The Youtuber has been tobacco-free for eight years, quite the contrast from smoking up to 40 cigarettes per day for most of her adult life.
Jodi, in her latest upload, said she was introduced to cigarettes in the late 80s after witnessing her father and others smoke in their yard.
The following day, she went to the area with her sister where they had their first “puffs”.
“Yuh waan see me and Traci inna di grass a pick up the cigarette dem,” she said. “We were smoking down the last two little smokes of cigarette that were left; these are the butts that people threw away… That was just fooling around. There was no addiction.”
Her attraction towards smoking grew as she associated it with being cool.
“I remember — not gonna say her name — she’s a Chinese girl, she’s attractive. I remember her elegant hands and how she would hold her cigarette and she would be talking and the cigarette would be there and I just thought it was so cool, I thought she was cool…(I thought) I bet you I could look cool too.”
Jodi started buying Rothmans cigarettes which she would smoke socially without her parents’ knowledge. She would also steal cigarettes from her father’s stash.
“Anytime anybody would see me I always had a cigarette hanging out of my hand and I just can’t remember a time when I was younger that I wasn’t smoking. I had a cigarette to celebrate. I had a cigarette if I was feeling sad, when I was feeling lonely. It was my companion. It was like this cigarette was my best friend.”
She said there were no warning labels on cigarette packs when she started smoking, which later changed along with higher cigarette prices.
She was able to smoke freely and more frequently when she went to Denmark in 1999 on a student exchange programme.
“I was walking around with these rolled up cigarettes with no filter, I felt like a real crackhead,” she said.
Her mother found out about her habit when she returned home, but said she didn’t do much about it. She said there were several times when she tried to stop, especially after seeing her brother and cousin quit with the help of Chantix pills.
In 2013, she went to the doctor and received a prescription for the pills to help her kick the habit.
“When I started to really look at myself smoking and I’m like this doesn’t look so great. My hair is always stinky. Sometimes I’d be hugging Sean and he’d be like, ‘Yeah your hair kinda smell stink’. There was definitely a problem. I was always walking with a tin of altoids because I was conscious of that cigarette breath. I had a bottle of febreeze in my car… I couldn’t wear white nail polish because I smoked so much that the nail polish would turn yellow… I really wanted to whiten my teeth but I said I can’t bother cause I know they’d get back brown again. My life revolved around smoking.”
She was also motivated to quit because of physical changes. Her skin started to look grey, her lips grew thin, dark and had burn marks, and she had wrinkles around her mouth.
She started taking the pills and said the side effects made her have strange dreams and zone out in public. She said the latter triggered rumours that she was “drugged out”.
Jodi said she stopped smoking in her second week on the pills and hasn’t smoked since. She also said she stopped taking the medication during the eighth week because of the side effects.”I do miss it cause I smoked for majority of my life and I feel it was a companion and it was hard at first cause I’d be around people that smoked like my dad…”
Despite this, she said she is happy that she now smells like shampoo instead of Craven A.
“I just want to say that I feel good, I smell good, clean skin…and I feel like I now have the energy to do certain things… My husband go through nuff wid me enuh. How him did waan hug me up all the time? Yow, I did stink enuh, like a likkle Craven A smoke pack.”
She doesn’t believe in forcing smokers to quit, but did have a message for them.
“I just want to encourage anybody out there smoking to let you know that it’s such a good feeling when something that had such a hold on you is gone.”