Got a reality check last night when my mother basically told me that she had noticed me coughing alot more and seeing empty cigarette packets around the place. I am 20, from a non-smoking family. I dont know why I ever started, but here is my story. I have been clean for three days, just gave in now and had a quick one before throwing the packet away in shame. Its hard, it really is. I have been smoking on and off for about four years. I first started smoking in social situations when with friends, or out on the town. I used to have three or four a time when I was 16, and not have another one for two or three weeks. This pattern continued for the next three years where I always smoked, in what I though, in moderation. I know people can get cancer from it but at the time I thought... 'Yeah, I'm fit and healthy, a few a night out wont hurt me.' Then it progressed to a full pack of 20 or more a night out. It became routine in my head to buy a packet when going to the pub, and not smoking at home. When I got in from nights out I basically stank the place down. I could smell it on me when I first started on 'Low tar Silk Cut' for hours after having one. Yet, I progressed to Mayfair superkings and couldn't smell it on me anymore, even though to be honest I probably smelt really bad. I spent years denying the full extent of my addictions. I'd reason it in my head to people who had 10, or even 20 a day and go... Yeah I'm in control here. So here I am at my current point. Buying a packet of 10 Mayfair every day, smoking three or four, sometimes more, before throwing the packet away and vowing to quit daily. Its expensive to do it this way but doing this somehow made it OK in my head, like I could say as soon as I threw the packet away... "Hah, you're not the boss of me now". I'd treat nights out, probably at least once a week, as an occasion where I could definately smoke, and I'd get through 20 in 5 or 6 hours. I seemed to show no ill effects of it. Yet apparently I've begun coughing more, my throat feels rough after nights out lately and I feel the urge to light up. I dont think I'm addicted TO the nicotine, more the routine I've grown used to of buying the things. Most people I interact with smoke, and I have no plans to stop socialising with them. But I am saying now... 'I have a problem' It wasnt even a year ago that I could get through two weeks without having one, now its down to two or three days. Im not at the point of fully blown addiction in general to other smokers, but I have let myself down and more importantly... I've made a promise to myself and my mother that I will NOT light up again. The first test will be this thursday night when I go out. Im fine around people who dont smoke, but when I meet my friends I get the urges most. For the first time in four years (bleeding hell, just realised this in my head) I am going to get through the damn night without a cig. Current time is 2pm, I had my last cigarette (and I really want it to be this way, but inside I am not fully sure that I can do it) 20 minutes ago. If I can make it through a full week without having one, without sneaking around, lying to myself and the people I hold dear, then I will use it as a springboard. If not, I'm going on the patches.