Much of this guilt feeling can be tried directly to one’s first cigarette, which the older generation remembers as a forbidden and sinful thing. Their fathers considered the habit an educational problem, whereas many parents nowadays have adopted a “modern” attitude toward smoking.
Here is what one such father said: “I told my son I thought he was a little young… He is seventeen. It might not do him any harm to wait another year or two. Then I remembered my own first cigarette and what awful stuff I had to smoke in secret. In a way, my son is lucky to be able to start with a good cigarette without running the danger of ruining his health. I gave him a pack of the cigarette brand I smoke.”
Most of us remember vividly the first cigarette we smoked. “I certainly remember my first cigarette,” said one of the respondents.
“We were a bunch of boys on our way to a football game. I had trouble lighting my cigarette, and at that moment a man passed by and yelled at me: ‘Throw that cigarette away, you rascal!’
I was so shocked and frightened that I obeyed his command without hesitation. But only a few minutes later, I lighted another one just to demonstrate to myself that I was not afraid.