Amanda: Smoking, Family, and Pain
Amanda tried her first cigarette when she was in elementary school. In her 11-year-old mind, smoking seemed OK. After all, some family members smoked, so she tried it herself—and soon became a regular smoker, too. In this emotional video, Amanda talks about the pain that smoking brought to her family.
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Amanda started smoking in fifth grade, and by age 13, she smoked every day. Over time, smoking crept into every corner of her life. She was so addicted that she ducked outside to smoke throughout the day, even during Wisconsin’s bitter cold winters.
While in college, newly engaged—and still smoking a pack a day—Amanda learned she was pregnant. She tried to quit, but juggling work and classes was stressful. She thought cigarettes helped deal with stress. She soon learned that smoking only made things worse. Her baby was born 2 months early, which is a danger for all pregnant women who smoke. The tiny baby girl spent weeks in a hospital incubator. “I knew that smoking was bad… I didn’t think I would have a premature baby,” said Amanda. “I couldn’t hold her much in those first weeks. It’s time I’ll never get back. Smoking took that from me.”