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“Sometimes I try to take breaks from it, and then I tried to use the tea cigarettes because they don’t have any tobacco in it. And for me, it kind of confirms that I’m not as addicted to it as the rest of my family is. I rely on it to feel better throughout the day, but it’s not something I would go out of my way, like stealing money or neglecting children in order to get it. And it’s also an encouragement for whenever I do try to stop for a while. ‘Cause now, you’re like, Oh, you can do this. You might not be able to do it all the time, but you can do it.”
– Zephyr Breeze *
“I get motivated to take better care of myself. ‘Cause I smoke, but I don’t – I don’t fool myself. It’s not stopping any damage, and it’s not to overcompensate either. If anything, it’s like, reminding me to take care of myself in other ways. You know, if you’re going to smoke, eat vegetables. (quick laugh)[…] So, you just try to take care of yourself in other ways.”
– Dan *
“That’s how I cope with all these emotions, just to kind of numb myself out… Yeah, uh, that is one of the main reasons I started smoking cigarettes again. I was doing fine for a very long time, and then I had a really dark patch in my life, and so, I started smoking again. Also because of the – I was on antidepressants and mood stabilizers. And so, it really wasn’t possible for me to start taking marijuana again, because it would affect me, and it would have side effects with the medication.”
– Steven *
“Smoking cigarettes is one of the most unhealthy things I do. Like, I’m generally otherwise very healthy. I eat really healthy. I exercise, and I try not to like, sit too much. I’m very conscious of my health, and it’s very important to me. So – I don’t think the occasional cigarette has a huge impact on that, honestly, just … health is more holistic than just like, a couple things. So, the fact that I generally take really good care of myself … means like, I’m more okay with the occasional drug use.”
– Rocky *
* To protect confidentiality, respondents are asked to choose pseudonyms.
Em Sanders, Project Manager
This research was supported by funds from the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP) of the University of California, grant number T30IR0890 (Tamar Antin, PI). The content provided here is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of TRDRP.