This post is about a very trivial bad habit. Or should I say about the most common one (at least in my circle of friends)? This time I have decided to approach smoking as a bad habit in a more serious and conventional way. I would not exclude irony from this post for the purposes of being true to my personality. So, no, this is not going to be an informative article about the harmful effects of smoking. We have all been constantly exposed to them. I will present you the story of the rather typical young smoker and his life full of cigarettes, since I believe it is a representation of a typical smoker’s life.
His name is Alexander Koritko. He is 23 and a student at the American University in Bulgaria. He is majoring in Business Administration and Economics. He defines himself as a “typical smoker”. What is that supposed to mean?
Alexander smokes at different times and on different occasions. “I do not need a reason to smoke a cigarette,” he says. However, there is always one, should we be honest.
Alexander started smoking five years ago. A good friend of his made him the favor to hook him up with smoking cigarettes. He thought it was cool and so he kept on developing this bad habit. At first, it was just a couple of cigarettes a day. Then, the amount increased to a pack a day. Alexander never counts down the cigarettes he is smoking. He only knows that whenever there is only one cigarette left, he has to buy a new pack.
“My smoking rituals vary”, Alexander says. My day, though, always starts with a cup of coffee and a cigarette; or at least a cigarette. He cannot go through the day without that. He feels uneasy and nervous, if he cannot light up a cigarette immediately after waking up. His mind is occupied with the thoughts of pleasing his smoking needs until the moment he does so. It helps him concentrate and go through the rest of the hours to go.
This is not the only cigarette for the day, though. Then, the cigarettes in between classes follow. “When I have an exam, I have to get my nicotine dose before and after the test,” Alexander says. Before, so he can concentrate on the exam itself and ease the nervousness and after, so to strengthen the relief. Sometimes, he would sneak out of a boring class and will entertain himself with a cigarette or two, hoping no one will spot his absence. The smell does not remain unnoticed, though.
Have you ever seen anyone, who has been smoking for a long time? If you have, yellow fingers would be identifiable for this person. Alexander admits this is one of the most unpleasant effects of smoking on his appearance. He is a metro sexual man, so he dislikes the yellowness of his fingers, which girls (including his girlfriend), find unattractive.
Bad breath is another negative aspect of smoking cigarettes. “You cannot always have a chewing gum or a menthol candy in your mouth. When you deliver a presentation or go to a job interview, it is disrespectful to have a gum in your mouth,” Alexander says. Once, he even got turned down after an interview for a potential job because the interviewer believed his bad breath will negatively affect the profits of the store.
Alexander claims that smoking is one of the most socializing activities in his life. “You just go out for a smoke in front of the dormitories and you immediately find another smoker, who has to share something with you,” he says. This could have a negative impact, though, because one cigarette lasts for a couple of minutes only. As the conversation proceeds, you may end up smoking more than expected, according to Alexander.
Coughing and snoring could be also caused by smoking. He also realizes that it may cause different forms of cancer. Even his parents and girlfriend (all non-smokers) cannot force him to avoid his bad habit. For him, it is all on a deep psychological level and the extermination would happen only if they stop producing and selling tobacco.
“I need my dose of nicotine. The same way drug addicts need theirs. It is even worse because some of them are able to stop. I am not,” Alexander says. He likes smoking after a workout, while drinking, watching TV, before, after and during eating. He enjoys smoking all the time.
Of course, smokers will understand Alexander. Some of them will support him. Others will blame him (especially the second-hand smokers). But, hey, what would life be without bad habits? Maybe, heaven. Or maybe, not.
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