(by love_2_smoke@hotmail.com, 12 November 1998)

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"Early-" by love_2_smoke@hotmail.com

     Jenny had just turned 5 years old when she started to show interest 
in smoking.  At first, she would just watch her mother as she smoked.  
In the morning she'd watch as her mother went about cleaning up around 
the house, making breakfast, washing clothes, and a thousand other 
things-always with a cigarette in hand or dangling from her mouth.  Her 
mother was a chain smoker, of that there was no doubt, and she smiled 
with pleasure upon partaking of every double pump, nose exhale, and the 
left over smoke that would trail from her nostrils after a particularly 
strong drag.  Jenny took all of this in with the innocence and curiosity 
of a five year old.  And decided she wanted to smoke too.
     At first Jenny probed her mother with questions about smoking-
     "Yes, Jenny?" her mother asked as she folded clothes, her Marlboro 
Light 100 dangling from her mouth.
     "How come you smoke?"
     Jenny's mother paused, looking down at Jenny, then spoke.
     "It makes me feel good, sweety."
     "Does it hurt?"
     "Well, it's not good for you but it doesn't really hurt," her 
mother accentuated the statement with a double pump on the cigarette, 
pulling the cigarette away from her lips and exhaling toward the ceiling 
with a smile.
     "How did you start smoking, mommy?"
     Again, a pause.
     "Well, I had some friends who smoked and I just kind of started 
smoking with them."
     "Oh," Jenny said, now pausing for a moment herself, "can anyone 
     "You have to be old enough to smoke, honey."
     Jenny was inwardly disappointed, instantly.  That meant that she 
probably wasn't old enough.
     "But, if you're old enough, you can smoke-anybody can smoke, 
     "Kay'," Jenny said, running off.

     Things went on like that for weeks.  Jenny watched her mother more 
and more.  She watched as her mother got up in the mornings-immediately 
lighting a cigarette.  A cigarette with coffee, a cigarette in the car, 
a cigarette just before going into a store, always a cigarette.
     No matter where they went, Jenny's mom always had a cigarette.  
Jenny began to notice other people smoking.  There were old people, men, 
women, mommy people, and daddy people.  Not everybody looked happy when 
they were smoking BUT there were a lot of people who did.
It was when Jenny saw younger kids smoking that she began to wonder how 
old was old enough.

     In school, they said smoking was bad for you but a lot of people 
smoked.  Jenny's mommy had always smoked.  It didn't bother her, it 
seemed.  Jenny kind of liked the way it smelled, the way it looked.

     Jenny's Aunt Becky came over with her daughter Sabrina for dinner 
on a Thursday night, (the day after Sabrina turned 11 years old), and 
Jenny tried desperately to get Sabrina to play with her but was 
unsuccessful-as usual.  Sabrina was six years older than Jenny and 
didn't think that Jenny was much more important than a doorstop.
So, Jenny hovered around the edge of the conversation which Sabrina 
seemed irregularly involved in.  It wasn't until about ten minutes after 
her Aunt Becky and cousin Sabrina got there that Jenny's interest in 
getting Sabrina to play with her became much more focused.

     Jenny's mom and her Aunt Becky sat at the table, smoking and 
talking, and Sabrina reached over between them and grabbed Aunt Becky's 
cigarettes.  She smiled at a joke that Jenny's mom, (Melinda), made, and 
casually took one of the long, slender Virginia Slims 120's out of the 
box.  She lit the cigarette expertly and inhaled deeply.  Jenny's jaw 
dropped as she watched from outside their group.  Jenny's mommy didn't 
even react as Sabrina lit her cigarette and neither did Aunt Becky.  
Sabrina smiled smugly at Jenny when she looked over and saw her staring 
intently.  The 11 year old turned up her nose at the 5 year old and 
exhaled smoke slowly through her nostrils as she turned back in toward 
her mother.  Jenny waved frantically at Sabrina, trying to drawing her 
away from the table.  Sabrina didn't budge though.  Soon, Jenny gave up 
on it.  She occupied herself with the little bit of homework she'd 
brought home from her first grade class.  She couldn't keep from 
watching Sabrina every time she lit a cigarette though.  Jenny counted 
them all and by the time that Aunt Becky and Sabrina left, Sabrina had 
smoked six cigarettes.  Jenny didn't know how to express what she was 
feeling but if she'd been able to call it something she would have 
called it jealousy.
     Jenny watched her mommy smoke the rest of that afternoon and 
decided that she was going to try and smoke.  She didn't think her mommy 
would let her so she decided that maybe she'd sneak a pack of cigarettes 
out of mommy's box in the kitchen drawer.  Then she could try to smoke 
when she went to school.  She didn't wind up waiting even that long.

     It was three o' clock in the morning on Monday.  Jenny woke up to 
go to the bathroom and when she was done and on the way to her room it 
occurred to her that she was all alone.  Her mommy was asleep.  It was 
the middle of the night and her mommy had her own bathroom in her room.
     Jenny smiled in the shadowy light put off by the dimmed light of 
the kitchen.  She tip-toed over to the drawer where mommy kept her 
cigarettes.  Mommy would have her open pack of cigarettes in her room SO 
Jenny couldn't sneak any from that pack.  She opened the drawer and it 
made a little squeak.  Jenny flinched and looked around fearfully, sure 
that her mother would be coming.  For nearly a minute she didn't move.  
Nothing from her mother's room.
     Jenny turned back to the drawer and took out a pack of Marlboro 
Lights 100's.  She slowly peeled the plastic strip off the top of the 
pack as she'd seen her mother do so many times before.  Then, she tore 
the small silver piece off of the top of the pack.  As quietly as she 
could, she tapped the pack against her hand and looked toward her 
mother's door-waiting for her to come out.  Jenny tapped the pack 
against her hand again, sliding a cigarette out.
     She looked at it in her hand and then put it in between her first 
two fingers like mommy always did.  Jenny put the filter end to her 
mouth and sucked air through it, just like mommy always did.  It tasted 
funny.  She went to light the cigarette and realized she didn't have a 
     Jenny looked around.  There wasn't a lighter.  She looked on the 
tables, on the shelves, always being quiet, but couldn't find one.  
She'd almost given up and went to put the cigarettes back in the drawer 
when she noticed a package of BIC lighters in the drawer.  She took one 
from the package, put it back, and looked at the lighter.  Then she 
looked down at the cigarette dangling from her lips.

     A long moment passed.  All eternity perhaps.  Later in life, Jenny 
would remember it as a defining moment.  She tried to get the lighter to 
light and it took three tries.  On the third try, when the flame 
appeared, Jenny was mesmerized for a second.  She was getting ready to 
do something that she knew she wasn't supposed to.  It wasn't like 
stealing or not cleaning her room though-she knew that.  She raised the 
cigarette with her lips and brought the flame to the tip of the 
     Jenny didn't suck on the cigarette and let the flame go out on the 
lighter quickly..  The flame quickly turned the very end of the 
cigarette and the paper around the tobacco a black/grey color.  Jenny 
sucked on the cigarette then and tried to blow out smoke-nothing 
     At first Jenny was disappointed, she took the cigarette from her 
mouth and held it in between her fingers.  The end of the cigarette 
wasn't glowing like mommy's did when she smoked.  Jenny thought about 
that for a second-mommy always sucked on the cigarette at the same time 
that she used the lighter!  That was what she did wrong.
Jenny looked around as if someone were watching her and listened for 
movement from her mothers room.
     So, Jenny fumbled with the lighter again.  She got the flame going 
and realized she didn't have the cigarette in her mouth.  She let the 
flame go out, put the cigarette in her mouth again, and then managed to 
get the lighter going once more, this time on the first try.
     She brought the lighter to the end of the cigarette and sucked on 
the cigarette at the same time.  Jenny felt the smoke fill her mouth and 
smiled.  The smoke drifted up out of her mouth as she did so.  It stung 
her right eye and she closed it, shaking her head at the same time.  
Jenny took the cigarette from her mouth and looked at it, tip glowing, 
in her hand.  She blew out her breath like her mommy did and no smoke 
came out.  Jenny had to think about that.
Mommy always swallowed the smoke.  How did she do it though?  Jenny 
watched the smoke curl up off of the tip of the cigarette as she 
considered this with her five year old mind.  What did she have to do?  
Sabrina had breathed in when she had smoked the cigarettes that Jenny 
had so enviously watched burn down.
     Jenny brought the cigarette to her lips, sucked on the end of the 
cigarette, and drew in a small breath.  Half of the smoke escaped out of 
her mouth as she did so and just the slightest bit of smoke trailed down 
her throat.  It was enough to make her cough just slightly.  Jenny put 
the hand without the cigarette in it over her mouth and coughed as 
quietly as she could.  When she was done, she ran over to the sink and 
went to dip the cigarette in some water in a dirty cup, when she 
realized there was still no noise from her mother's room.
     Her mommy didn't cough when she smoked?  Why did she cough?  Jenny 
looked at the cigarette.  Maybe she was sucking too much in at first, 
she considered.
     Jenny took the cigarette in between her lips again and this time 
took a tiny puff.  She drew in a small breath, felt a tickle in her 
throat, and then breathed out, also with a slight tickle.  Just a little 
bit of smoke blew out of her small mouth in a cone shape.  Jenny smiled.
     Padding quietly over to the kitchen table, Jenny slid out one of 
the chairs and slid the ashtray in the middle of it over to her.  She 
tapped the end of the cigarette against the edge of the ashtray as she'd 
seen her mother do so many times before.  Jenny brought the cigarette to 
her lips again and this time sucked a little harder on the cigarette.  
This time when she breathed in, she felt like she was going to really 
cough again but managed not to.  When the thick stream of smoke came out 
of her mouth, Jenny's legs waved quickly back and forth under the table 
in excitement.
     Jenny took another puff and this time tried to mimic her mother's 
look when her cheeks caved in, like when she sucked in really hard on 
the cigarette.  Jenny did just fine, looking more like her mother than 
she would ever know in that moment.  She breathed in and this time only 
felt a slight tickle.  The long, luxurious cone of smoke that escaped 
from her mouth and trickled from her nose looked like it belonged there, 
even though she was just barely old enough to be going to school.  Jenny 
tapped ash off again and noticed that she was starting to feel kind of 
     Partially due to being tired and dizzy AND partially due to being 
afraid of her mommy catching her, Jenny got up from the table, pushed 
the chair in, and went to put the cigarette out in the water of dirty 
cup.  Thinking about that for a moment, she took one more puff on the 
cigarette, hollowing out her cheeks, and threw it in the garbage under 
the sink.  Finally, Jenny grabbed the lighter and pack of cigarettes she 
had opened and  trailed smoke from her mouth and nose all the way to her 
     Hiding the cigarettes and lighter in her toy box, Jenny crawled 
into bed and fell asleep with a smoky smile on her face.

     The next morning, Jenny got up for school and ate breakfast with 
her mommy as always.  Jenny sat hunched over a bowl of cereal, eating 
lazily, watching her mother smoke.
     "Jenny, do you have something you want to talk about?" Her mommy 
asked her after a bit of silence.
     Jenny was instantly terrified.  Her mom knew about the smoking!  
What was she going to say?  Jenny started to tell her about the whole 
thing the night before when her mommy took a deep drag on her cigarette 
and spoke again.
     "You're being awfully quiet, is anything wrong?" Jenny's mommy 
said, smoke punctuating every word.
     With a sigh of relief, Jenny smiled an innocent smile.
     "No, mommy, I'm just tired."
     "Okay.  Are you feeling all right?"
     "Good," her mommy said, standing up with her cigarette clamped 
between her lips, and took her bowl to the sink.

     Jenny went to her room and grabbed her backpack, put her books in 
it, and got halfway to her door when she thought of the cigarettes.  
Quickly, she ran back to her toy box and grabbed the cigarettes and 
lighter out of it, stuck them in her pocket, and left her room, then her 
house and started her walk to school.
     A block and a half from home she stopped and, after a little 
fumbling, lit a cigarette.  Jenny left it clamped between her lips like 
her mother.  She puffed and exhaled with out taking the cigarette from 
her mouth.  She finished half of the cigarette before she started to 
feel funny again.  Then she threw the cigarette on the ground and 
crushed it out under her shoe.

     School went by as it did for Jenny and her homework was all done to 
her teacher's satisfaction.  Jenny started her walk home and repeated 
her ritual that she'd started that morning.  A couple of blocks from the 
school, she lit up a cigarette on the first try and inhaled-twice, for 
her first double pump.   She smiled with every puff and noticed that the 
other kids who walked her way were all watching her.  She kind of liked 
     Perhaps it was the fact that her mommy was a three to four pack a 
day chain smoker that made it so easy for Jenny to smoke from the get 
go.  Perhaps it was a desire to be like her mother or her aunt or her 
cousin.  Regardless of the reason, Jenny was a smoker by the end of the 
     By Friday, Jenny had smoked 12 cigarettes out of the pack of 20.  
She had already reached the point where she was smoking them down to the 
filter.  In fact, she'd gotten that far on her seventh cigarette.  
Double and triple pumps had become an integral part of her style.  She 
now mimicked the motions of her mother as a smoker.  She would exhale 
slowly, upward.  Jenny would walk with her hand tilted just slightly 
outward when she held a cigarette in her hand.  She would, for the most 
part though, walk to and from school with a cigarette in between her 
lips, puffing, inhaling, and exhaling without taking the cigarette out 
of her mouth.  An occasional flick of ashes was the exception to this.
     Jenny's mommy didn't notice the smell, obviously, since everything 
in their house and all the clothes they wore already smelled of smoke 
from HER cigarettes.  AND, considering the volume that she smoked, she 
didn't notice when the pack that Jenny took went missing.
     Melinda, Jenny's mommy, worked in a small automotive repair office 
during the day and was able to smoke at work.  So, even though she 
probably could have done better, she continued working at the place.  
They weren't strapped for cash though.  They owned the house and had a 
good chunk of insurance money left from the unfortunate death of Jenny's 
father when she was just one year old.  Melinda would never have guessed 
about Jenny doing what she was-until it all became academic.

     For nearly three months Jenny went on sneaking packs out of her 
mother's cartons.  In the space of those three months she had gone from 
a two cigarette a day smoker to nearly a pack a day.  This was 
exceptionally easy, easier than Melinda could ever have imagined.
     Jenny commandeered an ashtray and hid it in her room.  When she got 
home before her mommy, which was about three quarters of the time, she 
smoked.  She would go `play' in the tree-house in the back yard and 
smoke.  She would wake up at night and smoke.  She would chain smoke two 
or three cigarettes sometimes and even smoke two at once when she really 
wanted a cigarette.  Pretty soon, Jenny got to the point where she 
REALLY wanted to be able to smoke when her mommy did.  Jenny wanted to 
smoke all the time.  She couldn't wait until school got out 
everyday-just so she could have a cigarette.  Jenny anxiously awaited 
those times when her mother would be preoccupied with something and she 
could sneak into the bathroom, turn on the fan, and have a cigarette.  
She had gone from a five year old infatuation with the idea of smoking 
to an adult addiction to it.  Jenny liked smoking though.  She really 
did.  She wanted to be able to smoke as much as her mommy did.
     So, she decided to do just that.

     Two days after Jenny's sixth birthday, a Saturday morning, three 
months and a week since she had first tried smoking, Jenny got up out of 
bed, dug 6 cigarettes out of the most recently stolen pack of her 
mother's cigarettes and grabbed one of the two lighters out of her toy 
box, and expertly lit one of the cigarettes.  She took a double pump off 
it, exhaled smoke slowly from her nose, and picked up her Barbie which 
had fallen on the floor after she'd fallen asleep.
     It didn't sound like her mommy was up out of bed yet but Jenny had 
already decided that it didn't matter.  She was going to smoke today and 
if mommy got mad then she'd just go and hide somewhere to smoke.  Mommy 
couldn't keep track of her all the time!  This mischievous idea wasn't 
something she would never have thought of a few months earlier but now, 
all she wanted to do was to be able to smoke like mommy.
     Jenny went out into the living room with her Barbie, her cigarettes 
and lighter, and turned on the TV to the cartoons.  She grabbed an 
ashtray off of one of the end tables and set it down in front of her as 
she watched cartoons.  Jenny had already chain smoked four cigarettes 
when her mommy arose.

     When Jenny's mommy, Melinda, woke she immediately lit a cigarette 
and threw on a bathrobe.  She grinned as she casually let wisps of smoke 
slowly escape from her nose and  went out into the living room.
     Melinda began to head into the kitchen.  Jenny was sitting in front 
of the tv watching cartoons, as she usually did on Saturday mornings.  
Jenny was sitting in front of the tv with an ashtray in front of her.  
Melinda turned slowly toward her daughter and was stunned as she watched 
the cigarette dangling from her daughters lips move upward as she took a 
puff off of it.  Melinda watched in amazed silence as Jenny exhaled twin 
streams of smoke from her nose and took another puff immediately after.
     Melinda didn't have any idea how to react.  She was angry, 
confused, and intrigued all at the same time.  Jenny hadn't heard her 
come out of the room, that was obvious.  Melinda didn't know why she 
would be sitting in the living room casually smoking when she was sure 
that Jenny knew she would get in trouble for it.  Did she know that?  
Unconsciously, Melinda took a deep drag on her cigarette, inhaled, took 
the cigarette from her mouth, and exhaled toward the ceiling.  Melinda 
couldn't repress a surprised smile as she watched Jenny do the same 
thing.  It was apparent that Jenny had learned how to smoke from her.
     After a few more seconds of puzzling over how to react, Melinda 
decided that she'd approach this situation carefully.  She wasn't going 
to make any snap decisions or blow up, she'd just see what was behind 
this whole thing first.

     "Jenny?," Melinda asked, trying to keep any hint of emotion from 
tainting her speech.
     Jenny jumped and turned toward her mommy, cigarette dangling 
between her lips.
     "What, mommy?," Jenny answered, smoke escaping from her mouth with 
her words.
     Melinda noted that she looked guilty but not scared.  Melinda 
puffed on her cigarette, exhaled.
     "What are you doing?"
     "Watching cartoons," Jenny said, a smirk appearing on her innocent 
     "Oh," Melinda said with a nod, "and what else?"
     "Um, smoking a cigarette," Jenny said, turning her gaze toward the 
floor-and taking a drag.
     "Who said you could do that?"
     "Nobody," Jenny exhaled slowly.
     "Why are you doing it then?"
     "I just wanted to."
     Melinda was surprised by the fact that no one had egged her on, or 
pushed her into it.  Still, it wasn't THAT surprising considering how 
much she smoked.  She took a puff.
     "I wanted to be like you," Jenny said, looking up.  She took the 
cigarette from her mouth and held it beside her in her hand.
     "Well, you know smoking is bad for you, right?"
     Jenny nodded.
     "So what?" Jenny responded after a momentary pause.
     "So, what are we going to do?"
     Melinda brought her cigarette to her mouth and took a double pump.
     "I don't know."
     "Do you think you're old enough to smoke?"
     "I don't know."
     "Well, I-" Melinda paused.  She didn't know where she was going 
with this.  Jenny wasn't crying or getting all upset.  It was as if she 
didn't care what the outcome of this was.  Melinda decided to change 
tactics.  She took a drag off of her cigarette, crushed it out in one of 
the many ashtrays, and lit another one from the pack in her bathrobe 
     "How long have been smoking, honey?"  Melinda said, walking over by 
Jenny and sitting on the floor beside her.
     Jenny took a drag and exhaled toward the ceiling.  It occurred to 
Melinda at that moment that every second passing without telling Jenny 
she couldn't smoke would make it harder to prevent her from doing so.
     "A long time," Jenny paused, "-since Sabrina's birthday."
     Melinda was shocked.  She could see by the reaction Jenny had to 
her expression that it showed.
     "That's over three months!"
     "A long time."
     Melinda shook her head.
     "You've been taking the cigarettes from my cartons, right?
     Jenny nodded.
     "You can't smoke, honey.  You aren't old enough."
     "Kay'," Jenny said, looking down at the floor again, she took a 
drag on her cigarette which was now burned almost down to the filter.
     Melinda was perturbed at that.  She had just told her she couldn't 
smoke and she didn't make a move to stop.
     "You have to put that out," Melinda said to Jenny sternly.
     Jenny sat unmoving for a minute and then crushed out the cigarette 
in the ashtray behind her.
     "Do you understand what I said?"
     "What did I say then?"
     "You said I can't smoke."
     "Right.  So, you aren't going to smoke, right?"
     "No, what?"
     "No, I'm gonna'."
     Melinda was flabbergasted.  What could she do?
     "Don't get mouthy with me, little lady.  You are not to smoke, do 
you understand?"
     "I understand, mommy.  I'm gonna' smoke though."
     Melinda stood up.
     "Go to your room," Melinda said, pointing at Jenny's door.
Jenny stood up and grabbed her Barbie.
     "You can stay in there until you learn to listen," Melinda said, 
pointing toward Jenny's room.
     Jenny reached down for the single cigarette and lighter next to the 
     "Leave that there!," Melinda yelled.
     Jenny cowed and went into her room.
     Melinda walked up to the door, looked in sternly at Jenny, (who was 
sitting on her bed with her head down), and closed it.

     Jenny waited about five minutes before she pulled out the half pack 
of cigarettes, the second lighter, and ashtray from within her toy box.  
As quietly as possible, she pulled a cigarette from the pack and lit it.  
She went over to her small desk, set the ashtray on it, and began to 
color in a coloring book, cigarette dangling from her mouth.

     Melinda sat smoking on the couch in the living room.  She was 
trying to come to terms with the situation that she'd just been in.  Her 
five, no six, year old daughter smoking.  It wasn't really even that 
that bothered her so much-she didn't want Jenny to start smoking, that 
was for sure, but she expected that the issue would come up eventually.  
Just not for another ten years or so.  It was the fact that she was 
smoking so-so-expertly.  Melinda had watched the double pump, a very 
practiced exhale, and even when she had exhaled while speaking.  These 
were the things practiced smokers did-not beginners.      Melinda 
remembered how she had been at first and that had not been the way she 
was.  Of course, she'd been 12 years old.  It had been young but it 
seemed different compared to this.
     Melinda was sure that Jenny would smoke now, whether she gave 
permission or not.  It was evident in her defiance that she didn't plan 
to listen to what Melinda said.  Melinda hadn't expected the smoking and 
that was a shock but the outright refusal to do as she was told was even 
more shocking to her.  That wasn't supposed to happen until she was a 
     It was no wonder that Jenny wanted to try smoking.  Melinda smoked 
usually three and sometimes four packs a day.  She chain smoked all day 
long and even woke up to smoke in the middle of the night on occasion.  
Now the question was, what was she going to do about all this?

     Jenny finished coloring in the Winnie-the-Pooh picture on the page 
and took a drag off of the cigarette.  She felt bad telling her mommy no 
and not listening to her but she wanted smoke and was going to no matter 
     Melinda didn't move from the couch for nearly an hour.  She sat 
absently looking at the tv and smoking.  Dozens of scenarios played 
themselves out in her head.  She could keep a close eye on Jenny, try to 
catch her in the eventual act of smoking or stealing cigarettes and 
punish her each time.  She could drive her to and from school although 
that would be hard with her work schedule.  Melinda could let her have a 
cigarette once in a while, sort of regulating her smoking.  OR, she 
could just let her smoke.

     Jenny crushed out yet another cigarette and let the last of the 
bluish-gray smoke trail out of her mouth pursed together in an O.  She 
pulled another cigarette from the pack and noted that there were only 
four left.  With a frown, she lit the cigarette and took a double pump 
off of it.  Again, as if it were fate, her mother walked in trailing her 
own smoke as Jenny was exhaling smoke from her nose and inhaling at the 
same time.
     "Jenny!," Melinda exclaimed in frustration..  "What are you 
     Jenny hung her head again but made no move to put out the 
     "I'm smoking, mommy," Jenny said, a small crinkle now appearing 
between her eyebrows in preparation for whatever came next.
     Melinda came over to stand next to the desk that Jenny was sitting 
at.  Jenny wondered what was going to happen next.  Her mommy didn't 
spank her like some of the other kids she knew but she was always afraid 
she was going to.
     Jenny and her mommy were both surprised at what came next.
     "How much do you smoke, honey?," Melinda said, seeming almost 
surprised by the statement as it came out of her mouth.
     "Almost a whole pack a day," Jenny said, smiling now as if she were 
     "That's bad, Jenny."
     The smile disappeared.
     "Why mommy?"
     "Because it makes it hard for you to stop."
     "I don't wanna' stop."
     Melinda shook her head.
     "I sort of figured that out."
     "Does that mean I can smoke?"
     Melinda paused, mulling it over once more in her mind.  Was she 
going to do this?  Yes, she supposed she was.  It didn't seem like the 
wisest thing to do but it wasn't as if she could lecture her on not 
smoking when there was rarely a moment when she didn't smoke.
     "Yes, I guess it does."
     "Good!," Jenny exclaimed.  She jumped up and hugged her mother.
     "There are rules though, you understand?"
     "First, you can't smoke anywhere but in the house or when you're 
with me somewhere without a lot of people and second, you have to let me 
know when you take cigarettes so I can buy more."
     Jenny took a drag and exhaled slowly toward the ceiling.
     "Well, I've got to think about this some more, you go ahead and 
play," Melinda said as she walked toward the door, "-and smoke."
     "Thank you, mommy."
     "No, honey, don't."

     The rule about when and where to smoke only lasted about two weeks.  
After another two months, Jenny had progressed to a pack and half a day.  
As much as it may have seemed like a lot for a six year old, Jenny 
didn't show any signs of slowing.  Only school kept her from smoking 
more.  That summer Jenny's smoking increased to over two packs a day.  
When it came time for her to go back to school, things got interesting.  
School made her smoking habit tough to maintain but by the time the 
middle of the school year came around she was up to three packs a day 
sneaking out to smoke virtually every free moment.

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