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Meet Our Characters

Mike Mike

Hey, it’s Mike. I started a new job with a builder. What a break! The job market sucked while I was in trade school and I was afraid it would be a waste of time and money.

Anyway, I work with a good bunch of guys, some older, but always trying to have a little fun. We were planning a pick up game of ball and they were bugging me to play because I was on the basket ball team in school. 
But here is how it went down.

I had started having an occasional smoke on weekends with friends, never at home because my family hates it. Then at the jobsite a few months ago the guys were having a smoke on breaks and I went along to hang out. I was offered a cigarette which I smoked and slowly I started buying them and smoking regularly. I never thought I would be a smoker or that a few butts could really affect my health.

Anyway, when it came time to play ball I could not run like I used to. I felt short of breath and had to slow down my pace and even missed a few chances to score. I never thought my breathing would be affected by a few cigarettes in just a few months. I am not able to enjoy the activities l used to, and l didn’t impress the guys either …It’s not how I pictured it.

 

Sarah Sarah

I’m Sarah. I wouldn’t say I’m high maintenance but I do try to look my best.

Seeing that I’m only 21, I’ve never been one to worry about getting wrinkles or the condition of my skin. However, I’ve been noticing some changes ever since I picked up smoking 2 years ago.

My teeth are not as white as they were before I started smoking. I can tell, especially when I look at pictures of me and my friends. I now have to spend my limited funds on teeth whitener.

I’ve also noticed that a couple of my fingers and fingernails are turning yellow. I’m a little self-conscious about this so now I get my nails done regularly… another expensive beauty treatment to keep-up.

So far I’ve been able to cover up the effects of smoking… but I’ve only been smoking for 2 years and already it’s changing my look. What if I start getting wrinkles around my mouth?… I’ve heard it can happen. I won’t be able to cover that up.

Smoking is making it harder for me to look my best …It's not how I pictured it.

Lindsay Lindsay

I am Lindsay and those are my friends…. we all used to smoke together, at parties, on camping trips and on patios. We picked up smoking a few years ago.

One by one they’ve all quit.

Most of my friends have quit smoking for the same reasons… they complained of a nasty cough in the morning, smelling like an ashtray all day and of course the health risks like cancer.

Since my friends quit they complain about the smell of smoke when I’m smoking around them. They ask me to walk behind them or sit at a different table when I want to have a smoke. I often feel left out… judged for not quitting when they did. I know smoking is bad for me and I do want to quit. I’ve tried quitting cold turkey but it didn’t work. Quitting smoking is hard.

All I know is smoking used to be fun, a social thing we all did together. Smoking alone sucks …It’s not how I pictured it.

Christine Christine

Hi I’m Christine and this is my boyfriend Josh. We’ve been dating for 6 months now. We get along really well!

I quit smoking 2 months ago but he said he wasn’t ready to quit. He’s been a good support to me though. I’m enjoying being smoke free. My clothes smell better and I have more money.

When I started smoking, I didn’t even think about the smell of smoke on my clothes or my breath, or that maybe others would look at me differently.

But lately, I’ve been really noticing how awful cigarette smoke smells. I can’t stay in a smoky room the way I used to. And it’s different between Josh and me now. I still really like him but I can’t stand the smell of his smoky breath. The smell of smoke on his clothes is disgusting. When he comes close to me, I smell the smoke on his hands and his breath... it’s a real turn off.

It’s not how I pictured it.

JeffJeff

I’m Jeff. So, tonight was supposed to be the big night, and I blew it. This is kind of embarrassing… but I’ll tell you anyway. I’m dating this really great girl, Jenny. She’s smart, funny, and very easy to talk to.

Things really started to get hot between Jenny and I, but that wasn’t the only relationship that I had found myself in. My relationship with cigarettes was also getting pretty serious. I went from only smoking on weekends at the pub, to smoking at work on break and at home in the evening. I even started smoking first thing in the morning. Smoking was becoming the other love of my life.

So one weekend, my roommate went out of town. I decided that I would surprise Jenny with a romantic dinner… just the two of us. I put on my best shirt, shaved, and even cooked some of my mom’s favourite recipes. I was determined to impress Jenny, and hopefully tonight was going to be ‘the night’. Man, was I wrong.

Jenny came over, and we had a great time together until things started to get hot and heavy. Everything was going as planned until… NOTHING HAPPENED. You know what I mean; I couldn’t rise to the occasion! I started to panic “I’m only 22; this isn’t supposed to happen to someone at my age!” Then I remembered that little picture on my cigarette pack, you know, the one with the limp cigarette that says “Smoking may cause impotence.” I’ve read the warnings, but I never thought that it would happen to me. Smoking is ruining my sex life …It’s definitely not how I pictured it.