There's not really much 'public' smoking to speak of anymore. Few new smokers, presumably like yourself, are likely to developing into smoking very much... certainly comparative to years, and decades past.
I'm not sure what you believe being more forward about your smoking with your friends is going to do for you...? I mean... it may, arguably, be healthier for you, emotionally at least, to be more open, but are you going to smoke around them?
You're not going to smoke when you go visit your friends at their house, or apartment... unless perhaps some of your friends are smokers too. Decades ago, people might even go to someone's house, just light up, and someone would get them an ashtray... but today, that would likely cause serious trouble. Besides, nowadays unless there's a smoker in the house, they won't have an ashtray. Trust me, don't try this...
Perhaps you could smoke around your nonsmoking friends when you go out to some places with them... yeah, maybe.
I don't know... being the way things are today in regards to cigarettes, and smoking, you might want to treat your smoking as something you discuss if the subject happens to come up. Like, if a nonsmoking friend discovers you smoke, you might say something like "Yeah, I do smoke, I just never thought anything of it, the subject just never came up."
If the subject comes up, and/or someone asks directly, I'd recommend you tell them you smoke. If they say "Well, we never see you smoke...?" You can say you're a light, and/or occasional smoker.
I think having smokers around us that we never, or rarely, see smoke is becoming more common... and very likely with all the smoking bans and increasing societal distaste for cigarettes, and smoking... will become increasingly more common. I'm not saying having things this way is better or worse, but I don't think there's much you can I can do about these changes which are occurring today in our society.
Before you go out of your way to "inform" your friends and family that you smoke, I'd ask yourself just what you think that's going to do for you today. I mean... in most cases, they probably don't care whether you smoke or not just as long as you don't smoke around them... and, in all probability, there's an excellent chance you're not going to smoke around many of them anyway.
Also, with many of your friends and family, even if you 'can' smoke around them... which, in many cases, is probably only going to mean you can go outside alone to smoke... personally, I don't see any social, or any other, benefit in today's society.
Yeah, decades ago things were very different, but the way things are now...
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