My Experience Smoking A Cigarette At Age 13 And The Man I Am Today

My First And Last Time I Picked Up A Cigarette.

Reginald Ben-Halliday
Feb 20 · 3 min read
Photo by Nguyen Linh on Unsplash

Boredom was the reason my uncle began smoking.

When I was a kid, he would sit on a bench placed in the front porch of his home, with a lit cigar between two of his fingers. He would suck in the burning tobacco and exhale a cloud of second-hand smoke to the air.

He would sometimes blow a cloud of smoke in my direction if he’d caught me staring at him with a concerned look on my face. I was concerned for his health

I was little and I was taught in school how terrible it was to smoke. I also received strict warnings from my mother that she wouldn’t condone any of her kids being a smoker.

My uncle has been smoking for ten years and counting.

To him, smoking has its advantages. Most times when he feels overwhelmed on certain issues, he would pop up a cigar from its pack and walk outside to smoke.

If he needed to get away from a boring family meeting, he would simply pop up a cigar from his pack and he would be excused.

It was the best way to get away from any gathering that he finds insignificant or perhaps boring.

If he needed to make new friends, all he needs to do is pop up a cigar from its pack in a random place and some random stranger would come to him and ask for one. He would share, and they will begin to chat while polluting the air.

I sat in the porch outside my uncle’s home one Saturday morning, it rained heavily the night before and so the morning was cold. I was thirteen at the time.

My uncle walked out of the house to do his usual morning routine.

He sat next to me and we chatted and laughed about anything and everything that came to our mind, as our skin soaked in the cold breeze.

He pulled out a pack of cigar, picked a stick and stuck it to his mouth. I had mentally told myself to get up the moment he lit the cigar. But what he did next shocked me; He stretched his hand holding the pack towards me and asked me to take one.

I refused, telling him that I wasn’t supposed too and it wasn’t good for my body.

“Who said it is not good for the body?”

“My school teacher and my mother.”

“Well sometimes you need to try it out first and see for yourself if it is good for your body or not.” He told me. “How old are you?”

“Thirteen.”

“You are a big boy now.” He said “Come on, have one.” He held the pack towards me still expecting me to take. I looked at him and then the pack.

After mentally debating with myself, I picked one out.

He smiled before pulling out a lighter.

He instructed me to place it between my lips. I did nervously. I mentally remind myself that my mother would kill me if she gets to find out.

The moment he lit the cigar, I sucked in more than I should have and the outcome made me hate myself.

I got up from the bench and began to cough, my eyes watered and my throat began to hurt. I could hear my uncle laugh so loud that the cigar in his mouth fell off.

I ran to the kitchen to drink water, to wash the awful smell and taste out of my mouth.

I came back to the porch to see my uncle smoking this time.

“How was it?” he asked.

“Like death.” I told him, with my head feeling funny.

He chuckled “That’s good, so next time if your peers offer you a cigar, you know what to do.” He exhaled what seemed like a ring of smoke to the air.

Since then, I have never picked up a cigar. I am the healthy man I am today because of that experience. Not even peer pressure could make me do so. My mind has been strongly made up, that smoking is just not for me.

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