This article is reprinted by permission from NextAvenue.org. This essay is part of Telling Our Stories, a series of 12 essays featuring the voices of Next Avenue readers, with support from Aroha Philanthropies.
Smoking seemed so cool to me as a kid. My glamorous mother smoked. She had a ritual of gathering her cigarette holder, glitzy gold cigarette case with matching lighter and other smoking paraphernalia together with her morning coffee.
She dazzled my saucer-sized kiddie eyes more than any Hollywood star ever could. I watched her with such ardent admiration that by age 7, I could light a cigarette with her lighter, inhale the smoke, blow it out through…