Why People Smoke
Why Do You Smoke? Test
Reading & Writing Activities: Finding the Main Idea
The following two interviews were conducted at the Community Learning Center in Cambridge in February 1994. One was with a current teacher and former student at the Learning Center. She was born in the U.S. and is a mother of three children and currently a smoker. The other was with a 19 year old high school student from Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. He is from Haiti and is a senior.
- Do you smoke cigarettes now?
- Which brand and why?
I'm smoking Marlboros and Newports for a change of pace.
- At what age did you start smoking?
At 11. I started smoking Chesterfields, Lucky Strikes, and Camels when my friend and I stole her grandfather's cigarettes.
- Do you remember how and why you began smoking?
Yes, it was like an adventure. I thought I was so grown up. My girlfriend and I used to sneak in her basement and smoke a whole pack of cigarettes, one after another.
In junior high school, I used to sneak in the girls' room, and when we were bold just light up a cigarette, take quick drags, and watch the head of the cigarette get long and red. I'd stand on the toilet seat and smoke, never thinking the smoke was coming out over the top of the stall.
- How has smoking made you feel?
As a kid, I felt grown up. As I got older, it was just a habit. I just smoked and didn't think about it.
- When do you smoke?
After breakfast, always in my car. I light up before I turn the key on. I take breaks throughout the day. After I eat, I smoke. If I'm home during the evening, I smoke up a storm. And just when I decide I'm going to bed, I have one more cigarette.
- Where do you smoke?
Mostly in my living room and car. I just don't smoke in the bedroom. I'm afraid I'll walk in and out of there and leave a cigarette behind. I'm afraid of fire.