I started smoking for the same reasons most people began the nasty habit: I was young and stupid.
Like many teenagers, I could care less about the negative aspects of smoking. Money wasn’t yet a burden on my everyday existence, the long term effects meant little to nothing and I had myself convinced that quick spritz of spray deodorant and some gum masked the smell well enough.
The truth was that smoking, once a fun and social activity then began to control my life. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed smoking. In fact, I loved smoking. Smoking was always there for me. It helped alleviate stress, introduced me to most of my good friends, it felt amazing and played a huge role in my daily routine. I would sneak a smoke break anywhere I could, and living in a city always provided a few moments to puff, when waiting for the bus or walking between destinations.
At age 22 I was up to a full pack a day, sometimes more. My family begged me to quit, but you can’t just tell someone to stop smoking — they have to hit rock bottom, they have to want it.
A few years later, at age 24 I was living in New York, the most expensive city in the United States, where cigarette prices are over $12 a pack. There was now no way for me to further delay my mountainous, six-figure student loan debt. I simply couldn’t afford to smoke anymore, and quite frankly, I didn’t want to.
Then a friend posted an Instagram of her Timehop app. The nostalgia-based app allows you to see your photos and social media updates from exactly one year prior. Someone with whom I had once enjoyed many cigarettes had made it a full year without smoking, and I desperately wanted the same. Read more