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I’ve been smoking since the age of about sixteen, maybe fifteen – I can’t quite remember. What I do remember rather clearly is why I began smoking – it was cool. I was always a bit awkward and never really fit in with the ‘cool kids’, even though it was what I desperately wanted to do. So when I was presented with the chance to be a ‘cool kid’, even though it meant doing something I really didn’t want to, I jumped in head first.

It was a stupid thing to do and I coughed my lungs out the first time I smoked a cigarette. I remember trying to be cool and hide the coughing, but it just didn’t work and made it even worse. What was worse, I had to keep doing this thing (smoking) because if I didn’t they would think I was uncool; hence the addiction.

Now I have children and a non-smoker wife who hates that I smoke a minimum of ten cigarettes a day. I have tried to stop using patches and gum; but it is harder than you think. Then a friend got me onto electronic cigarettes. They are these battery powered devices that are like cigarettes, but aren’t cigarettes. They taste like cigarettes, but don’t actually contain the nicotine and aren’t bad for your health (plus they don’t smell).

So, here I am – still smoking, but not real cigarettes. I’m probably addicted to these e-cigs, but at least I’m not killing myself.