LooseTalk: The cult of smoking

Smoking is a cult, a religion, a philosophy. Smokers believe in Smoking despite all logic and reasoning, despite all the arguments of its harm to health, finances, hygiene, career, time…

Smoking is a cult, a religion, a philosophy. Smokers believe in Smoking despite all logic and reasoning, despite all the arguments of its harm to health, finances, hygiene, career, time…

Some say it is all about the illusion of freedom that comes with smoking. To these, it’s fun to smoke precisely because you’re not supposed to smoke. 

This belief in the freeing powers of smoking is more evident among teens, running through to their mid 20s. Past this, most people are not shopping for a new hobby.

Basically, one finds some secret area in the bush, or in the oasis of freedom that is some smoker’s car, and there you light up, the lit cigarette in your mouth your badge of freedom. 

The first 5 or 10 cigarettes are terrible, but you treat this as an “occupational hazard”. 

Within certain circles, smoking is as contagious as yawning. Someone lights up a smoke, within two minutes, all are smoking cigarettes, brandishing them like they are some torches of freedom. 

To not be smoking when others are, and you yourself are a smoker, is to be a passive spectator -a mere inhaler of second-hand smoke. 

“Wait, why isn’t he smoking?” the smokers may be forced to think, just as some meat-eaters are uncomfortable eating with vegetarians. 

There seems to be a great international alliance that bonds the world’s smokers together. And smokers often share a great deal of other traits. 

You can always ask a smoker for a cigarette, and usually they will happily comply if they can (if it’s not their very last one), no matter how poor they are, even if they are homeless. 

But if you ask a smoker for a puff, do not explain that you usually don’t smoke, but just want to try one now because you are drinking or something. 

Smokers don’t want to hear this, and do you know why? Because you are not only a borrower, but an occasional smoker, too. You are wasting scarce resources.

So, why do they actually smoke? Well, because somehow it doesn’t matter whether they smoke or not, because they might get hit by a truck and die anyway. Others smoke because “my grandmother smoked until she was 90”, while for others, it’s the quality, not the quantity of life that counts anyway. 

The smoker’s creed – that he may die any day anyway, so what difference does it make? – makes some sense in an age where so-called fresh air and water and vegetables are contaminated.

 

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