Well, here it is, where it all started and my reasons to quit, just to remind myself!
I must have started at around 15years old, coming to think of it probably closer to 14! There were a group of us at school, we were not the tough nuts, far from it we were doing ok, looking forward to reasonable results (at least from a 1980's comprehensive, and some how, I dont know where the first came from but the was smoking at the back of the gym - I know - a little ironic that the building for encouraging health and fitness was shield of view for the smoking club.
At tha time, I was probably smoking just 2 or 3 a day, and then suddenly.....I got a job.....
With an income, smoking was easy, as was drinking, going out and all of the other things that go with being 16/17 and having your first wages. Of course it helped that where I apprenticed, probably 70% of the people there smoked, making it seen very normal...and so it went on into my 20's.....
Nearly everyone I knew smoked, and because I kept a "smoking circle", (more likley than not non-smokers could not breathe in our company) it is self perpetuating, offering and receiving ciggarettes...have you ever noticed that in smoking company, people will offer a cigarrete and smoke, then the other reciprocate very quickly, this increases the amount smoked, and the depth of my addiction....
Probably into my 30's was where she started to leave me, like an old whore that has taken your money, sold your car and is just about to walk out of the door with your life, the fags were having an noticable effect and I was getting bored.
Lets do the maths......20ish a day, 365 days, fifteen'ish years, thats 110,000 fags....jesus...no wonder, end to end they would be nearly 900 kilometres of tobbaco...thats stupid.
Through my thirties the desire to quit became stronger, but too many too's and fro's and rides on the quit cycle left me frustrated until one day, walking down the drive after work I thought of this when the front door opened...hopefully not to late:
I have a two and a half year old daughter, she needs a dad, mentor, one day taxi and hopefully never - shoulder to cry on - I want to be there.
I have a wife, she needs loving, holding and someone to give DIY tasks to - I want to be there.
I have still got my health (although not as good as if I hadnt started) I should hang onto what I have got.
Most people will live to their seventies or eighties, some people have no choice about how quickly they will leave the rest of us due to accident or sudden illness - but -
I do, I have a choice. True, I may get run over by a bus (how often have you heard that when someone is trying to convince themselves not to quit!) but that is just s**t happens, smoking is the one thing I can do to increase my chances of seeing my daughter down the aisle, graduate, or whatever and wiping tear away from my wife cheek when she is the proudest mum alive.
Why gamble with all of that?
Why take the risk?
Why throw it all away?
Those are my reasons.