Why do people smoke
I've been smoking for 44 years and look forward to my coffee and my first cigarette every morning. For me, smoking is a ritual that makes experiences even more beautiful, for example the cigarette after a delicious meal. For me, smoking has a lot to do with my mouth. I like the feeling of inhaling and the taste of my cigarettes. For me, smoking is relaxation. It reminds me of breathing exercises, which are also used in yoga. I also enjoy going out to smoke in the restaurant between the starter and main course. It's nice, like a little retreat in itself.
For a while I smoked a lot, 20 to 30 cigarettes a day. That's when I noticed that it wasn't good for me, and I reduced it. Today I smoke 10 to 15 cigarettes a day and I feel okay. I have no cough and no problems with my condition. I would notice that, because I like to do sports.
If I physically felt that I was suffering from smoking, I would probably change something. But if I stopped, I would get very nervous. I've tried a couple of times. The last time was in 1999. At that time I lasted half a year, my longest smoking break. Today I don't feel like quitting - even if I know it's bullshit. Of course, smoking is an addiction. But as a smoker you tend to ignore the health consequences. I hide the warnings on the packages. When photos are added in the future, I'll just look through them.
Dorothea, 60, retired from Besigheim
"Because the cigarette is still the best afterwards"
Smoking sucks, says my lungs. Because I drag myself up the stairs. Because sometimes I have a terrible coughing fit that makes me throw up. Because I think this is the end now. Because I know smoking is stupid. Because lately I've always had to be in goal with friends and colleagues in soccer. Because when I am hiking, I am left halfway like a dead cockchafer. Because I don't have a balcony and my apartment is smoke-filled. Because women are often only into non-smokers. Because I'm not a good role model for my children. Because it will cost me years of life.
Smoking is okay, says my experience. Because a brick could fall on my head and the years of life would be gone. Because I use the cigarette breaks creatively to think or edit. Because I always meet nice people in front of the house who share the same vice with me. Because their horizon is often wider than the other fun-free birds that don't smoke. Because I can keep the cigarette in the corner of my mouth in a really cool way. Because it's an adventure to get infected in the club despite the smoking ban. Because it covers the neighbour's sweat on the dance floor. Because the cigarette is still the best afterwards.
Olaf, 42 years old, journalist from Hamburg
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