noises upstairs and then her Mom's usual morning cough.  She
realized that her cough had sounded remarkably similar to her Mom's,
but of course much shorter in duration.  She again thought of
quitting, but remembered the difficulty she had when she tried to quit
before, and she smoked much more now.

During her junior year in high school, Karina turned 17 and shortly
thereafter became a pack a day smoker, inhaling her nicotine well over
200 times daily.  She found that she needed to smoke not only at
lunch, but also between classes, something which she did with great
difficulty, because there were only ten minutes available.  She often
saw Marissa smoking between classes as well.  She tried out for the
basketball team, but quit after only one practice.  She resigned
herself to no more athletics.  Her Mom often apologized to her.  "I'm
so sorry, Karina," she would say as they smoked together.  "Please
forgive me."

The end.

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