Irish people love a good night out, having the chats and making new friends. Therefore, becoming a social smoker on a night out becomes an option for many. Not everyone smokes in the smoking area, but the peer pressure and atmosphere of the room has this effect on people where they become compelled to smoke. They know it's not good for you, smoking kills. Yet for one night they go back on their words of wisdom, simply because it's sociable. Unfortunately, for some the one night of smoking slowly grows into an addiction, and soon you're smoking not to be social, but because you're craving it and can't function without it. For those of you who are far gone, it's up to you to decide if smoking is something you really want. However, for others who have tried a cigarette for the first time, let me just remind you of the reasons that prevented you from smoking in the first place . . .
1) You know who you are and you won't change for anybody
If you've tried a cigarette for the first time, just ask your self this simple question: Why hadn't you tried it before? Because you know who you are, and you don't change for others. You didn't succumb to the peer pressure of it all. You had no desire to smoke, but now you're in college and something has changed. You've been dragged by your friend to the smoking area because it's the most social place of the club. You're dying to leave until this gorgeous lad starts chatting you up. He is stunning, and you are infatuated. Then he offers you his fag, and you're emotionally torn. Before you reach for it though, think about it. You're not a smoker, so why are you one now? Like Sandy in Grease, she thought she had to change to get the guy, but it turned out he liked her the way she was. If you reject the offer it won't phase him, and if it does then he's not worth it.
2) It's not cool, trendy or fashionable
Okay this is a hard point to make with how classy and elegant Emma Stone looks in the picture, but smoking really isn't cool. Just think about it, what's so cool about the image of someone holding the cigarette in their hand, lighting it and exhaling? Yea, maybe you look badass on the outside, but on the inside you're not looking too well. Cool people take pride in their appearance and their health. Yes Emma looks gorgeous and perfect, she's a movie star after all. However, for a proper smoker, it takes a toll on your body: you may suffer bags underneath your eyes, your clothes will reek of ash and your teeth will go from pearly white to yellow.
3) Though it may be sociable in the club, you know people don't like being around it
In the club the atmosphere and mood is different. It's more calm and relaxed, so people won't care about being in the company of smokers. People are also looking for the shift, so they'll lower their moral standard for the night. However, in a normal everyday situation, no one could stand the idea of passive smoking. If you start smoking you'll have to get used to the idea that at times your friends won't want to be around you. It's nothing personal, it's just the smell of smoke isn't pleasant and you'd rather not let your friends feel uncomfortable. Maybe one of your friends could even have asthma, so you two couldn't be in the same room. Smokers are designated their own rooms for a reason, and smoking has been banned inside buildings too. Though it is a sociable item in the club, in an every day to day situation it may vary.
4) It damages your lungs and causes breathing problems
Smoking can seriously take it's toll on your body. It can lead to lung cancer. Symptoms include coughing, chest pains, weight loss, shortness of breath and even coughing up blood. That doesn't sound pleasant does it? Lung cancer is a serious problem that can impair your ability to live. But not just your own life, it can also affect the health of others as well, as passive smoking is a cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. If you love yourself enough and care for those around you, you wont put anyone's health in danger.
5) It can become an addiction
Something that started just for social reasons has now developed into an unhealthy habit. You've become dependant on the cigarette for comfort, and when you're without it you become irritable and cranky. Smoking can also lead to financial struggle, as cigarettes aren't cheap. In college, you will really need to think of your priorities: Do you really need the packet of cigarettes or will a grocery shop be more beneficial to you? What's worse with an addiction is the struggle to try and break it. That will require will power, determination and the help of your friends. Imagine trying to stay strong and stern on yourself, when in reality you're dying inside because you want to give in. It's an awful viscous cycle that will be hard to break. The trick is to avoid getting sucked into it all together.