Photo on 2010-04-06 at 16.10

Was sitting outside a Starbucks today, enjoying the sun and warmth and hating—absolutely hating—the smokers. (see photo above; behind the older folks)

They were young (18-to-21, I’d guess) and vibrant and attractive. They talked loudly and blew large clouds into the air. They clearly thought they were extra-special cool, based off the swagger and the confidence.


I remember when I was in high school. There were cool kids and not cool kids. I was not a cool kid. Oftentimes, I looked at the cool kids with jealousy. The cool girls were pretty and sexy and stylish. They seemed to have a glow about them; an air of dominance that I woefully lacked. I looked for any dent in the armor; anything I could hold over their heads. The one thing I found: Cigarettes.

Yes, they were hip and down and It. But they were also smokers. “One day,” I used to think to myself, “they’ll regret this. Twenty years from now their skin will be yellowed, their teeth will be brown and they’ll still be addicted to this crap.”

So here I am, 20 years later, and I was sorta right. I no longer have the anger for those kids. Hell, I actually have come to like and embrace many of them. But I absolutely, positively, 100% guarantee that if you asked them whether they regret having started smoking, they’d all say yes. The health woes, the financial burden, the outcasting of smokers … why would a person choose to smoke?

Yet people still do, because people are dumb. They’re young and insecure and eager for acceptance, and cigarettes offer those crutches.


3 thoughts on “Smoking”

  1. I feel your pain. Within the last six months or so, I’ve become rather contemptuous of smokers. I’m not sure why, but for some reason I find the whole habit just pathetic. And I’ve asked a few folks, smokers and former smokers, what the draw is. Is it the taste? “No,” is always the answer. Then why start? I don’t get it, and never will.

  2. Muhammad Goldstein

    40% of the population in Japan smokes..and they have the highest life expectancy in the world. It always amuses me when Americans rail against the evils of smoking as they scarf down a Big Mac, drink a liter of Coke and then drive to the mall for “exercise”. You can drink and smoke on a friday night and stay healthy if you eat well and exercise!

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