Wow, I can relate to this so well. I was never cool at school either, in fact I was regularly tormented and ended up pretty much a loner. You know those shows where there is a loner and they are dark and mysterious and tough and cool? I was the other kind.
One outlet I did develop was theatre. On stage I could be whoever I wanted, and even dark and mysterious or tough or cool. One role I had required me to smoke on stage. Of course having never been cool I was never even offered a cigarette at high school, let alone subjected to peer pressure over it. I didn't smoke, and had no interest in it, but smoking for a role could be interesting.
Since the role required being cool, I had no desire to hack, cough and wheeze on stage, going green around the gills. So I decided that I needed to rehearse. The plan was to buy a pack of cigarettes with my groceries and smoke 1 on non rehearsal days, and 1 during rehearsals. This seemed to work OK, I was doing great and totally in control.
If my pack ran out it was no problem, I would simply wait until grocery day and then get another packet. Strangely I found that I would run out of other household essentials, such as maybe I suddenly needed to replace the dish brush, or get new oven liners or something, neccesitating a trip to the grocery store. According to the rules in my mind, this was grocery shopping, so smokes are allowed in the cart.
One day, not long before opening night as the rehearsal schedule was ramping up, as I had a smoke on the way to rehearsal, to make sure I had the timing right for my puffs between lines and other such vital matters, I noticed that my pack was empty. This just simply could not be. I had only bought it 3 days ago. Where can they all have gone?
I resolved right then to get another packet, and that packet was to last until we opened, then I would get another packet that would last for the season, then no more.
I was surprised at how easy it was to get hooked on these things, and luckily I realised it early enough to be able to stop.
Maybe what we need is a quit potato lobby group that is as high profile as the quit smoking lobby?
Stamp out spuds!
Good luck, and happy birthday Lady Friend.