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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

261

Smoking: The Pros and Cons (Excluding All Health Risks)

I’ve never smoked a cigarette, not even a puff. Perhaps because of this, I’ve spent my life monitoring both my smoking and non-smoking friends, keeping a tally of which side seems to have better lives. I wonder, if smoking weren’t detrimental to health, would I pick up a cigarette? There are pros and cons.

Pro: Looking cool. It doesn’t matter what you were taught in school: Smoking is cool. If it wasn’t, no one would do it, especially not after seeing Debbie.

Con: Having to stand outside in the winter, cold and shivering, huddled over a cigarette, just to smoke.

Pro: Having a ready excuse to walk away from a boring conversation at a party. (“Excuse me, I’m just going to go have a cigarette.”)

Con: Having to shell out $11 a pack, even when you’re broke.

Con: That one friend who’s in denial about the fact that they smoke, so they never buy their own pack, yet always ask for a cigarette whenever you take out yours, and of course you always give it to them, but secretly it annoys you.

Pro: Always having something to do with your hands.

Pro: When non-smokers get asked “I’m gonna go smoke a cigarette, wanna come?” a very awkward 10 minutes of standing outside sort of hugging-yourself-while-the-other-person-smokes ensues. If you smoke, you can partake, instead of just standing there, watching, waiting to go back inside.

Con: The word “smokes” as a plural noun inevitably becoming part of your life.

Pro: The perfect prop if you ever need to seem tragic, but sexy. (Which, honestly, maybe you should try a little more often.)

Pro: Smoking cigarettes doesn’t have any immediate side effects. You can smoke 10 cigarettes at a party and still drive yourself home.

Con: Smoking cigarettes doesn’t have any immediate side effects. You can smoke 10 cigarettes at a party and still be your awkward, slightly bored self.

Con: The smell, on your breath and on your clothes, instantly alerting everyone around you to the fact that you’ve just been smoking. (No one can smell your clothes and and accuse you of just having had a Diet Coke, for example.)

Con: Lipstick on cigarette butts. (Worse than lipstick on coffee cups?)

Pro: When you’re hanging out in a neighborhood much cooler than you are, and everyone is wearing sleeves of tattoos, and you’re wearing sleeves of an Ann Taylor Loft shift dress (a tragic mistake, you’re now realizing). And your friend is late and you’re not sure you’re at the right bar so you’re just sort of wandering around. And it’s clear (to you, and, you imagine, to everyone you pass) that you are walking up and down these unfamiliar streets with no real place to be. And you think: If only I had a cigarette! Then you wouldn’t be wandering, panicked and self-conscious — you’d be smoking. You’d have a purpose.

Pro: Smokers get to take a million breaks during the workday, wherein they can go outside and smoke and make phone calls or walk around. Non-smokers can’t say “I’m going to go outside to text my friend for a little bit, I’ll be back.”

Con: Most smokers want to quit eventually. So it would just be another thing on a perpetual to-do list hanging over your head, like “Write a novel, learn Spanish, and watch The Wire.”

Con: Pregnancy and transatlantic flights must really suck for smokers.

Pro: Approaching someone at a bar is hard. Approaching someone outside the bar by asking for a light is easy.

Con: Wrinkles around your lips from puckering.

Pro: If ever in your life you think you might visit Berlin, you should probably start smoking now.

Con: Nicotine stains on fingers, or fear thereof.

Pro: Smokers all  seem to feel persecuted: This binds them together in an elite members-only club. Non-smokers aren’t allowed behind the velvet “Smoking Area” ropes.

Con:  Being a smoker and also caring about the environment, which means bending down to pick up your cigarette butts off the ground and carrying them around in a tissue in your purse until you find an appropriate trash receptacle.

Pro: Something to do while you sit on your fire escape and gaze out onto the city (if you don’t know the chords to “Moon River”).

Con: Reaching for your pack and finding you’ve smoked the last one, and can’t procure more until tomorrow. Having to go to bed on that note.

Pro: An excuse to relax for five minutes at a time, to sit back, to do nothing.

Con: Gross teeth.

In Conclusion
Pros: 14
Cons: 14
Verdict: Inconclusive. Might take another decade of observation, just to be sure.

Previously: The Facebook Purity Test.

Chiara Atik is never going to smoke, but should she?



261 Comments / Post A Comment

Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood

Pro: I think you look hot when you do it (trust me this is a good thing)

Bebe

Pro: Cigarettes suppress your appetite
Pro: When your best friend asks what you think of her new boyfriend and what you think is that he looks exactly like her brother and it's creeping you out, you can fiddle with a cigarette, pretending to have trouble lighting it while you think of something supportive and non-committal to say
Pro: Accessories! Zippo lighters, cigarette cases, cigarette HOLDERS

(God, I miss smoking! Stupid carcinogens ruin everything).

melis

@Bebe CHRIST cigarette holders. And you really can't have one nowadays without coming across as the most tremendous and affected boor, which is such a shame, because I spent the entire first season of Mad Men coveting Rachel Mencken's gold cigarette holder.

Bebe

@melis I like to believe that in a former life, I was a flapper with a super chic bob, dropped-waist dresses, and fantabulous cigarette holders.

wallsdonotfall

@melis, I think you meant you really can't have one without coming across as one of the sexiest things I've seen in my life? They're so unnecessary and elegant and perfect. (But the smell, alas. And the cancer.)

M'fly

@melis Ahh I feel the same way, and I ended up buying a really beautiful vintage one on ebay for like $3 and it was so beautiful and perfect... but I looked like a total juicebox, and then my dog chewed it up, so, yeah.

melis

@wallsdonotfall Okay, between this and the Rachel Maddow thing yesterday, I'm pretty sure that you're trying to get me to love you. Is that what this is? Because fine, whatever, I don't have that much to do today.

wallsdonotfall

@melis

Maybe we should take it slow, but
Every comment gives me hope of a
Long-distance love connection. Long distance?
It's too late!
See you... well, see you right now, sweetie. Behind you.

melis

Well now it's done.
Already I'm hopelessly in (Hairpin)
Love with you, although I hope to God that wee_ramekin never
Looks at this thread or I'm in fucking trouble.
Sluts!

wee_ramekin

@melis AAAAAAGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHcrackshatterscreech (sound of my Pin-heart breaking)

I bet you're going to say you're poly and just never told me.

melis

@wee_ramekin Ugh, no.

Rachel Kantstopdaphunk@facebook

@melis who cares if it's affected? do it freakin anyway!

iceberg

Ah this is so good. I am a never-/non-smoker too. The awkward-hugging-self-while-watching smokers, and the no work-breaks hit home so hard.

DrFeelGood

@iceberg As a never/non this is my.absolute favorite bit about smoking.

melis

Or get one of these nifty little numbers!

melis

Now you're the most environmentally conscious smoker on the block!

yrouttasight

@melis I used to carry one of these things. Remember when they gave away those little tins in boxes of Celestial Seasonings tea? I used one as an ashtray and kept it in my purse. I had to start putting an elastic around it though, because one time it popped open in my purse and...ugh, what a mess.

melis

@yrouttasight I'm torn between loving you for carrying around your own ashtray and hating you forever for buying Celestial Seasonings tea.

yrouttasight

@melis Whats wrong with Celestial Seasonings? I like the tea with the lady and the dragon on it, but I'm superficial like that.

Lily Rowan

@yrouttasight If you mean Tension Tamer, I totally have a box of it in my desk right now, and it's always kind of funny when someone asks what I'm drinking. "I'M TENSE, OKAY?!!?!"

melis

Bagged tea? WHIMSICALLY BRANDED bagged tea? I'd accuse you of being Balk in disguise if I didn't know he wasn't allergic to whimsy.

yrouttasight

@melis Fact: I live on whimsy and moonbeams. Also, tea.

LastMinuteLulu

@yrouttasight I had one of those Celestial Seasonings tins back in the day too (bought the tea just for the tin), but I used mine to hold exactly 6 cigarettes so I wouldn't smoke more than that per day. It didn't really work, but whatever.

thebestjasmine

“Write a novel, learn Spanish, and watch The Wire.”

How did you know my to do list?

The smellll. The terrible terrible smell cannot be overstated.

major disaster

@thebestjasmine I am always fascinated by scenes in movies and TV where a character smokes, say, in the bathroom, and then tries to hide it by opening the window and spraying air freshener around. Do people really think this works to hide the smell?

thebestjasmine

@major disaster I think they do think that! Which is why smokers walk around smelling so bad!

insouciantlover

@major disaster like the idea in Royal Tenenbaums that Goopeth could smoke cigarettes for YEARS and nobody knew?

Bebe

@major disaster Honestly, when you are smoking, you can't smell it on yourself as much as other people can. I totally thought I was being crafty when I smoked, like no one in my office knew where I was going for 10 minutes at a time 2-3 times a day. Then I quit, and I can tell when someone's been smoking from 50 feet. I had NO IDEA while I was a smoker, though.

nogreeneggs

@thebestjasmine Ugghh the smell. Some cigarettes smell worse than others I think? (never smoker here so IDK). Once in a bar some guy was hitting on me, and I don’t know what he did previous to approaching me…rolled around in a weeks old ashtray or something, but he smelled heinous. So I politely told him that “I’m so so sorry, but you smell like an ashtray and if you don’t walk away right now I might throw up.” He was offended. SO WAS MY NOSE.

(Normally I wouldn’t tell someone they smelled because that’s not nice, but if you guys were there you would understand. SO BAD. And my dad smokes so I know what smokers smell like, this guy was in his own smelly league. Also, he did it to himself…it’s not like he had a health condition.)

lavender gooms

@major disaster It's a contract. My mom pretends that she quit smoking years ago, and the rest of us that we can't smell cigarette smoke during her frequent disappearences to the upstairs bathroom. It keeps the peace.

On the other hand, cigarette smoking destroys the sense of smell so it's possible smokers really don't have any idea.

charizard

@thebestjasmine I consciously and completely stopped hooking up with smokers because I have to do all my laundry every time I sleep over. Never again.

amateur hour

@thebestjasmine I think it's not that bad if you don't smoke that much, if you smoke outside, and if you wash your hands/brush your teeth after. But I don't know. Could be delusional on my part.

I kind of like the smell if I hug someone and they are cold and wearing a coat and have smoked a cigarette. That seems really comforting to me and brings up all these nice associative memories.

leonstj

@lavender gooms - All of the 'smell' discussion makes me sad, because I'm a smoker and hate the fact that it instantly rules out a HUGE PERCENTAGE of ladies who will not even for a second countenace the thought that our mouths will touch.

Having said that...when I try to quit, it is AMAZING how disgusting you realize cigarettes smell about 8 days later. But it's not that it destroys our sense of smell, it's just that we become acclimated to that particular smell to such a huge degree it's just background noise, like the BQE if you live on the south side of McGolrick.

That being said, I'm currently trying to lose weight, and working a billion hours trying to get a promotion - unfortunately, being well-paid and non-circular are higher priorities (each with way more upside) than not being a fuming ashtray, so it's only smokers for me until next winter I suppose.

SuperGogo

@leon.saintjean I have a feeling if you're svelter (word?) and richer, you and your cancer sticks will still do alright with the ladies.

FloraPosteHaste

@major disaster I've worked in hospitals, which of course are widely No Smoking Anywhere, and patients liked to go in the bathroom, shut the door, and run the hot shower while they smoked, as if somehow we couldn't tell the difference between shower steam and cigarette smoke. I thought it was some weird logic.

thebestjasmine

@whyhellothere I mean, it's better if you do those things, but still pretty bad. Accidentally getting in an elevator with someone who just came back from their smoke break is the worst.

wobbletown

@thebestjasmine Some brands definitely smell worse than others. I smoke Winstons usually, and when I switch to anything else I definitely notice a smell lingering on my clothing that (I'm pretty sure?) I don't get otherwise.

Inkling

@whyhellothere I was abruptly reminded of hugging my dad, fat from a down vest and an icy stiff denim jacket, and smelling Marlboro. I love that smell and I even more love that he never failed to take it outside :)
And the screen door banged, and his glasses fogged up... (a million other little images).

gametedisease

@thebestjasmine I smoked from 16 until my sophomore year of college without anyone knowing. My dad only found out when he surprise visited my dorm and caught me outside on the smoker bench. He was none too pleased.

But my point is that, if you're not chain smoking, the scent doesn't linger for too long. Febreze is magical, too.

18thfloor

@thebestjasmine I agree. I've worked here for 3 years, and the only reason they found out I smoked was when my boss saw me with a cigarette on the weekend. Also, my parents don't know I smoke & I've done it for years. There's a difference in someone who smokes a lot indoors or in their car, and someone who smokes a couple times a day outside. I also always wash my hands & brush my teeth or chew gum because I hate the smell.

whimseywisp

@whyhellothere YES THIS :)

whimseywisp

@18thfloor We can be non-non-smokers together :D. Because I consider myself a social smoker, much like I am a social drinker.

rocknrollunicorn

@leon.saintjean But you can tap that really specific market of people like me, who don't smoke as much as they used to and really, really enjoy the smell of smoke on other people, and omg kissing a smoker. It's gross, I know, but I love everything about how smoking smells and tastes.

charizard

@thebestjasmine I recommend one of the following:

http://www.demeterfragrance.com/Product.aspx?ProductID=931
http://www.demeterfragrance.com/Product.aspx?ProductID=977

<3 Demeter.

friendshipcamel

PRO: LOOKING COOL. Says another never-smoker who has serious regrets about it...

iceberg

@friendshipcamel I've never smoked a cigarette, or anything illegal, but I have puffed on the occasional cigar (only big ones, ont the skinny ones) and they look fucking cool as shit, and you don't get lung cancer because you don't inhale (although regular smokage can lead to mouth cancer, so don't) and they smell way better than cigs.

nogreeneggs

@iceberg My friend bought a cigar to smoke and be cool looking. He didn’t know you weren’t supposed to inhale and immediately threw up everywhere.

Meghan Galewski@facebook

@friendshipcamel THEY SMELL BETTER THAN CIGARETTES? your nose sense buds must be WAY OFF because cigars are the most disgusting thing i've ever smelled.

iceberg

@Meghan Galewski@facebook I know you were really talking to me there - it does depend on the cigar but in my opinion yes mostly they do smell better than ciggies, except for maybe clove cigs which are quite lovely.

thebestjasmine

@iceberg Agreed, cigars smell way way better than cigarettes.

wee_ramekin

@all Pipes FTW!!!

SarahDances

@friendshipcamel Pipe tobacco smells AMAZING, but being a petite lady smoking a pipe is neither cool nor sexy.

Bebe

@wee_ramekin My grandpa smoked a pipe, and he always smelled like pipe tobacco, peppermints, and clean laundry. As a result, every time I smell pipe tobacco I feel all warm and happy. Pipes FTW, indeed.

DMcK

Gahh, cigars smell AWFUL and spell JUICEBOX. And cloves do smell nice, but holy buhjeezum they are REALLY bad for you. My brief dalliance with them ended when the nosebleeds started.

Abraxas

@SarahDances I beg to disagree, I had a friend who was a petite lady who smoked out of a carved wooden pipe all the time. I thought she was pretty sexy.... In fact. Now I want one.....

whimseywisp

@Meghan Galewski@facebook AGREED. Pipes smell nice though!

whimseywisp

@DMcK It's funny because I smoked cloves before I ever smoked a regular cigarette and now I don't like them at all. They are WAY too intense. UGH.

Daryl Daley@twitter

i smoke when out at bars because it makes me drunker than I am... and only artificially, so no puking!

Bebe

@Daryl Daley@twitter And when you quit smoking you get real drunk much, much faster because you are missing that nicotine buzz and aren't stopping between drinks to go out for a smoke now and then. You have to re-learn your limits. Or, um, so I'm told...

heb
heb

@Bebe HOLY SHIT. THAT'S my problem!

Bebe

@heb Pro tip: Every time you would normally go for a smoke, get a glass of water instead.

melis

@Bebe Who has the time to go to the bathroom every five minutes for the entire night?

Bebe

@melis You can hold it in, using your kegel muscles. Now you're socializing, drinking, hydrating, quitting smoking, and working out all at the same time. Multitasking!

melis

@Bebe I definitely, definitely can't; I have the bladder of an 80-year old woman. "Mallory is urinating at a 12th-grade-level," my kindergarten teacher was often heard to remark.

whimseywisp

@Bebe I think holding it too long might be worse than the occasional cigarette. (I say this as someone who does both, so take that as you will.) It can cause UTIs and damage your bladder/liver/one of those things down there. Or so I've been told?

major disaster

Though many of these would be moot if your premise were true. If smoking were not detrimental to your health, there wouldn't be (most of the) limits on where you could do it, and it wouldn't be nearly so expensive (due to all the taxes they add on now to discourage people).

joie

Smoking plan:
Chain smoke for 2 years, get pregnant, stop.
Discover that being a single parent to a 2 year old is stressful, start smoking after his bedtime.
Become a runner, stop smoking.
Run first marathon, take up smoking again.
Smoke, indefintely, on a bi-monthly basis, convince self that it is neither unhealthy or foolish to do this, and resolve to quit at 30.
Turn 70, take up chain smoking, heavy drinking and pot smoking again.
Be awesomest old lady ever.

Yep, that's a good life plan. Am I missing anything?

rararuby

@heyits heroin

melis

@heyits Delete "get pregnant" and I will sign on.

joie

@melis DONE. you're welcome to come over to my beachside cottage anytime and drink a gin martini at 9am over a pack of Nat Sherman Fantasias.

melis

@heyits Oh it's so on.

M'fly

Pro: If you smoke bitch-stick menthols, like I do when not-pregnant, no one ever wants to bum a smoke from you, and it is the most delicious, refreshing taste to have first thing in the morning. (See also: toothpaste.) It also makes drinking a mocha taste kind of like Christmas.

Porn Peddler

@J Keems@twitter Why did you have to bring up delicious minty mocha I am pmsing and now my broke ass is about to drive to Starbucks...

lobsterhug

@J Keems@twitter Yes! I did this. Also, always get 100s. It's almost twice the cigarette for the same price!

Helvetica

Haven't smoked a day in my life but THIS: "When you’re hanging out in a neighborhood much cooler than you are..." I've been doing this a lot lately - waiting for my friends, that is - and every time I wish I could be smoking so I wouldn't look so...doing nothing. But then again, bad for health. I'm still weighing that pro and con in my head, hopefully until the rest of my life.

likethestore

@kystilla This is when I get out the cell phone and check my email and Twitter.

melis

@likethestore WHICH ALSO GIVES YOU CANCER, YOUR CELL PHONE

SuperGogo

@melis ONLY IF YOU'RE EATING IT

melis

@SuperGogo Oh, do you not have the new digestible iPhone? No big deal, it's only like the biggest deal ever, I was lying just a second ago about it not being a big deal, you ugly old mop.

SuperGogo

@melis Oh stop with the flirting, you're going to make wallsdontfall jealous.

Ellie

@kystilla I have this theory that smoking makes you look more badass and so less likely to be accosted/harassed/mugged whatever so I make a big point of smoking if I am ever walking somewhere unsafe feeling.

melis

@Ellie "Well, I was gonna rape her, but she clearly possesses the rare and unique and terrifying gift of CREATING FIRE, so."

Bebe

@Ellie I used to do this too! My theory was, I could at least burn any attackers with the cigarette, which would at least give me some time to run away. Of course, as a smoker I couldn't really run that fast without getting winded so you know it may not have been as fool-proof as I thought....

olivia

CON: after you quit you worry about whether or not you're going to end up with lung cancer anyway and think maybe you should just start smoking again, but there's that lung cancer thing...

heb
heb

@olivia There's the devil on my shoulder that says "You're going to die eventually anyway," and then the angel that says "But you'll probably give yourself lung cancer when shit finally starts getting good."

CrescentMelissa

@olivia i know i know! i smoked forever, don't smoke now, but still think, god i hope i am not one of those jerks that's still gets cancer anyway.

whimseywisp

@CrescentMelissa LIKE PETER JENNINGS :( :( :(

stalkingcat

PRO: Company gossip. You find out all sorts of good stuff while hanging outside in the far corner with people from marketing, sales, IT, etc. This is also especially effective if there is someone there from upper management. I had a directive who smoked like a chimney and I started smoking at the same time as he did so I could learn what was really happening.

thebestjasmine

@stalkingcat Are you Rachel from Friends? Yes, I know, a Friends reference is totally passe, but this was the exact plot of an episode. I wish I could start smoking to get the gossip, except for the smoking part.

stalkingcat

@thebestjasmine LOL No, this was the last couple companies I worked at. The smoking gossip at this current job is not that good. (Side note: I never watched Friends because my sister was OMGFriendsIsSoooAwesomeBlahBlahBlah and so I never realized parts of my life were plots on Friends.)

hearththr

@stalkingcat I used to do that! I got so much juicy information to give to my nonsmoker friends.

M'fly

@stalkingcat Man, I wish that ANYONE at my office smoked. Seriously, it is so weird how not a single person here is a smoker.

SuperGogo

@J Keems@twitter Several in my office have quit since our health plan introduced a smokers' surcharge. Seriously, you sign a statement swearing up and down you don't smoke or you get docked, like, $75 per paycheck. Not that I know how the plan would ever find out if you're lying, but it seems to have be an effective enough deterrent to trigger a few folks to quit.

tea tray in the sky.

@SuperGogo Are they quitting smoking or their jobs?

Lisa Frank

Con: Cigarette hangovers are a real thing.

sarah girl

@Lisa Frank Ugh, I got a hookah hangover one time. HORRIBLE.

batgirl

There is also nothing better then the post-workout cigarette. Go for a long run, then have a smoke. Your lungs are all open and ready to receive that delicious, carcinogenic smoke. Ahhh...
I really need to quit.

hearththr

@batgirl Sounds like my workout plans in highschool: smoke some pot, go to the gym for like thrity minutes, come back and smoke cigarettes and eat a bunch of food. Feel accomplished.

Now I just cut out the pot and gym part, and the feeling accomplished.

Millipenny

@batgirl Oh, goodness, yes. It's better than anything else in the world. My one cigarette of the day is the one I have when I get home from the gym or a run. It is sublime. It also means that I have to work out every gd day.

rayray

@batgirl I love people's faces watching you light up as you leave the gym.

Ellie

@rayray Me tooooo

MousesHouse

@batgirl I never have had the courage to light up as I'm leaving. But you know, several minutes later, yes, the best.

amirite

@batgirl Yes! I love that feeling.

Also when I started smoking and my lungs hurt the next day, I was all, ooh, feels like I just went for a nice long run, and I felt a lovely false sense of accomplishment.

tambourinetrees

@batgirl that is the BEST BEST BEST. and @rayray i do too :)

amirite

@everyone I went for an 8k run last night and I thought of all of you when I had my post-run cigarette.

charizard

Con: Cancer. Excluding health risks, premature death and increased spending throughout your life (on smokes *and* on chemotherapy) kind of really suck.

Seriously guys, just smoke weed instead. A spliff is far cooler than a cancer stick.

charizard

@charizard And in re-reading the pros and all the comments, I truly believe pot would help folks accomplish most of the same goals. Just legalize it already, my god! No wonder the tobacco industry is so against legalization. Nobody would smoke cigarettes.

thebestjasmine

@charizard The SMELL. The only worse smell than cigarettes is the pot smell.

charizard

@thebestjasmine Oh man, pot stench fades so much faster. I can take a walk outside and cease stinking. Cigarette smokers, on the other hand... it gets into your SKIN. Smokers' pores exude it. It's inescapable.

Personally, I vape these days. No stink, no problem :)

Daryl Daley@twitter

@thebestjasmine mmmm, pot smells muy delicioso

DrFeelGood

@charizard As a child of 2 lifetime smokers, I can tell you that pot will NOT replace cigs to a smoker. Nicotine is more addictive than heroin.

charizard

@DrFeelGood Oh, I agree. Addiction and excuses go together like porn and fried chicken.

nyikint

@charizard a thousand times yes.

thebestjasmine

@charizard Pot stench does fade faster, but the actual smell of someone smoking pot is way worse than the actual smell of someone smoking cigarettes (not to minimize the bad bad cigarette smoking smell here, just saying pot is so much worse).

The Lady of Shalott

@thebestjasmine Jesus, yes. The smell of someone smoking weed smells, to me, exactly like smoking distilled essence of skunk odor glands.

charizard

@The Lady of Shalott I'll take a semi-daily half an hour of skunk odor over an existence immersed in a cloud of cigarette smoke. I was at a festival this past weekend that included a high volume of public cigarette smokers. The massive headache and sinus congestion I experienced by the end of the day were miserable. Somehow, being around pot smoke doesn't do the same thing.

Honestly, preference of smell is completely up to the individual. But personally, being around cigarette smoke makes me feel far worse than being around pot smoke. Like, actual physical effects beyond "I don't like the smell".

thebestjasmine

@charizard Oh, I agree -- cigarette smoke makes me feel terrible when I'm around it a lot, but luckily the only time I'm ever around it a lot are trips to Vegas once every few years. But this isn't a "one way of smoking is better than the other way of smoking" thing for me. I hate them both. I just wish there was a way for the easy breaks/looking cool/something to do with your hands/gossip that wasn't smoking.

charizard

@thebestjasmine Personally, I went the route of obsessive cuticle gnawing, much to the chagrin of every manicurist and female relative ever.

frigwiggin

@thebestjasmine I never liked the smell of pot, but my dad started doing it while I was in high school, and then moved to Mexico soon after, and now the smell of pot just gives me a warm fuzzy feeling about visiting my dad in Mexico. Sensory associations are weird.

thebestjasmine

@figwiggin This is I think why I like the smell of cigars and pipes. They feel nice and comforting, because my dad used to smoke them. I have a totally up and down relationship with my dad, but the smell still makes me feel cozy.

Caitlin Podiak

@charizard Weed also has anticarcinogenic properties, so it can help cancel out the cigarettes you already smoked.

And you can smoke joints out of a long fancy cigarette holder and feel like a whimsical psychedelic Audrey Hepburn.

And personally, I have loved the smell of weed since before I ever smoked anything. In high school, I used to love walking near stoner guys in the hallway. The smell of weed residue plus a spritz of cologne in a feeble attempt to cover up the weed smell was my first aphrodisiac.

Saiko

Pros: Smoking is like a mandatory CIA course in grubbing intent/body language. I can spot you loping over to ask for a cigarette from blocks away.

Cons: The unequivocal socially imposed message that, despite all of the extra taxes you pay, you are directly responsible for most of the world's ills.

Also American airports tee me off. I can tie on a healthy alcohol intoxication at 5:30 am at any airport, but I must be padlocked out of even completely closed-to-the-nonflying-public outdoor spaces where I could smoke without bothering anyone (instead I have to go out by the main entrance and pollute the common area--that makes a ton of sense). The Barcelona airport, for instance, has a large outdoor courtyard accessible only from the inside and only to those who have been security-screened, and you can smoke in it because why not, and nobody's really out there for any other reason; LAX (if I remember correctly) has at least one caged off outdoor balcony in a similar area and serving no other ostensible function, yet it is kept locked lest any of us heathens get away with taking the edge off whilst at their mercy.

Oh and my fellow smokepeople? Stop throwing butts on the ground, you ruin it for everyone.

Lily Rowan

@Saiko In Indianapolis (I think it was), there is no smoking on airport PROPERTY. No smoking outside the airport! (Supposedly...)

Saiko

@Lily Rowan Oh ho, let them try to detect my cigarette smoke amid the belching exhaust of the taxis and shuttle buses...that is a rule I just would not abide. I mean technically, jaywalking is illegal in places...

Valerista

@Saiko Absolutely agree with everything.

Thank god for electronic cigarettes for air travel (and I actually quit smoking for three months with those. I really should buy more juice and quit again, except smoking is tasty so I'll do it when I get around to watching The Wire).

fabel

I actually like the smell? Like, especially when you hug somebody who was just outside smoking in the winter air.

amateur hour

@fabel Aw. I just said the same thing up top. highfive!

kayjay

@fabel I'm ashamed to admit that I love the smell, too. I quit smoking 10 months ago, but my boyfriend still smokes. I like to sit close to him and breathe it in occasionally...sometimes, and then suddenly, I'm grossed out and annoyed by it. I'm a complicated lady.

BenIsAGirl

PRO: something to do in traffic.

BIGGEST PRO: the *best* thing to do after-sex in your undies on someone's patio... and also maybe the trashiest when I write it that way.

rararuby

@BenIsAGirl Best thing to do after sex under any circumstances (except in an airplane toilet - but I have never done sex there)

rayray

"You think: If only I had a cigarette! Then you wouldn’t be wandering, panicked and self-conscious — you’d be smoking. You’d have a purpose."
SO TRUE. Anytime I feel slightly self conscious I light up, cos smoking is cool, and a cool person would not be self-conscious.
Also CON: if you live in Europe be prepared for 50 people a day to see you smoking and immediately presume you are some kind of cigarette dispensing machine.

rayray

@rayray Actually I have a story about that. One time I was having a casual cigarette just in front of the Sacré Coeur and this french dude came up to me and asked me for a cigarette, and I said no. He clearly thought I just didn't understand because he'd heard me speaking english to my friends, so he patronisingly repeated 'avez-vous *points at me* une ci-ga-rette? *makes smoking mime*. I explained in French that I understood but no, he couldn't have one.
He then asked my friend, and I explained that she didn't smoke. He took umbrage at this and stormed off to a fair distance. Literally minutes later he walked back all the way across the square to retort in my direction, 'Mademoiselle, vous n'etes pas belle'.

Saiko

@rayray One pro to living in cigarette-hysterical (and overpriced) NY is that you can totally act like you "just grubbed this one from someone else!", since social grubbing is the new hardcore. Just make sure the pack isn't showing through your pants pocket.

DrFeelGood

@rayray lol. I have a good friend who lived there for a few years, when I went to visit her she BEGGED me to fill my suitcase with cartons, since they were so expensive there. I have never seen so much smoking, except maybe Spain. Close tie.

Bebe

@rayray I love how he used "vous" and "Mademoiselle" while insulting you. I love the French!

rayray

@Bebe I know right? So formal, and yet, essentially, he was being like 'screw you, fugly!'

I just moved back to the UK from France and there is less scrounging here even though it's a good three or so pounds more per pack. *Shrug* I'm trying to give up because I can't really afford it now I'm a poor student again.

Bebe

@rayray Everything really does sound better in French.

Jon Custer

@rayray Very accurate. I once had about 5 different people try to bum cigarettes from me while waiting for ONE bus (I turned the last three down; enough is enough, riht?).

Valerista

@rayray That always happens to me in New Orleans, but it's kind of like American France.

"This is my last one! I'm so sorry!"

City_Dater

Okay, all you wistful never-smokers: I quit (finally, for good, the second time) when my doctor told me I was well on my way to having the lung capacity of an 11-year-old. (I was over 30.)

And I miss the social aspect, having something to do with my hands, etc. even all these years later. Until I hug a smoker and get a lungful of that stale toxic smell.

Nutmeg

AHHHH EVERYONE STOP I WANT ONE SO BADLY

I bought a Stress Pack on Sunday because I was in a depressed "I am probably just going to end up suiciding anyways before I die of cancer" mood, but now I have to admit that to the lady who calls from my insurance company to make sure I don't smoke, and she is always so proud when I tell her I haven't!
She has a hardcore Minnesotan accent so I could try and pretend she's Sarah Palin, but I just can't hate you, Kindly Ex-Smoker Insurance "Wellness Coach" Lady.

cosmia

@Nutmeg I don't think that would work anyway, because the hardcore Minnesotan accent just reminds me of Marge Gunderson

pinta

@Nutmeg ok, forgive me for my ignorance: why would you ever tell the truth in that situation? they aren't going to, like, audit your stop n shop receipts.

Nutmeg

@pinta aw man, because I actually know I should quit and want to, it's just hard? My mom was a smoker for 20 years because she thought she looked cool and ended up with asthma and horrible allergies as a result, and I don't want to end up like that. I LOVE being physically active/breathing and smoking impedes it, it's just that when I get crazy depressed I don't see the point because WHATEVER I am going to die anyways.

And I know the insurance company is just doing this preventative thing to make sure they don't have to shell out for my cancer treatments decades later, but the woman I talk to is an actual person who used to smoke and who wants me to quit, and I feel like I owe her the truth, or something. I don't know, my morals are pretty fecked up to be honest.

karion

When city regulations took away my ability to have a martini and a cigarette while sitting in a comfy barstool in a cozy bar - that is when everything that was tolerably CON about smoking became unbearable.

scully

@karion Oh this was the biggest pro. Relaxing with a cocktail and a cigarette in a nice lounge after a long day.

DrFeelGood

For all you non-smokers, if you want to quell any desire to "try it" imagine growing up in a house where both parents smoke constantly, and kids at school think you smoke because you smell like it all the time, you always have to take 5 minutes so one or the other can "have a smoke" - this one still bothers me. Now when you're an adult, if they mail you something, it smells like smoke, and their whole house smells, even though they smoke outside. Not to mention worries about your parents probable impending cancer deaths, their smoking coughs, their inability to quit - fun for the whole family! Yea, no allure.

charizard

@DrFeelGood The worst things were car trips. Sitting in the backseat, mom and dad both lit up with each passenger window cracked and cigarette resting on the edge... and the smoke just wafts right into the back seat.

churlishgreen

@DrFeelGood Been there. Now grieving over Mom's stage IV lung cancer (she quit about 20 years ago after trying a gazillion times). This thread is making me very sad...

charizard

@churlishgreen <3 to you.

After smoking for 40 years, my dad quit cold turkey the day he turned 50. Yes, he started smoking at 10. He used to have smoke-induced coughing fits so violent that one time he gave himself a hernia. Today, he's close to 60, and the most obvious smoking side effects (phlegm, constant sickness, the deathly skin pallor, the dental issues, the wheezing, the pounding heart, everything) are all gone. He's also much more pleasant to spend time with. I hope his health continues to improve, but I can't help but expect cancer down the line.

To fight the bleakness, here's a timeline depicting the effects of smoking cessation:
http://www.healthbolt.net/wp-content/uploads/2007/06/smoking_timeline_2070x1530.gif

To anyone: if you quit now, the last cigarette you had was your rock bottom. Claw on upward.

churlishgreen

@charizard <3 back at you. Less than a year ago, my mom was racing around the playground with my toddler nephew, climbing the wrong way up the slide, playing in two golf leagues, and planning international travel with her friends. Today, she is bald, has limbs like bird legs, has to make the bed (tragic effort to retain semblance of normal routine) in three stages over 30 minutes, and has to (try to) sleep sitting up because the pain in her back is so bad. Up until April, she was the picture of robust older-lady health. She started smoking because it made her feel cool and sophisticated. She thought it would be easy to quit. It wasn't. Kudos to your dad.

My dad, who's considerably older, quit more easily and earlier and he's fine.

SuperGogo

@charizard Yes, yes! Smokers totally need their own It Gets Better campaign to make them realize it's totally worth it to quit, even if they've been smoking a long time.

The other thing that amazes me is how much people focus just on cancer and forget COPD, which is now the 4th biggest killer and is A BITCH to live with. Smoking causes 90% of COPD cases. My grandfather was one of the 10% who suffered from it even though he never smoked, and it was terrible to see how hard it made life for him before he passed away. He couldn't walk, couldn't exert himself, couldn't breathe. I wouldn't wish that on anyone, and it kills me that so many people are destined for this because they can't or won't quit.

I know the whole point of this thread was to ignore the health risks of smoking, but Jesus H., that's like trying to discuss the downside of shark attacks if sharks were toothless.

whimseywisp

@DrFeelGood @charizard @churlishgreen @SuperGogo
<33333 you guys. thanks for keepin' it real on this post.

wee_ramekin

PRO: You could pretend that you look the same as Lisbeth Salander (0:18) without having to cut your hair (which is what I did, since I am a non-smoker [though my hair looks really rad, if I do say so m'self]).

hearththr

Pro: There is nothing like a late night drive, windows down, music blastic, cigarette in hand.

melis

@hearththr Are you a song by The Format in disguise as a person???

whimseywisp

@melis I LOVE THAT SONG.

T. Wood@twitter

I've always felt that people were quite ignorant to immediately discount any benefits to smoking. Obviously, people are getting something out of it. Thanks for putting some of it out there and balancing the discussion.

Lisa11111111

@T. Wood@twitter there are no benefits to smoking. at least not any that matter. in fact, it's proven through several medical studies that if you replace smoking with meditation, you'll become a much more centered person, be more positive, and obviously have many less health complications in the future. smoking sucks, and it kills, and people need to realize and acknowledge that.

amirite

@Lisa11111111 But meditation doesn't make you look cooooooool.

whatsherface

@Lisa11111111 Tobacco has been shown to have antidepressant qualities. I would call that a benefit. For me, having a cigarette forces me to relax and breathe deeply. Yes, meditation might do the same, but if I could figure out how to shut off my brain for five minutes and just breathe then I wouldn't be having a panicky moment in the first place.

hearththr

CON: Losing your lighter and working in an office with no other smokers. It's excruciating.

gametedisease

@hearththr THIS

I can go days without smoking, but as soon as I get in my car I neeeed a cigarette. Until I hit the breaks and my lighter flies under the passenger seat never to be seen again. I have pulled over on a highway to dig around for missing lighters. Sad.

I smoke as a form of self-flagellation. When I am feeling anxious, guilty or criminally sad, smoking allows me a few minutes to wallow in my own self pity and some of the bad feelings get released.

MousesHouse

@saraphonic yes! perfect wallowing accessory.

kayjay

Pro: Electronic cigarettes. My friend has one, and the end glows blue. If that's not cool in a future-cigarette kind of way, I don't know what is.

Maybe other people don't think they're cool. What are the kids saying about electronic cigarettes these days?

(Full disclosure: I quit smoking 10 months ago. Pro: Not being a prisoner to something. Plus, if you want to go to an ashram, you can! Yay!)

melis

@kayjay Ashram, ashtray, eh.

Porn Peddler

@kayjay Fun fact: I do search engine optimization for http://www.eliquidplanet.com
Electronic cigarettes indirectly pay my bills so this kid says hip hip hooray.

whimseywisp

@Third Wave Housewife My boyfriend tried these for a few months but at the end of the day, even though they offered the nicotene he wanted, it still didn't give him the same feeling. If we ever went out or to a party, he had to buy a pack of cigs because it just wasn't the same. And as an only sometimes smoker not addicted to nicotine, ecigs don't do a damn thing for me. I think they are still really neat and useful and I hope that more people embrace them to at least smoke LESS real cigs.

Porn Peddler

@kayjay As someone who has never smoked in my life, I can't really relate-- I just worked on the website, after all. I suspect they are a good tool for people who actively want to quit for realz-- not just switch to vaporizing. You designate times/days/locations/occasions as "ecig only" and increase to all the time as you get used to it (obviously could be a slow process- I wouldn't think just switching all at once would work too well) and you can buy cartridges and liquids in varying nicotine concentrations, so it's got that built in tapering tool. Though of course, some people are just not going to like them. They seem a lot better than patches, though, I'd think.

fareby_galore

So many good points in this piece, and OF COURSE the comments. I'm not sure I have anything to contribute--except I wish I still smoked. It's really hard not to when most everyone is my office and friend group smokes, but I've quit for almost a year now.

Pro: Coffee and Cigarettes (read: breakfast)
Con: Getting nicotene nausea because cigarettes are not really a breakfast item.

lobsterhug

@fareby_galore Yes! I quit a couple years ago (but still bum from my friends when drinking) and i miss it so much sometimes. There are just some activities that call for a smoke!

so what?

as someone is pretty vehemently a never/non-smoker, i do have to say that most of your pros are spot on for me. if it wasn't for the smell and the whole cancer thing i would totally be a smoker. seriously, why does everyone look so much cooler/more attractive when smoking?! ugh.

notandersoncooper

Con: Incredibly repulsive.
Pro: Early death relieves pressure on Social Security.

@notandersoncooper But life insurance and health insurance premiums get raised for everyone!

GooooGrapefruit!

Oh god I can't even spend a full day at Mohegan Sun without my lungs dying - this is not an experiment I can even contemplate. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some apple polishing and extra-credit homework to do.

Megan@twitter

CON: Rank hypocrisy. I don't use non-stick pans or a microwave because I'm convinced that they'll give me cancer, and a conventional strawberry shall never pass my lips because of the pesticides. But somehow cigarettes were okay for 10 years?

Related CON: Giving up smoking 2.5 years ago and becoming an insufferable runner who hates smoking with a convert's zeal.

melis

@Megan@twitter No microwave? But the blast of warm air from the little vents feels so good in the morning.

Megan@twitter

@melis I just moved into an apartment that came with a microwave, so I forced myself to get over that one.

DMcK

Attention NYC smokers: you can either quit, or get one of these, some of these, and a can of this, and either way you will save a SHIT-TON of money.

Jon Custer

@DMcK Amen, but I've been in DC for like a month now and haven't been able to find filter tips ANYWHERE. In the UK every shop sells like 6 kinds of tobacco, several types of papers, filter tips, MENTHOL filter tips, everything you need... Here, I get treated like a crazy person every time I ask! Infuriating!

robbermaiden

So, my 'habit' of smoking cloves OCCASIONALLY (very rarely) when I"m drunk or stressed or want to look cool or have something to do is perfect?
They're cheaper than cigs, smell awesome, you don't inhale them so they're better for you (that's what I tell myself DON'T TELL ME OTHERWISE), and i buy a pack once every 4 months or so, so it's not that much of an expense anyway.

I will continue then, ladies! :)

melis

@robbermaiden Why are you not inhaling your clove cigarettes? That's like not inhaling menthols. They're not cigars, they're just flavored - you're still supposed to inhale them.

totallyunoriginal

@melis I was going to say the same thing. Inhale your cloves! Ugh, I love the smell of them.

kate.m

@totallyunoriginal @melis One time when I was 18 I inhaled cloves for a while. Then I started coughing up blood. Then I stopped inhaling my cloves. The end.

fareby_galore

@kate.m yup. that's how those work :/

melis

Please don't tell me that this many Hairpin commenters buy into the myth that cloves are somehow worse than 'regular' cigarettes or 'full of fiberglass' or whatever. American tobacco companies are just afraid of the international competition and start lies. Inhale whatever you like; eventually they'll all make us start coughing blood.

amirite

@robbermaiden This is me except I inhale them. So thanks for the good word, @melis! I've been going around thinking they're worse.

whimseywisp

@robbermaiden That is how I was and now I am like that with cigarettes. Not really smoking is the ideal middle ground. I'm just determined to never smoke enough to become addicted, so I don't! Also if I ever have kids I nevernevernever want to smoke around them, that is NOT OKAY. I'm glad there are others like me out there. YAY HAIRPIN.

hairdresser on fire

Approaching someone at a bar is hard. Approaching someone outside the bar by asking for a light is easy.

This! Not that it's ever worked for me re: picking up a gentleman, but! It has worked for insta-buddy making, not to mention being able to pretend I'm the drunk ethnographer of my neighborhood, boldly documenting new and interesting lives. Or something.

zidaane

PRO: Authentic whiskey den loft.
CONS: Authentic whiskey den loft.

melis

"This whiskey den loft is so inauthentic I feel like I'm at a Bad Faith concert. Let's get out of here, Stëvën."

joie

I can't believe no one has mentioned Tomacco yet.

Being They're

PRO: when you quit you can discover Nicorette, the best drug ever for legal, socially acceptable, daytime abuse. I went from a max of 5 cigs a day to infinite nicorette b/c you can pop it indoors and smell nice.

paisami

@Being They're http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ucMs_a-ew0

FoxyRoxy

I miss smoking so much. I quit 3 years ago (can't remember when exactly) and I still dream about it and date smokers just so I can smell them and tongue down their dirty tobacco mouths.

like a rabid squirrel

@FoxyRoxy Yeah, I went on a date with a guy who (after a few drinks) revealed that he was actually a smoker - what would be a deal breaker for many women made him approximately 20% more attractive to reluctant-former-smoker me.

totallyunoriginal

God, I want a cigarette.

It's been almost 2 years and if this most recent move to NYC, struggle to get an apartment,can't find a job, situation hasn't got me smoking again then I guess I'm okay.

But damn... I'd at least feel cool if I had cigarette right now.

isitisabel

PRO: good way to make friends on a campus that is probably over 50% smokers.
Also see PRO: going on a smoke break with everyone else at a party instead of staying inside with the one other non-smoker there, who you just met that night and don't want to make awkward small talk with for the next 15 minutes.

Personally, I love the smell and taste of cigarettes (and I have a bit of an oral fixation, so). However, I cannot stand the stink of stale smoke, and that is the main reason I never want to progress past the only-when-drinking-and-sometimes-other-social-situations stage.

Saiko

@isitisabel Having been of drinking age when you could smoke indoors, I can absolutely attest that one of the worst things I have ever smelled was my local watering hole the day AFTER the smoking ban took effect. I almost threw out the sweater I wore to the bar that day, whereas on all the previous days I was like "meh".

whimseywisp

@isitisabel YES THIS

streetkid

on an entirely different note: OMG your to-do list hanging over your head is exactly the same as mine.

write a novel, learn spanish, watch the wire.

bananas foster

"Smoking cigarettes doesn’t have any immediate side effects. You can smoke 10 cigarettes at a party and still drive yourself home."

Um, no. When I turned 40, my bf took me out for a sushi night. Wasabi-and-sake high, I said when we got home, 'I want to smoke a cigar!' Having only ever smoked weed before that, I took a HUGE drag straight to the lungs with the immediate effect that I got dizzy, fell over clutching the toilet, and vomited up a really expensive birthday dinner.

Long story short: I would not have been able to drive myself home after that little birthday treat.

pinta

@bananas foster dude maybe it was the sake?

@bananas foster Neither you nor your boyfriend knew that you're not supposed to inhale cigars?

whateverlolawants

@saraphonic I only recently learned that.

Jon Custer

As a smoker, I expected to have a comment on this article, but you've pretty much exactly nailed it. However, I'll try my best:

PRO: Overcoming language barriers -- smoking is the international language of cool people with short life expectancies! (No need to learn Spanish.)

CON: Trying to buy rolling supplies in the US, especially filter tips, and the guy in the shop looks at you like you've just asked for 10 kilos of uncut heroin, or ground-up panda penis. And even when you point at the stuff behind the counter, he acts like he has no idea how that even GOT into his store because HE'S certainly never seen or even heard of it before...

El Knid

@Jon Custer There's got to be at least a handful of dedicated tobacconists in your city. Try looking in neighborhoods with a high Arabic or Indian/Pakistani populations. Also, there's always head shops. You don't want to buy loose tobacco at a place where the stock doesn't turnover regularly, or you end up with dry, stale tobacco.

pinta

The smell of smoke is obv associated with a lot of memories from childhood because everybody smoked back then. I still like the smell because it reminds me of my mom.

On the other hand, my ex used to roll his own with bali shag and I loved, loved, LOVED the smell. Very different from regular cigs.

whimseywisp

@pinta VERRRRY INTETESTING. Thanks for the pro-tip.

lisma

oh boy, I miss smoking.

bexia

Con: total strangers saying shitty things about you in public, or worse, concern trolls telling you you should quit. Oh quit? Really? It is bad for you or something, I hadn't heard.

I was in the smoking area of a bar recently enjoying a cigarette with my G&T, with a couple of my lady friends. A co-worker of one of my friends spotted her, and joined us, only to sit down, stare at us and repeatedly say loudly "I didn't know you smoked. That's disgusting. God, look at you. You're all disgusting. That's so revolting."

I couldn't help but mention that his obvious tanning habit was grossing me out, and could give him cancer.

gametedisease

@bexia My favorite is getting the "You're going to die" bash. When I lived in a dorm and had to smoke outside one of the women would walk by and say that...until I got pissed finally and yelled after her "yeah, so are you!"

hearththr

@bexia Oh my god, I hate that! "You know those things are bad for you?" NO SHIT.

At a bar in college some girl made it her mission to follow me around lecturing to me about how bad cigarettes are and how second hand smoke was awful too. I didn't even know her! I ended up blowing smoke in her face and telling her to fuck off. I was drunk and feel bad about blowing smoke in her face, but c'mon!

Porn Peddler

@hearththr I am kind of okay with your reaction, kind of really really okay. Following a stranger and harassing them is not okay.

jane lane

Being that friend in denial about her smoking works out pretty great, let's be honest. But I still don't understand how becoming addicted even works; I've been doing the social smoking thing for a few years and I have pretty much have no interest in cigarettes when I'm not drunk or depressed.

Anne Marie@twitter

@jane lane You're probably genetic lucky. Other people aren't.

whimseywisp

@jane lane Me too :)

Lisa11111111

I just don't understand why this is even funny. There are no pro's to smoking. Unless you consider going through chemo for lung cancer a pro, which is what my best friend's dad is dealing with now. Trust me, nothing about it could be considered a "pro". Smoking sucks. End of story. If you need a cigarette to do anything, than you need a life.

melis

@Lisa11111111 Why should we even listen to you, you're like the 11 millionth clone of Lisa 1.

clutchingpearls

@Lisa11111111 SERIOUSLY LISA! You probably really hurt Lisa1's feelings. In fact, she just called and told me so.

melis

@clutchingpearls She needed a cigarette first, though. Needed it.

Anne Marie@twitter

CON: Having such intense cognitive dissonance that you'll consider looking cool to be equal to not getting lung cancer and losing years of your life when weighing pros and cons.

gametedisease

It makes me feel cool and I enjoy it. I don't care.

I do, however, try not to smoke in front of children, lest they see how cool I look and want to pick up my nasty habit. But for me? I don't care.

smartastic

I think this is great. However, what's the deal with everyone always saying smokers get to take breaks at work that non smokers can't take? I get up regularly to step out for a walk around the block. Is my job more amazing than other people's jobs and I didn't even know it?

whateverlolawants

@smartastic It might be. I'm probably lucky like that too. Right now I work at a store in a mall and when things are slow, we often think of reasons we need to go to another store for a few minutes ("Oh, 40% at The Limited, guys...") It's nice to have a climate that allows that. I always hope to have jobs that let me do that.

Dan F

I've never smoked a cigarette in my life, but I have always been fascinated by the unspoken customs held by smokers, especially when it comes to bumming smokes. Especially given how expensive they are, it strikes me as a supreme act of solidarity to be willing to hand over something like that to a complete stranger, no questions asked.

whateverlolawants

@Dan F I know! Although my friend was getting hassled for smokes at the bus stop every morning, so he started asking the hassler (who was probably homeless) first. Worked very well.

Diana Fakhoury@twitter

Seriously? How could the verdict be inconclusive? The pros are in no way equivalent to the cons. Compare any one of these cons to any one of the pros and you will see that the pros don't hold up. e.g. Gross teeth vs. Having an excuse to walk away from a boring conversation at a party. I'd rather have good teeth any day.

And by the way, smoking does not make one look cool or sexy. More often than not, smokers look desperate, self-conscious, and sad.

melis

@Diana Fakhoury@twitter I CAN'T HELP BUT NOTICE THAT YOU'RE SMILING WITH YOUR MOUTH CLOSED IN YOUR AVATAR PHOTO

WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO HIDE, DIANA FAKHOURY AT TWITTER

Petunia

I gave up when there was no smoking ban indoors. Nowdays it's absolutely inconvenient forthose who still do.

ach_so

"Pro: If ever in your life you think you might visit Berlin, you should probably start smoking now."

YES. i lived (& smoked) there before their smoking ban. love you, berlin!

whimseywisp

Con: Most smokers want to quit eventually. So it would just be another thing on a perpetual to-do list hanging over your head, like “Write a novel, learn Spanish, and watch The Wire.”

LOVE THIS SO HARD. Also, this list is getting fwded to several people. Hilarious & very observant ;).

whateverlolawants

@whimseywisp I loved that too. How did she know my to-do list?

And this: "Everyone is wearing sleeves of tattoos, and you’re wearing sleeves of an Ann Taylor Loft shift dress." Story of my life.

Cactus Wren

Con: Kissing a smoker really is like licking an ashtray.

BattyRabbit

I know smoking is bad. I know that every drag cuts something like 10 minutes off my life. But honestly, sometimes, I look at my life, think about those 10 minutes, jubilantly exhale, and say to myself, 'Thank God.'

Diana

Yeah, I know that smokers know smoking cigarettes is dangerous, and I'm not going to give them shit for it. But then I remember my grandfather going from perfect health to esophogeal cancer and then to a horrific, painful, delirious death in the span of two months and I want to scream at everybody I love for being so selfish to inflict that kind of grief on me in the future. I remember hearing my dad cry for the only time in my entire life after my grandfather died screaming in agony, unable to recognize his son, and I want to scream at him for doing that to his own family. I don't think I'm better than my smoker friends, but I love them and I want them to live. If I reach my seventies and I can't enact my own Golden Girls cheesecake gossiping fantasies because all my cool friends have been dead for fifteen years I'm going to be so fucking angry.

Queen of Uncool@twitter

It seems the cons are mostly due to the addiction of smoking..not smoking in itself. So occasional smoking might be the answer?

Ivona Poyntz@facebook

Smoking is bad for you: but then so is caffeine (there goes tea, coffee, coke), alcohol, too much salt, fatty foods, lack of exercise, etc...I say just live a little

Danzig!

I appreciate cigarettes. Provided a smoker's not trying to quit (shit is haaaaard), they help me identify narcissists, libertarians, and other people not worth wasting time on.

YunaX

Being a social smoker rather than an everday smoker is the way to go from what I've experienced. I don't find the need to smoke when I'm at home. But at a party or concert there's a ton of pros to it. You can easily become an antisocial asshat to avoid that guy who's been flirting with you. If you're a chick,throw on a leather jacket and some red lipstick,pop a fag in between your lips and bam,you look like you belong with the band. but those are just the superficial reasons to smoke socially. If it's not an addiction the chances of it killing you are slim, and if you're tense in groups then it gives you something to do with your hands and it'll help you relax a bit. I have anxiety and have been suicidal in the past,so a smoke every now and then settles me down.(also I think it's because I find a twisted sense of pleasure knowing I'm rotting my own insides. I've always been a bit insane in that aspect.)

Jessica Wang@twitter

@ivona exactly the mindset you'll have towards junk food , alcohol, caffeine, salts and spices. So, everyone dies or is either in the process of killing themselves. Sorry to say this but why don't you just go kill yourself hun?

Smoking is a choice for some, not mine.

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