Lisa: Next Generations

(by anonymous, 14 December 2009)


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Lisa's Story Part 4 
The Next Generations 


Hi girls! It's me again, Lisa Lewis! You haven't heard from me in three 
years. A lot has changed but nothing really important, except that I'm 14 
now. I'm still smoking. And I've never regretted a day of it ever since my 
older sister Kristie, who is 17, showed me how when I was still 11 years 
old. I haven't gone a day without cigarettes. Even when I'm sick, have a 
bad cold or sore throat I'll still light up. Actually, smoking clears up my 
colds quicker. All of our friends smoke. All of them! They mostly smoke 
Marlboro Lights 100s. Some smoke Marlboro 100s and Newport 100s. I've tried 
those brands and they're all right but I like my ML 100s, in the 
crush-proof box. 

My smoking habit has grown and grown and so has my enjoyment of it. Smoking 
cigarettes is my favorite thing to do. It has been so for close to three 
years now. I'm now up to a pack and a half a day during the week and 
usually a bit over two packs a day on the weekends. I've really enjoyed 
becoming a heavy smoker. During summer vacation when our family went to the 
beach Kristie and I had a contest - who could smoke the most. I won and 
averaged almost three packs a day. What a blast! Our parents didn't mind. 
Dad was always asking us how many we'd smoked. Later in the summer I was 
invited to a weeklong sleepover with Kristie at her friend Ashley's house. 
Jenny and Denise were there too. Well Jenny's older sister Clarissa brought 
over some booze (Jack Daniels, Jose Cuervo, the good stuff) and we got 
hammered every night, really wasted. We also had some smoking contests, ya 
know, who could have the most in one day. I did my best to be a non-stop 
chimney, chaining as much as I could. Denise won with 77 cigarettes but 
she's been smoking for five years, since she was 12. I puffed through 74. 
But Denise puked. What a light-weight! The next day I had 68 and Denise 
could only light up and finish 63. I'm really going to enjoy being a heavy 
smoker in a couple of years, when I'm in college and dating. Well, Denise 
was a big baby saying her Newport 100s were a better smoke with more 
nicotine than my Marlboro Lights 100s. Get real Denise! I didn't complain 
when she drank me under the table by chugging three straight Coors Lights. 
But I'll get her next year! 

I love smoking on the phone and while riding in the car. I can't do my 
makeup without my smoke dangling from my lips. I'll nose exhale most of the 
time but sometimes I'll squeeze it out between my lips. Smoking in the 
girl's room at school is just great. All the cool girls are there all the 
time. Plus, lunch break isn't complete unless I get in at least two smokes. 
I love to finish a meal and light up and I finish off the day with my last 
cigarette just before bedtime. But nothing, I mean nothing, goes better 
with cigarettes than booze. Drinking and smoking! Drunkenness and 
chain-smoking go hand-in-hand with the crew I hang out with. Big time. 
There's nothing I love better than getting drunk. Well, there's one thing - 
being addicted to nicotine! Lately, we've all been getting into partying 
big-time and you just can't be sucking down a beer or doing shots without 
sucking on a lit cigarette. At the parties, the boys line up once they see 
you dragging away. All you have to do is reach into your pack and there's a 
guy in your face with a lighter! It's so cool to be at a party, drunk out 
of your mind, so wasted you can't even think of anything except where your 
cigarettes are. 

Once when I was real loaded, I couldn't find my cigarettes, no one was 
giving me any and I freaked out. I mean real bad. A couple of the guys had 
to wrestle me to the floor. I was swinging at them, kicking away, cursing, 
spitting, and pulling hair, screaming "I wanna smoke!" Finally, someone got 
me a cigarette. My friends said I passed out soon after that. When I woke 
up, I was so hung over I was freaking out again. I remember stumbling my 
way to the Dairy Mart and buying a pack. If that nerdy guy behind the 
counter was going to card me, it would have been curtains for him. I think 
I chain-smoked three in a row. 

Kristie does some real serious smoking when she's out for a night of binge 
drinking. She never leaves the house without two fresh packs. I remember 
when her friends planned a weekend-long Drunk Fest-drinking non-stop, 
passing out, waking up, drinking right away, drinking throughout the day 
until you pass out again, trying not to puke-she bought two cartons and was 
pissed because one was the soft-pack. She was drunk the whole time she was 
gone and came home with only a pack and a half unsmoked. I remember she 
stumbled home, passed out, woke up, puked and started crying. Kristie was a 
total mess. She was still so wasted but I got her to chain-smoke two in a 
row. Then she was fine. Kristie says her favorite smoke is after intimate 
relations with her boyfriends. I don't know about that yet but can't wait. 
Kristie says it's the only thing better than smoking and getting drunk. 
Nothing's better she says than combining all three! 

Any of you girls reading my stories for the first time, I have a bit of 
advice for you and your friends. Get smoking, and get smoking soon! Don't 
give up if you don't like smoking right off the bat. For some, it's an 
acquired taste. But anyone can smoke if they put their mind to it. You'll 
love the taste and love how they make you feel. And there's no better 
feeling in the world than when you first realize you crave a cigarette and 
how lighting up provides such a relief and such a rush. I wish I could have 
started that day when I was 6 years old and told my dad that I wanted to 
smoke when I was a girl and when I was a woman. 

When I have children, I'm going to get my daughters to smoke before they go 
to school. They'll look cute lighting up, I'm sure, and I know they'll 
thank me later for all the additional years of smoking enjoyment. Why 
should they have to wait until they're teenagers to enjoy nicotine 
addiction! I'll look forward to teaching them and buying cigarettes for 
them and moving them toward addiction. If my husband doesn't go for the 
idea, he's out. If a young girl can handle a cigarette and not burn things, 
then she's old enough to smoke. 

One of my best friends, Tina, got her younger sisters to smoke. They were 9 
and 7 years old when they started and they love it now. They're addicted 
and good. They've even gotten some of their friends to start too, well, at 
least try cigarettes. They smoke Marlboro Lights mostly, some just regular 
Marlboro Reds. They've been smoking cigarettes now for about 6 months and 
it's so great. They're trying to get even more of their friends to smoke. 
What's better than the smell of smoke in an elementary school girl's room? 
The great thing is, once girls try it, they love it! 

Sometimes, though, they don't get permission to smoke from their parents, 
and that's too bad. So they all come over to our house. My parents don't 
seem to mind. At first they asked questions when the younger girls came 
over. My parents realize Kristie, our friends, and I are providing an 
important service for the young girls in the community. They compliment us 
when someone graduates and becomes a new full-time young smoker. I think 
they're proud of us. Sometimes the smokers-in-training cough when they 
inhale for the first time. But we know how to teach them just right. We get 
them used to the taste and the feel of the smoke. They blow out the smoke 
without inhaling then when they're ready they try to inhale. Usually it's 
about 6 or 7 cigarettes before they're ready. Girls, you should see the 
looks on their faces when they exhale cigarette smoke from their lungs for 
the first time. They get so excited. And they're so proud. Usually after 
that they really get into it in no time. They get addicted real quick. They 
just want to smoke and smoke and smoke. It looks so cool to see smoke 
curling up from a 100 sticking out between their little fingers. Of course, 
we push our Marlboro Lights 100s because they're the best by far but if a 
girl knows what her brand is going to be or what she thinks she wants it to 
be, we'll let them smoke those. Kristie wants the girls to smoke our brand 
but she always tells the girls to try all sorts of brands to see what 
cigarettes will work for them. Everyone's different. Kristie checks up on 
them several months later and always feels so rewarded when she finds out 
they come back to ML 100s! 

So, how about it girls? Why not make today your first day with cigarettes? 
The wonderful cravings and the fulfilling habit will be just around the 
corner. Thousands of girls start each day, and within a few days they just 
love it! Why not make today your day? You'll never regret it. It will 
definitely be one of the greatest and most memorable days of your life! 
It's going to happen sooner or later, sober or drunk, with your friends or 
without, with your parents' approval or without. It is inevitable, so why 
don't you light up for the first time today? You won't be alone! Aaaah! 
Full, rich tobacco flavor! 

Buying cigarettes lately has been a problem with all the new laws but we 
know all the tricks. Usually someone's older sister has a fake ID and they 
go in with everyone's order. A lot of times they go in with over a hundred 
dollars. You can tell when you see about a dozen girls hanging outside a 
convenience store smoking up a storm. 

The anti-smoking Nazis are becoming a real bore. Beth and Anne and I were 
at the mall and went outside for a smoke break a couple of months ago and 
the mother of one of the anti's at school saw us and got on our case 
big-time. Finally, I said, "Mrs. Edwards, listen, just because you're too 
obtuse to try it, you just don't know what you're missing. We love 
everything about it. Smoking's the best. Everyone who tries it gets 
addicted. Everyone! We invite your daughter Callie to join us. We'll teach 
her and help her. I guarantee you, if you take us up on this offer, she'll 
be addicted within two weeks and she'll say it was the greatest decision of 
her life. No doubt about it. What do you say, Mrs. Edwards?" She just 
stormed off and we just burst out into laughter. When we saw her later in 
the mall, Anne asked her if she wanted to join us for a smoke. Callie gave 
us grief in school, the old cancer-emphysema line. I said, "We might die 
earlier than you but at least we'll be happy. You'll die without ever 
realizing what a joy you missed. It's never too late. When you change your 
mind, we'll be here to help you and encourage you." Well, about a month 
later, we got Callie to try a cigarette. She tried again and again and 
again. Two days later, she said she loved it. Now she smokes Virginia Slims 
Menthol, and she's already up to a half-pack a day! Her mother was so 
pissed off. Callie said she's already starting to get on her mother to try 
smoking. 

I've grown to love everything about smoking. Nothing's as satisfying as a 
good smoke. Girls, you'll love the taste and you'll love the attention you 
get, especially from the boys. Most of the girls in high school here smoke, 
even the athletes. Two girls from the basketball team just started this 
summer and so did the captain of the soccer team. Everyone on the softball 
team smokes. The last coach used to give everyone a hard time but she was 
fired. She wanted us to run, can you believe! The new coach is great. She 
smokes Marlboro Menthol 100s and will let us take breaks anytime for a 
smoke. It's something to see everyone early in practice during our catch. 
We dangle, puff, throw, exhale, de-ash, catch, dangle, puff, throw, exhale. 
The coach has one rule: all butts out by the time you reach the on-deck 
circle. No one on the cross country team smokes but there are a few from 
the track team; jumpers and throwers and even one sprinter. She's a 
Marlboro Reds girl. Four girls on the swim team smoke. Andrea gets out of 
school, races across the street to Smokeout Central, chains two of her 
Parliament 100s, then gets ready for swim practice. All the cheerleaders 
smoke, most real heavily! The captains tell the newcomers don't bother 
trying out unless you're addicted to tobacco! 

Some of the top students smoke, too. Last year's valedictorian has been 
smoking since she was 12, but my group of friends are known as the real 
smokers. We're the ones who got everyone else to try it. Some of the real 
jerks at school called our group the Nic-O-Teens. The girls room between 
periods is a real Smoke Fest. And when we're in our cars going to and from 
school, it's Cigarette City. Seems like nearly everyone's got a cigarette 
going. If not, they're lighting up or flicking them out of the window. 
Nicotine rules! We ordered tee shirts with that saying on them. 

My favorite smoke of the day is my first. Soon as I wake up, I'm thinking 
about smoking. I probably dream about smoking half the time! I leave my 
pack right on my nightstand next to my ashtray. I light up right away. 
Nothing's better than getting that invigorating tobacco smoke right into my 
lungs first thing in the morning. Most mornings I'll double- or 
triple-pump. Then I'll settle in and later just let the smoke drift out 
without blowing it out. "Luxuriate" is the word Kristie used. She came up 
with it after she took her SATs. Kristie is the master of the talking 
exhale. She looks so cool when she does that. On the weekends I'll chain 
into another, even before I get out of bed. Once in a while when I can't 
sleep I'll wake up and have a smoke. I also love having a smoke with 
Kristie right after breakfast and before she drives us to school. I think 
mom is missing out on what Kristie and I share when we have our smokes. We 
thought mom was interested in cigarettes when Kristie and I started but she 
never followed through. We've asked her so many times to join us, to start 
smoking. She always says no and seem so sad, so depressed, so torn up about 
it. Lately I see her watching us enjoying our smokes. I wonder. It's been 
great getting teenage girls and younger girls to smoke but nothing would 
top getting mom addicted to Marlboro Lights 100s. Mom's never given Kristie 
or me hard time about our cigarette habit. She's been so supportive. But I 
think she's jealous. Whenever she goes shopping, she always asks how many 
packs to buy. All the time. She never forgets, and she's good about 
lighters, too. Kristie says she wants to hypnotize her and help get her 
started on cigarettes. I think we should try it when she's drunk. Either 
way, we know she'd love it. For sure! 

Saturday morning mom started asking questions about the sleepover we were 
going to have later that night. 

"Is Tina coming over, Lisa?" Mom asked 

"Yes," I answered. 

Then my mom asked about Beth and Kyleigh and Sarah and Gretchen and Linda 
and Lisa and MaryLynn and Chloe and Brianna and Mariella. The whole crew. 

"Yes," I said. 

"They all smoke cigarettes, Lisa. Do you realize that all your friends 
smoke? Not just most of them - all of them." 

"Da, yeah, mom, and everyone but Kyleigh and Mariella are Marlboro Lights 
100s girls!" 

"Why don't Kyleigh and Mariella smoke your brand?" Mom asked 

"Because their mothers and sisters were smoking Newport 100s and Marlboro 
100s before they started." 

After mom left the room, Kristie asked me what was up. I said I didn't know 

"I don't know either but I do know she's been staring at us lately when we 
light-up and drag and exhale." Kirstie replied. "Have you noticed? She 
moved my pack the other day, I'm sure, because I know you wouldn't touch 
them because you never run out." 

"Hum, I wonder what's up. I hope she's getting interested in smoking." 
Well, we didn't have to wait long to find out. 

When Beth came over, her mother went into the kitchen to talk to my mom. 
The same happened with Chloe and Brianna, too. None of their mothers smoke. 
They were talking together for a long time, drinking some wine, laughing. 
Something was smoldering. We were downstairs listening to CDs, ordering 
pizzas and getting some serious nicotine into us, when my mom came 
downstairs and asked to speak to me and Beth and Chloe and Brianna upstairs 
in the kitchen. We said sure, and upstairs we went wondering what was going 
on. 

We didn't have to wait long. Beth's mother Kelsey started speaking. "Girls, 
we, your mothers, all know you enjoy your smoking habit. We know you enjoy 
being addicted to nicotine. And you know that some girls your age would 
catch grief from their mothers about starting with cigarettes. Well, we've 
been more than supportive. We hope you appreciate it." 

"Yes, mom," Beth said, "speaking on behalf of my friends we don't take for 
granted that you allowed us to smoke and bought our cigarettes at first. We 
really do, but we've noticed lately that you've taken a bigger interest in 
our smoking habit. What's going on?" 

"Well, we hope it doesn't come as a shock but our interest and curiosity 
has peaked." Chloe's mother Bea said, "We can't stand it anymore! We don't 
know what we're missing ... and now we'd like to know. We'd like you girls 
to show us the way." 

"Are you saying what we've been waiting so long to hear you say?" Brianna 
asked. 

"Yes, we're all interested in learning how to smoke." Brianna's mother 
Maggie responded. "We've spoken to our husbands and they're all for it. 
We'd like to become addicted to smoking cigarettes, the sooner the better. 
We all see how it's working wonders for you girls, how it's improved your 
social life, how it's built your confidence. Plus, it just looks like it's 
fun. What do you say girls?" 

We stood there in stunned disbelief, looking at each other, then finally we 
started going wild. High-fiving each other, hugging and kissing our moms, 
giggling, jumping. All the celebrations caused Kyleigh, Sarah, Gretchen, 
Linda, Lisa, MaryLynn and Mariella to bolt upstairs to see what all the 
fuss was about. Well, Gretchen and MaryLynn had fresh cigarettes going and 
you should have seen the looks the mothers were giving them. Such envy. 
Well, Beth broke the news and everyone went wild. 

"Ladies, do you want to get down to business." I finally said. 

"I think so," my mom replied, "Let's get smoking!" 

We all moved into the living room, brought out some ash trays and everyone 
was with their mothers and my other friends whose moms weren't there were 
floating around not wanting to miss a thing. 

"Mom, what brand do you want to try?" I asked. "Mine, or we can go to the 
store or try someone else's." 

"I don't know Lisa," mom answered, "those Virginia Slims seem appealing, 
more sophisticated for a lady but you and Kristie really seem to love your 
Marlboro Lights 100s. If you don't mind, I'd love for my first cigarette to 
be one of yours." I was so proud. Gretchen said I was beaming. Then I 
started to get nervous. What if my mom starts to cough? What if she doesn't 
like it? Will she try again? 

Then I thought about when Mariella started. She got so sick. I told her 
those Marlboro 100s were too strong to start with. We tried Marlboro Ultra 
Lights 100s, then even Carltons. She kept with it and kept with it, even 
though she said she hated the taste. We were all worried big time about 
her. How could she continue to be our friend if she wasn't going to be a 
smoker? Finally through sheer will power she got addicted to nicotine, and 
then she started to like the taste. Now look at her, she's the most 
addicted of all of us. Mariella is smoking almost two packs a day during 
the week and she's well over three packs per day on the weekends. Princess 
Puff is what Linda and Sarah call her. And when Mariella gets loaded, you 
can't pry a cigarette from her fingers - she just chains and chains, a 
non-stop chimney. Mariella once passed out, woke up a few hours later still 
in a drunken stupor to smoke a cigarette, then passed out again! 

"Mom, this is a big moment for you," I said. "Are you ready? I know you 
know what to do. I'd really love it if you let me light up your first 
smoke." 

"I'm a little nervous," mom responded, "but mostly I'm excited. I've been 
thinking about this moment ever since Kristie came home after her first 
three cigarettes. I just knew I wanted to be a smoker, I just didn't know 
how others would react to it." 

"Do you want to inhale right off the bat or just get used to getting the 
smoke in your mouth?" 

"Let's go for it! I can't wait to get addicted to nicotine, I'm tired of 
wondering what it's like to need to smoke, I want to know how it feels 
going down my throat and into my lungs. I want to join the girls at work 
during their smoke breaks. I'm good to go. My lungs are waiting." 

I flicked the lighter, mom drew in, then her eyes widened. It was lit, her 
first cigarette. Mom didn't take a tiny drag. It wasn't like one of mine 
but she sucked the smoke into her lungs. After about two or three seconds, 
Mom let it go. It wasn't a big cloud, it wasn't a tight stream. Little 
wisps came out soon after. My mom she had this amazing look on her face. 

"Whatdya think Mrs. Lewis," Gretchen asked. "Wow" was all my mom could get 
out. She smiled. 

"That was different." 

"Did you like it," I asked. Mom didn't answer. She just dragged on it 
again, more deliberately, staring at the cigarette glowing red right in 
front of her face. This was a larger inhale and this time she held it deep 
inside her lungs for close to four or five seconds. 

"Don't forget to purse your lips Mrs. Lewis," Gretchen said to mom efore 
she could exhale. Well, my mom knew exactly what Gretchen was getting at 
and my mom delivered. It wasn't a perfect cone but there was shape and 
volume. It wasn't the exhale of a little girl. Two puffs into her new, 
exciting life as a smoker and my mom already had a grace about her smoking 
style. 

"That was great mom. You look great," I said. "How do you feel. Did you 
like it?" 

"I like the tingly feeling of it going down my throat. I like that 
tightness in my lungs. And my head, I'm feeling, well, not dizzy, maybe a 
little buzzed. Woa. I like it." With that, her third puff. This was even 
stronger than the last but she couldn't hold it down long enough. She had a 
spasm-type cough. 

"Slow, mom, slow," I said. Mom just shook her head. I told her to wait and 
reminded her that nicotine was wonderful but powerful and took some 
adjusting to. I decided to light up and I asked my mom to try to copy me. 
And she did. 

The other mothers were doing all right. Chloe's mom Bea was on fire, 
dragging and exhaling like a pro. Chloe's Marlboro Lights 100s were 
certainly agreeing with Bea. Beth's mom Kelsey had a little problem. She 
thought she was a pro already, inhaling deeply and exhaling tight cones. 
One minute after her first, she lit up another and she wasn't smoking 
Beth's Marlboro Lights 100s, she bummed a Marlboro 100 off Mariella. Soon 
as Kelsey was done she went to get out of her seat but she fell off. 
Nicotine made her dizzy. But mom was the star. She smoked six more that 
night, enjoying each one more than the other, dragging harder each time, 
exhaling bigger and better clouds each time. 

Everyone was having so much fun. The mothers were making excellent progress 
and really enjoying getting started with cigarettes. My mom said it was 
cause for celebration, so she asked if anyone wanted champagne. You can 
imagine the reaction. Smoking and drinking with our moms! Oh, yeah! My mom 
brought out three bottles and that was enough for everyone to get buzzed. 
Well, not really. The mothers were flying with the mixture of alcohol and 
nicotine, not quite drunk and not quite buzzed - silly and not too in 
control of themselves. Even mom had trouble walking. 

The next day, after all the overnight guests had left, it was just me and 
Kristie and mom and our cigarettes. We all agreed that seven cigarettes in 
her first day might have been too much. Mom agreed to space out five for 
the entire day. She said she wanted to try some other brands, too, so we 
went to the store and we agreed on Virginia Slims Menthols, Virginia Slims, 
Marlboro 100s and Newport 100s, all in the crush-proof box. Mom went 
through the five cigarettes, one from each pack, by suppertime. She said 
she liked all of them, even the menthols. She didn't want to stop. We had 
never seen mom so excited and proud. She knew she had found herself. Mom 
was inhaling with ease, holding the smoke in her lungs for several seconds 
and exhaling with pure enjoyment and confidence. Kristie and I said, go for 
it mom. So she lit up her second ML 100s of the day, and after that, three 
more. So she had seven her first day and nine her second. She was well on 
her way. Kristie and I were wondering when it would happen, when it would 
crash down on her, when mom's whole world would revolve around smoking. How 
soon until she became addicted? When was nicotine's magic going to 
overwhelm her? We knew she was loving it and we knew it wouldn't be long. 
Would it be before dad came home? We'd soon find out. 

Mom had twelve in day three of her smoking life, alternating the brands, 
finding she didn't like the Viginia Slims as much as she had anticipated or 
hoped. She smoked six ML 100s that day. Her style was really evolving and 
she finally smoked her first cigarette in her car. She handled everything 
with ease, holding it in her left hand, angled diagonally from where she 
grabbed the steering wheel. Mom really enjoyed her smoke after meals and 
with her afternoon coffee. She said the coffee tasted better with a 
cigarette and the cigarette tasted better with the coffee. Day four mom 
reached 16, but she limited herself to the Virginia Slims, knowing they 
weren't her favorites but giving them one more chance to really get to know 
them before deciding for sure to eliminate them from contention to be her 
number one brand. Day five was a full pack alternating among ML 100s, 
Marlboro 100s and Newport 100s. Mom said she preferred the Marlboro Lights 
100s but enjoyed having the Newport 100s to break it up. 

Mom didn't stop building from there. The sixth day she had 23; 17 were ML 
100s, four Newport 100s and two Marlboro 100s. She showed no signs of 
slowing down. Kristie and I were wondering how many she was going to have 
to complete her first week. Well, she never began her smoking day until 
Kristie and I showed up for breakfast and she'd wait until we were done and 
having our coffee. Something was different. Mom seemed upset, nervous, not 
right, certainly not herself. Kristie saw her eyeing her three packs of 
cigarettes while we were eating. When she went downstairs to check on the 
laundry, Kristie jumped. 

"Lisa, Lisa, I think mom really wants to smoke. I don't think she can 
wait," Kristie said. 

"Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Could it be?" 

"I think she's addicted. Let's ask her." I giggled with glee and Kristie 
was smiling like I don't know what. Mom came up from checking on the 
laundry and she looked worse. 

"Mom," Kristie asked. 

"What do you want?" mom barked. We knew. 

"Mom we know what you want. At least we think we do, we're hoping and 
praying like mad that we know." 

"What! What!" 

"Mom you need a cigarette, you're craving a smoke," Kristie said, barely 
containing her excitement, "Right?" Well you should have seen the look of 
relief on mom's face. She smiled. 

"Oh, yeah! Oh, yeah! You're right. That's what's eating me up inside. I 
went to bed early, so I haven't had a smoke in more than 10 hours." When 
she said that we knew - I turned to Kristie and she turned to me and we 
gave each other high-fives and started screaming. 

"Mom, you're addicted," Kristie shouted. 

"Mom, you've done it," I added, "you're a smoker, you're a smoker! 
Addiction City, big-time! Go light up." Mom smiled so wide. 

"Oh, yes, I most definitely will." We were all ecstatic until we saw mom 
reach for the pack of ... Newport 100s. Our jaws just dropped. We were 
speechless. But we were impressed with what we saw. Mom went after that 
cigarette powerfully. She meant business. She needed nicotine. Mom 
double-pumped with the patented nasal-exhale-before-second-drag combination 
and before she was finished with her exhale she puffed even harder. 

"Whew," mom said before attacking her smoke with another double-pump. "Boy, 
did I need that," she said in a talking exhale. "What a joy!" She finished 
in record time and chained into a Marlboro 100. Again, we were stunned but 
proud of how much enjoyment mom was getting out of smoking her second 
cigarette aggressively, almost feverishly. Double-pumps. Deep drags. Long, 
smooth exhales. She was loving it. Finally, she was done. 

"I know what you're thinking girls. I could see the looks on your faces," 
mom said. "I really do like your Marlboro Lights 100's a lot. I think 
they're going to be my number one brand but there are times I know when 
it's just not going to deliver. I'll save the Marlboro 100's and Newport 
100's for those rare occasions. I guarantee you my next few cigarettes will 
be your Marlboro Lights 100's." 

The rest of the day mom smoked deliberately and with such satisfaction. She 
was surprised to see she was addicted. But she was happy about it. Proud, 
boastful even. During her Marlboro Lights 100 after lunch she said, "Wow, I 
did it, girls. Aren't you proud? I'm a confirmed, addicted cigarette smoker 
now. A real honest-too-goodness smoker. A smoker. A cigarette smoker. A 
nicotine addict. And I'm never, never going to quit. I just love it, 
everything about it. The taste, the smell, the drag, the inhale, the 
exhale, the after-taste in my mouth, holding it, trimming it, lighting up, 
putting them out, flicking them out the car window, making sure I'll always 
have enough. This is the new me, the real me. I just feel like such a 
jackass having forced myself to miss out on one of life's true pleasures, 
on one of life's privileges. I feel honored to be a smoker. And I'm so glad 
you girls love me so much, showed your love by staying on my case, that you 
kept with it, pushing me to this wonderful new world of cigarettes. You 
knew I'd love it. I should have trusted you all along. Nothing beats the 
rich flavor and rush of cigarette smoke. I really feel sorry for anyone who 
does not smoke!" 

By the end of her second week, mom was up to a pack-and-a-half a day, like 
Kristie and I. She'd usually smoke a pack of ML 100's and five each of the 
Marlboro 100's and Newport 100's. When she really needed a jolt of 
nicotine, she'd reach for a Marlboro 100 or Newport 100. She smoked as soon 
as she woke up, with her first cup of coffee, while doing her makeup, while 
cooking, while on the phone, while reading, while watching TV, in the car, 
at work, during smoke breaks at work, with her wine, while drinking heavily 
and she'd always finish the day with a smoke right before bed. And once in 
a while when she couldn't sleep, she'd wake up and have a cigarette, just 
like Kristie and I do occasionally. Mom said she was happy she got the 
cigarette habit before she turned 40. 

One day after school we came home a little late. We were planning a wild 
party for a Saturday night in a few weeks. Mom was at the kitchen table 
with an extremely pretty young girl who looked to be about 11 years old. 
She was tall and slender with long, blonde, straight hair, a lot like how 
Kristie and I looked when we were 11. Mom and this girl were smoking, 
looking a lot like long lost friends catching up on old times. 

"I had just lit up a Marlboro Lights 100s and was walking into the living 
room when I was exhaling and heard the doorbell ring," mom said. "I opened 
the door with wisps of smoke still floating out of my mouth and nose and I 
see this young lady who reminded me of you two. She looked at my cigarette 
immediately, then said hello, as did I. Then I asked her if I could help 
her. She said yes, if this is the house where girls come to learn how to 
become smokers. I said yes it is but usually my daughters are the teachers. 
`If you'd like, you can come in and we can get started.' She said yes, that 
would be great and she said she looked forward to learning from an 
experienced adult smoker. I just smiled and said nothing. We sat down and 
she stared at my three brands and looked a little puzzled and more than a 
little apprehensive. I asked her name and the reason why she'd like to 
start smoking cigarettes. She said her name was Veronica but everyone 
called her Ronnie. As far as why, Ronnie said she became interested in 
smoking when she was 3 years old. Her Aunt Melinda and older cousins Tina 
and Louise all smoked. Tina and Louise were young, 9 and 11. Ronnie said 
her other cousin Tricia, who was 4 years old, told Ronnie she was going to 
smoke like her older sisters and mother real soon. Ronnie's mother Natalie 
didn't smoke. Ronnie waited and waited for Tricia to tell her she had 
started. But that day never came. 

"Two years later, Ronnie was visiting her cousins and Tricia and Ronnie 
went into the back yard to play. Soon Tina and Louise joined them and to 
Ronnie's delight, the older cousins took out their packs of cigarettes, 
Parliament 100's and Merit Menthols 100's. They started smoking then Tricia 
asked to smoke and Tina got a Parliament 100 and lit it for her younger 
sister. Ronnie was excited, happy and jealous. Her 5-year-old cousin was 
smoking a cigarette just like a grown-up and Tricia was in her glory. 
Ronnie asked her cousins if she could have one but they refused. Aunt 
Melinda had made it clear to her daughters that their smoking could not 
extend to anyone else, especially Ronnie. Now they smoke all the 
time-19-year-old Tina smokes two packs a day of Virginia Slims 120s, 
17-year-old Louise smokes a pack-and-a half of Marlboro Lights and 
12-year-old Tricia smokes a pack of Marlboro Menthol Lights 100's. Aunt 
Melinda smokes her two-and-a-half packs of Marlboro Menthol 100s. 

"Ronnie said she simply can't stand it any more. She has to start smoking. 
All her cousins talk about, she says, is how much they love to smoke, how 
they crave cigarettes, how nothing beats a good smoke, how it's simply the 
best. I felt so bad for her. I asked her what brand she would like to try 
and I told her whatever it is, I'd be more than happy to buy a pack of 
them. Ronnie didn't hesitate and nearly cried out, `Marlboro Lights 100s, 
please!' I said great, that's my brand. Ronnie immediately asked about the 
other two brands and I told her I'd explain after we started her out on her 
smoking life. And here we are. This is Ronnie's third cigarette. She loved 
hearing about my story and was surprised to learn that I was new at it. 
Ronnie's doing great. She has a great future as a smoker, I can tell." 

Immediately, Kristie and I congratulated and hugged both mom and Ronnie. 

"Ronnie, come over here everyday until you get hooked," Kristie said. 

"Ronnie," I said, "we want you to get addicted as soon as you can. Don't 
worry about your mother." 

"That's right," Mom said, "I'll speak to her if there are any problems. 
Your mom just doesn't understand how important it is to become a smoker, or 
how great it is to have the cigarette habit. She's never had the thrill of 
nicotine working its magic." 

Ronnie became a regular at our house, and she did as much smoking as she 
could when she wasn't at our house. By the end of the week she was up to 
almost 10 cigarettes a day, and she was really learning how to hide it from 
her mother. One day, she didn't show up and we were concerned. Early that 
night, just after supper, the door bell rang. It was Ronnie but this time 
she was there with her mother Natalie. 

"Natalie Burgess, is that you?" mom asked. 

"Not any more," Ronnie's mother said. "It's Natalie Thornton now. We need 
to talk about Ronnie's smoking. Can we come in?" 

They were invited in and we all moved into the living room but no one was 
smoking. I looked carefully at Ronnie's pants and saw the outline of her 
pack of Marlboro Lights 100s in her pocket. I whispered to Kristie, who 
noticed too. We weren't sure what was going on. Mom spoke first. 

"Natalie, Ronnie says you don't smoke. How could that be? What happened? In 
high school you were the leader of the smokers. Didn't you start in junior 
high?" 

"Yes," Natalie said, "When I was 12, in fact." 

"But you gave it up?" 

"But not without a struggle. Ronnie's dad was a health-nut and he forced me 
to choose, cigarettes or him. It took me a week but I said good-bye to my 
beloved Marlboro 100s. I haven't smoked since. A perfectly strong and 
enjoyable habit, gone in a puff of smoke." We all laughed at that one. 
"Once Ronnie's dad left us, my sister Melinda tried like heck to get me 
going again but I said no. I had no idea Ronnie was interested in 
cigarettes. If I had known, well, who knows?" 

Well, I couldn't wait any longer. I asked Natalie if she'd mind if we 
smoked. She said go ahead, so Kristie and I got our smokes, cleaned out an 
ashtray and came back. We lit up. 

"Why are you here?" mom asked Natalie. 

"I was hoping you could help us," Natalie said. We were all confused. Then 
I looked at Ronnie and saw her smile. 

"Sure," mom said. "But what is it you want?" Before Natalie could answer, 
Ronnie took out her Marlboro Lights 100s. 

"We'd love it if you could help mom get back to smoking. She says I can 
continue to smoke if she can get back into it." We all exploded in delight. 

"It's been 12 years," Natalie said after we settled down, "I've missed 
nicotine so much, I'm so nervous. I'd love one of my old Marlboro 100's. 
Ronnie said that's one of your other brands." Mom said fine, Ronnie got 
mom's Marlboro 100's from the kitchen, took out her lighter, gave the pack 
to Natalie and lit her mother's first cigarette in a long, long time. The 
look on Natalie's face as she sucked in the smoke, started to reacquaint 
her body with nicotine, was of pure happiness. She dragged so long, the tip 
got so red and hot, Kristie and I couldn't believe it. Then it happened, 
Natalie exhaled and it went on forever. Ronnie stood there in shock for a 
few seconds, and then Natalie approached her and asked whether she could 
return the favor. 

"Sure, mom!" Ronnie replied. Ronnie took out a cigarette from the pack of 
Marlboro Lights 100s she had been holding and with her mother dangling, 
sucking on her Marlboro 100s and exhaling, Natalie flicked her lighter to 
life and Ronnie was breathing in cigarette smoke - the first of thousands 
and thousands of smokes to be shared together. 

"This is the greatest day of my life," Natalie said. "I can't begin to 
thank you enough. What could I ever do to repay this kindness? Let me buy 
you each two cartons. After this smoke and another, Ronnie and I are going 
to go to the supermarket and get as many cartons as my checking account 
will allow." 

An hour later, Natalie and Ronnie came back, Marlboro 100 dangling from 
Natalie's mouth, a Marlboro Lights 100 curling up smoke in Ronnie's hand. 
And they delivered on their promise. Six cartons of ML 100's and two each 
of Marlboro 100's and Newport 100's. 

"What did you buy?" mom asked Natalie. "A case of Coors Light, a bottle of 
JD and Stoli, and of course, the smokes! Five cartons of Marlboro 100s for 
me and five Marlboro Lights 100s for Ronnie. I plan to be addicted to 
nicotine by tomorrow night. And I'm hoping Ronnie gets there as soon as I 
do. From now on, Ronnie has to smoke at least a pack a day." With that, 
Ronnie was glowing. We invited them in for a few more cigarettes to be 
shared with the champagne and booze. Natalie immediately said yes and asked 
if they could stay over. Mom said yes, of course. 

"What's better than getting wild-crazy drunk on the night I fall in love 
with cigarettes for the second and final time," Natalie said. "I'm never 
going to quit again. I can't make that same mistake twice. Life's too 
short, too hard as it is." We all said don't worry, you won't have to. 

"We'll make sure you never even think of quitting," mom said. 

"Let's make a pact," Kristie said. "Here's to never quitting smoking ... to 
smoking as much as possible ... to keeping the cigarette habit with us the 
rest of our smoke-filled lives ... to enjoying the magic of nicotine 
forever." 

We all agreed. We all smoked heavily that night and got hammered. We all 
were as content as could be and as fulfilled as could ever be imagined. 

Smoking's the best! Cigarettes rock! Nicotine rules! Puff away girls! 


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