I've smoked socially for a long time. In school, it was a habit thing - I'd go with my friends at lunchtime. In college the first time, no-one smoked so I didn't either. When I was back in Cork, I smoked with my friends. My boyfriend is a social smoker too so I really enjoy having a cigarette with him. Up until about 6 months ago, if I got through 20 in a week, I was smoking a lot. But then I moved into a smoking household, and got into the habit of smoking with my housemates as a way to get to know them. Now one of my housemates smokes mostly in his room, and the other has quit after a bad chest infection. I still smoke on my own a little bit (maybe 2 or 3 a day), but it's out of boredom. I'm only working part time so I'm home a lot. I'm currently working my way through a 200 carton, but once I'm finished that, I'm going to stop smoking at home. It's WAY too expensive. I might still have the odd one if I'm out with smoker friends, but I'm going to put my foot down about smoking on my own.
Tbh, I think that the smoking ban has totally backfired in terms of discouraging people from smoking.
It's created a divide between smokers and non-smokers in pubs and clubs. In smoking areas it's much easier to talk to people, and some are practically indoors now anyway (totally enclosed, heaters, bars etc). The smoking area is where you find the banter, so everyone goes out when a few people want a smoke.
But you feel like a bit of an eejit standing outside without a cigarette, so you have one or two just to blend in. Rinse and repeat several times a night, once or twice and week. It's no wonder young people are getting addicted, it's part of our socialising routine.
I've fallen victim to the peer pressure, and it's something I have to nip in the bud before I get hooked. My parents are both smokers who just can't kick the habit, and I don't want that for myself.
I agree 100%, Emily. I don't smoke and yet spend lots of time on nights out in the beer garden. Otherwise I just get second hand stories of the great fun and hilarious incidents everyone else has had while I sat inside. I prefer the second hand smoke than the second hand stories.
Being one of the few non smokers is very alienating as everybody heads off in their little packs (no pun intended) to have their cigarettes laving me alone. This often happens if I'm in a group of 4-5 girls. I will often be the only non smoker and join everyone for some 'fresh air' anyway!
Exactly, not going outside during the night is like not going to Supermacs after the club You'd end up being a social pariah!
It sucks because I actually hate what smoking does to people, but here we are. It's not going to end anytime soon either.
Completely disagree with Posy and EmilyO about the "having" to go to the beer garden thing. You couldn't drag me into the beer garden/smoking area on a night out. I hate if I even have to walk through one, because ALL I can smell on my hair/clothes the next morning is the smoke.
Having said that, literally not one single person in my family or any of my friends smoke, so it's a complete non-issue for us anyway. Although a few years ago when both my sisters smoked, I ended up just going home from a night out because I didn't want to sit in the smoking area in Doheny & Nesbitt (which has to be illegal, it's so closed in). Quite frankly, I'd rather go home and miss the "craic" than sit in a fug of disgusting, smelly smoke for the night.
I don't agree, I love smoking areas but have never as a non-smoker felt any pressure to start smoking. You can enjoy them without smoking.
That's good, I wish it was the same for more people. I think for me, smoking is almost familiar behaviour as my parents and grandparents all smoke. It's something I've come to associate with winding down and relaxing. It's no excuse though, but at least it only happens every once in a while.