I've been a closet smoker for the better part of 15 years. The fact that I felt I needed to hide smoking should have been the first clue that I shouldn't have been smoking in the first place. Who hides things they are proud of? No one.
So I snuck around. I found places to stop on the way home from work that offered some shield from the weather and had a cigarette before I got to my house. I added at least 20 minutes to my commute every night so I could have an extra smoke.
I sprayed myself down with odor spray, hid packs and lighters in a shoebox in the closet. I wouldn't buy a purse unless there was an inner zipper pocket where I could secret my supplies. I always knew exactly where I had supplies and how many were left and when I would have to go buy more. I always bought other stuff so the cashier wouldn't think I had only come in to the store for smokes. I mean, why on earth would I care what the cashier thought? Because it was all about being better than smokers. I was better than those silly people who smoked out in the open
I consider myself to be a person of integrity. I didn't exactly lie about smoking, but I could change the subject faster than you can imagine. And I always, always had a cover story.
Being a non-smoker is much less fraught. I don't need a cover story - there isn't anything to cover up.
Now I can learn what life is like without sneaking.