A mindblowing story for those who want to know which brand of cigarettes is the best for beginners.
Read this real story of Madelene Zarifa, In his own words.
My dad actually taught me this. He was a chain-smoker. When he saw I had a cigarette in my room, he asked where I got it, and why I didn’t just ask him for one.
I told him one of my 8th grade classmates got ahold of some. We were all gonna try it together in school but the bell rang so we decided to smoke at home.
I don’t remember the brand. My dad said it wasn’t important. But his brand was “Salems.” I knew that from walking to the deli every day to buy him some. Plus it was inescapable. The green crumpled packets. The heavily hanging smoke.
My dad told me the reason some people get sick from cigarettes is because they don’t know how to smoke them correctly. He said, “Don’t worry, I know how to. I’ve been smoking since I was 12. I’ll show you how.”
I was so glad my dad wasn’t going to tell my mom. At the time, she worked as a secretary for an organization called “The American Cancer Society.” She was a breast cancer survivor herself. Boy, did she have it in for smokers.
My dad and I took the elevator to the roof of our 6-floor apartment building. We didn’t want my mom to find out, if she got home early.
I felt so adult. So rebellious. So superior, for learning how to smoke from an expert. The next day I could go to school and teach all the girls how to smoke properly. I’d even ask my dad for a few cigarettes, so I’d be a legend in my grade.
We got to the roof. It had a wall which was about chest high for my adolescent self. We both rested our elbows on that wall, looking over the Bronx.
My dad told me to listen carefully. “When you take a drag, you don’t just puff. That’ll make you choke. You have to inhale deeply, drag it in slowly, let it fill your entire lungs. And the most important part: You have to swallow the smoke that you inhale. Don’t let it out through your lungs, that’s unhealthy.”
He demonstrated but I didn’t care, I just wanted to do. He lit the cigarette for me, watched me, coaxed me…
I was hunched over on the ground, in agonizing pain. My head, my throat, my eyes, my lungs. I was an ongoing seizure of coughing, choking, crying, and pleading for help. I coughed up phlegm and that triggered me to vomit on the roof – and I couldn’t stand, so I had to crawl away from the vomit – and then I dry-heaved until what felt like eternity until I could at least catch my breath between choking episodes.
My dad stood there the whole time, observing. Didn’t offer to help. No tissues. Didn’t try to comfort me.
I didn’t know if I’d been betrayed, or if I’d just done it wrong. When I could finally talk in paragraphs, I looked up at my Dad. He said calmly, “That’s what smoking does to you. You’re an idiot if you start smoking.”
We hadn’t gone to the roof in an act of solidarity against my cancer survivor Mom’s hatred of smoking. We had gone to the roof so I wouldn’t vomit all over the apartment.
That is the first and last puff of a cigarette I have ever taken. I was furious at my father. But I’m eternally grateful now.