I think I know what you mean. When you're new to a group of friends, and they know you as a nonsmoker, it's weird to join in, no matter how much you'd honestly like to.
Perhaps you could talk to 1-2 of the friends at some point about "trying" smoking, even if you already do. Or just ask them a question about it. Most likely, a friend will offer, you'll accept, and gradually work your way up to smoking with the group -- unless you don't trust the group not to say anything to those who absolutely can't know.
I've recently outed myself to a few people whom I know are smokers, basically by pulling out a pack when they light up. They were shocked....for like, 2 seconds. Then, we were just smokers enjoying each others; company. It's really not that big a deal -- but we closet smokers certainly feel it is.
As for controlling your smoking with a group of hardcore smokers, I'd say it's different for everyone, BUT I've come to realize that when I hang out with such a group, I'm looking for opportunities to smoke more than usual.
If the group is fairly united in brand choice, bring a "community pack" and let them know you want a few, but not a whole pack, and that you basically expect them to finish off what you don't want. If they're planning on smoking a great deal anyway, they'll take up a free offer before smoking their own. Sounds like it's a mixed group of smokers/nonsmokers, though, so you could kid around with "changing sides", even if just to experiment.
If you're concerned about who finds out, you should let them know some of your boundaries, even "don't tell anyone." If you don't trust this new circle of friends not to talk, then maybe you should reconsider hanging out with them at all.
Lots of people are smokers on the weekends, and not through the work week. If it's a personal relationship you're worried about, you need to establish an open communication about lifestyle habits, period. If you are an occasional-to-light smoker and your partner can't deal with that, then it's THEIR problem, not yours.
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