Comments by several people set me wondering when most smokers start regularly smoking.
In my own case, I’d tried a few puffs of cigarettes when I was a boy, and didn’t much like it. At school, aged 16 or so, I was quite often to be found behind the proverbial bike sheds, but in some ways it was less out of any liking for cigarettes, and more out of the rush of breaking school rules.
I really only started after the insanely antismoking Dr W, with his clearly irrational hatred of smoking (“Filthy, filthy, filthy,” he shouted), made me think that it probably wasn’t actually as dangerous as it was made out to be, and at age 18 started buying the occasional pack. But smoking regularly really only started when I began meeting girls, in whose company I could be very nervous (and even more nervous the prettier they were, and I got to know pretty much all the prettiest girls). Some of them smoked too, and maybe for the same reason as me. So I really only become a regular smoker at age 19 or even 20.
But many people seem to have started much earlier. So I thought I’d do a poll, giving a range of ages at which people became regular smokers (rather than when they first tried them out).