Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's a Great Mystery to Me

Would someone please explain something to me?

Why do otherwise sensible looking intelligent young people smoke cigarettes? Why, I saw two young men today, in their late teens or early 20s. These were not "working class" people but well dressed, driving $25,000 cars, talking on iPhones/smartphones/BlackBerrys (yapping on the phone while driving: a rant for another day.) with cigarettes hanging from their lips.

To me, anyone under the age of 30 has no good reason to take up smoking. Your reasons are going to sound the same as someone who took up crack, heroin, or meth. You tried an addictive drug. You got addicted. Now you can't stop.

Why try it in the first place? When all the risks of immediate addiction, early death from heart disease, stroke and chronic lung damage are well researched and well known? To look cool? To belong? To self medicate (a very high percentage of people with documented mental illness are smokers, and many say it helps their illness)?

It just doesn't seem very smart, that's all.

Anyone want to take a stab at this?


Ann T. said...

Dear The Observer,
Oh, sure, I'll take a stab.

It isn't about togetherness, it's about separateness. It's about distancing yourself from others.

If you have an addiction, and you can score, you have one guaranteed moment of happiness every day.

That's what I think, anyway. I agree it's not rational, but it is compelling.

Ann T.

the observer said...

Ann T:
That's a viewpoint I've never heard before--using the substance to separate and give you your own private moment--not a healthy private moment, like meditation or prayer, or choosing to be alone. Like you say, keeping your distance from others.

As the old character on "Laugh In" used to say, "Very Interesting"

The Observer

I wonder if any of that is on YouTube?

peedee said...

If you only new how much I wish I'd never started. It was social for me. All my friends smoked. And we were ATHLETES. WTH??
Theres a certain, "It wont hurt me cause I can stop anytime" mentality I had. Yeah, NOT.

Thank goodness my kid doesnt smoke. She hates it and bugged me about it her whole life.

Ann T. said...

Dear The Observer,
and peedee,

Both my parents smoked high-octane menthols, in the car, windows closed, hours upon hours. We all hated it. Two of the three of us kids ended up smokers.

Ann T.