Why People Smoke
Why Do You Smoke? Test
Reading & Writing Activities: Finding the Main Idea
- When did you start smoking?
I started smoking 3 years ago in Haiti.
- How and why did you start?
I went to a big party at a gymnasium where I saw a guy the same age as me. He was standing smoking a cigarette, and I was looking at him thinking, "Oh, man, this looks like fun." I wanted to know how to smoke then. There were five girls, a lot of girls, playing around with him.
One week later, I asked my cousin to show me how to smoke. It wasn't that easy for me. I was not feeling well. I felt dizzy and had to sit down. Every day I bought one cigarette for 25 cents.
After that when I knew how to do it, I went to buy a pack with my friends. Any time I had money, I went to the clubs to buy cigarettes to smoke and drink beer.
- When and where do you smoke?
Any time I'm driving my car and when I'm outside too. I can't smoke at home. If I'm not going anywhere, I walk around just to smoke.
I used to sleep over my brother-in-law's house, and I used to smoke a lot of cigarettes, more than three before I went to bed.
- How does smoking make you feel?
I feel like a gentleman. All my friends and my cousins smoke. It makes me feel better after I eat. I don't really know how it makes me feel.
- Have you ever tried to quit and why?
Yes, I tried to quit. My girlfriend and I we both smoke. On December 23 we made a bet if one of us smokes in the new year, we're going to break up. On January 2, I couldn't stay away from cigarettes. I went to my brother-in-law's and asked him for a cigarette. I couldn't really quit. I then went to my girlfriend's, and she said I was smoking. I told her I couldn't quit just like that. Then she asked me for a cigarette.
I'd like to quit because I'm lifting weights. I have to quit. I'll have to stay away from my friends. That will help me, but I can't.
Below are some other interviews about why people smoke. They were printed in The Boston Globe in April 1994.
Why do you smoke?
Credit: Reprinted courtesy of The Boston Globe, Interviews by Ric Kahn.