Chase's Story, Part 1

(by anonymous23, 28 October 2008)

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Chase's Story

Part 1

Chase woke up on the morning of July 8, 2008 and was ready for the
most life-altering day of her life.  It was her eighteenth birthday,
and today she was going to become a smoker.  This wasn't a whim since
she had planned this day for at least two years.  She had wanted to
try smoking since she was very young, around eight years old, but her
parents were both non-smokers and the few friends she had were also
against it.  Sometimes Chase would offhandedly mention smoking to see
what people thought about it, and never once received positive
feedback.  They did tease Chase that she really shouldn't start
because it would stunt her growth.  At only five feet tall and 95
pounds when she turned eighteen, she was always one of the smallest
people wherever she went.  People used to joke that she could stand
next to a dwarf and make them feel tall.

She never mentioned taking it up herself, though.  The truth is she
didn't really want to take it up, just try it.  But at the age of
thirteen she had decided to look into why people smoke, the benefits
of it, and of course the negative effects of it.  For three years, she
scoured the internet looking at the statistics of lung cancer among
smokers versus the rest of the population, the chemicals in tobacco
smoke, and so on.  She also observed smokers, and she noticed that,
for the most part, they seemed content and happy with their habits.
Almost one billion people on the planet smoke cigarettes and Chase
decided that they can't all be wrong.  Chase looked into what the
pleasure of smoking is and why it's done in the first place.  She knew
people talked about it relaxing them but that didn't appeal to Chase.
She wasn't into drug culture at all and also didn't care for drinking
or even coffee.  "Sound of mind" was her attitude.  The more she
looked into smoking, the more she heard that smoking relaxes you.
Chase took this to mean some form of being high or if not high, a
lowered state of awareness.  She decided she maybe didn't want to try
smoking after all.

Shortly after she turned sixteen, Chase was chatting with an online
friend she met on a forum.  They had known each other for a few years.
 Her name was Sammy and they had often chatted about a wide range of
issues, mostly about the TV shows they watched or what was going on in
their lives.  Sammy was ten years older then Chase, but was cool
anyway.  Chase wasn't a ditzy type of girl and was knowledgeable on a
wide range of issues.  People could chat with her, so older people
warmed up to her.  She wasn't a 'newb', so to speak.

After chatting for about an hour one night, Sammy told Chase, "I'll be
right back, it's time for a smoke break."  Chase was floored.  She had
no idea that Sammy was a smoker.  "Okay," was all Chase could spit
out.  As Sammy disappeared for about eight minutes, all the thoughts
of trying smoking raced back into Chase's head.  This was her chance
to find out what smoking was all about.  Chase's hand started shaking
with anticipation.  When Sammy returned, Chase was ready to start
asking.  Below is the actual transcript of that chat, which Chase
saved.  Again, the names have been changed and the punctuation and
grammar have been cleaned up.

Sammy: I'm back.

Chase: Welcome back!  I didn't know you smoke lol.

Sammy: I do.  I know, it's bad.

Chase: Well, if you like it it's not bad.  I don't mind.

Sammy: You don't smoke, do you?

Chase: No, not even tried.  My parents don't smoke.

Sammy: Mine did.  I stole a cigarette from them when I was 12 and I've
been smoking ever since.

Chase: 12?

Sammy: Yep lol, I know it's bad.

Chase: Again, I don't mind.  So there must be some reason you like to do it.

Sammy: It relaxes me.

Chase grumbled reading this.  "Tell me something I don't know," she
mumbled, but then she decided to press further.

Chase: How does it relax you?  Does it make you high?

Sammy: Oh no, it's nothing like that.  You don't even get a buzz or
anything like that.

Chase: Then how does it relax you?

Sammy: Well, for me it's the feeling of having smoke inside of you
that's relaxing.  It's like getting a backrub lol, only in your lungs.

Chase was absolutely stunned by this statement.  It not only doesn't
make you high, but it's pleasurable to your lungs.  She had no idea.
She figured it must have been harsh to breathe it in.  She pressed on.

Chase: Wait, so it doesn't like hurt your lungs when you breathe it in?
- Show quoted text -

Sammy: Well, it might when you have your first couple cigarettes, but
once you break your lungs in, it feels very good.

Chase: I had no idea.

Sammy: It also tastes real good too.  Again, maybe not at first.  In
fact, it tastes pretty bad until you start to inhale.  Hey, you're
asking a lot of questions about this.

Chase: Well, I never told anyone else this, but I always wanted to try smoking.

Sammy: Well, you know it's bad for you, obviously.  I cough a lot,
especially when I wake up.  Sometimes I cough stuff up, like loogies.
And I run a higher risk of getting cancer then non-smokers do.  Plus I
get winded when I work out.  Not like fall-over-winded, but I still
can't go as hard as I used to, and that will get progressively worse.

Chase: So you're going to quit?

Sammy: No way, I love smoking.  I'm never going to quit.

Chase: Well, if you had the choice to go back, would you still smoke?

Sammy: Yes, in a heartbeat.  All the problems are worth it in my opinion.

Chase was stunned.  From what she had read on the internet, it seemed
most people who did smoke wanted to quit.  And now she finds out that
her favorite online friend is a smoker herself who adores the habit.
At that moment, her mind had been made up.

Chase: Sammy, I've decided I'm going to start smoking.

Sammy: First off, wait until you're 18.

Chase: And second?

Sammy: Do it.

With her decision to start smoking made, Chase spent the next two
years studying different brands, smoking techniques, and occasionally
trying to figure out a way to defy Sammy and get cigarettes before her
eighteenth birthday.  When it appeared one day she would have a source
that would hook her up, she rushed online to tell Sammy that she was
going to get to start early.  Sammy told Chase that she's not against
underage smoking, but the reason Chase couldn't do it is because
without smoker parents or friends, she would have no reliable source
to get cigarettes for her.  She told Chase that her body would get
addicted to smoking and going without a cigarette for any extended
period is not an option for a smoker.  Her only realistic option was
to wait until she was eighteen, when she could buy them on her own.
After much more explaining, Chase understood and told her source she
had to pass.

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