Everything · pet peeves

Smoking Is Dumb

I’ll never feel comfortable taking a strong drink, and I’ll never feel easy smoking a cigarette. I just don’t think those things are right for me. ~ Elvis Presley

A cropped photograph depicts singer Elvis Pres...
A cropped photograph depicts singer Elvis Presley’s bust. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know, this may be the wrong person to use to convince you of this post’s heading. I’m not going to let that stop me from using it though. Just because Elvis traded smoking for fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches…and drinking for pills doesn’t take away from the message.

I’m an ex-smoker. I’m very proud of that…maybe even more proud than of being an ex-drinker. Quitting drinking was easy – or as easy as it could be. It was a necessity. I fully believe that continued drinking would have killed me. Continued smoking would have killed me too, but only eventually.

I’m an ex-smoker, but I hope I’m not one of those kinds of ex-smokers. You know, the ones that produce a fake cough every time someone lights up. Or the kind that wrinkle their nose and move away all dramatic like. I was very annoyed with people like this when I smoked, so I do my best not to act this way. It’s tough though.

I don’t smoke and I don’t want to smoke. I am not a fan of gratuitous smoking in films. ~ Edward Norton

Edward Norton at SXSW 2010
Edward Norton at SXSW 2010 (Photo credit: Slackerwood)

How about a list of reasons why I don’t like smoking?

  • It stinks – literally. I go out, from time to time as a DD, and hit up the bars and such. When I get home my clothes are saturated with the smoke stench.
  • It hurts. After a night of partying I could always tell where my lungs were the next day. Chest pains are the worst – especially when you know you’re doing it to yourself. Not to mention all of the drunken cigarette cherry burns.
  • It’s a waste of time. “Hey where you going?” Oh, I need to go have a smoke. “But, we’re having fun – trading stories…what if you miss something?” I’ll be fine. It’ll only take seven minutes…fourteen if I double up.
  • It causes poor decision-making. Where are we going to eat dinner? I don’t know…do they allow smoking?  Did you know that some airports still offer a smokers “aquarium”? If you go in you have to purchase something. They have nice  seating reminiscent of a sardine can. But here’s the kicker – if you don’t smoke…they don’t have a place for you to sit while you’re waiting for the smokers.
  • It looks dumb. Alright, I have to admit that Denzel Washington and Brad Pitt each look cool smoking…but aside from that (and maybe a lady smoking fetish, not mine though) it’s pretty dumb looking. Did I really hang a ciggie out of my mouth as I drove down the street?
  • It’s expensive. When I started a pack cost about $2.25. I’m not sure how much they are now, but when I quit they were close to $5.00, for the good ones. This goes back to the poor decision-making. I would always buy the cheapest they had right before I quit. (I  believe that on either coast they are around $7.50 a pack…IF you buy two packs.)

So, there you have it. I’m sorry smokers – no offense…and I still love you…but, you have to admit this is all pretty true. Right?

What is your experience with smoking?

Get me well so I can get on television and tell people to stop smoking. ~ Nat King Cole
Publicity photo from the premiere of The Nat K...
Publicity photo from the premiere of The Nat King Cole Show. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

33 thoughts on “Smoking Is Dumb

  1. BroJo,
    I grew up in a family of smokers… I remember the XMAS parties, where ever single one of my uncles and aunts smoked, and cousins… My eyes burning, my clothes smelling the next day, and coughing. I don’t miss it, and I am amazed that I managed to get out of it a non-smoker. I have learned to respect smokers, as much as I don’t like the smell, and being aware of the health hazard… I mean, some smoke, some are addicted to candies, some will live on a pizza diet, etc… Yes, I do have a smoking fetish, but even so, I’m at at point with it where I am less bothered… Our house is a non-smoking place, our smoking friends will smoke outside, and so on… Man, that was longer than I wanted this to be.

    1. One of the first questions you asked when I applied for an internship was if I smoked. I thought it was an odd question, but now I get it. You didn’t ask if I was addicted to candles, though, so I dodged a bullet with that one.

      1. Stacie,
        It’s good to see you! Actually, when I asked you if you smoked, it was in correlation to one of your posts, and at this point, I can’t remember which one it was (perhaps a college one). But I do remember asking you for sure. Hope the blogosphere is treating you well these days.

        1. All’s good, thanks Eric! I was totally convinced the right answer to that question would either make or break my internship and I SO didn’t want to pull a Monica Lewinsky and insert the wrong thing into my mouth. =p

    2. Eric,
      I used to give my mom such a hard time about smoking…and then I end up doing it (two packs a day) for eleven years. This comment is harder to answer then I though it would be. I’m glad you made it out without ever starting. And I agree…an addict is an addict. I like cake now…way more than I did before. And Pizza….cheeseburgers…spaghetti….fish and chips…oh, those little things…you know…mini quiches. Oh wow…time for dinner. Talk to you later…thanks!


  2. Being a horrible, filthy smoker, I agree. I have smoked about a pack a day since I was 13, which is really awesome and classy. I have, however, managed to quit 3 times, each for a period of 1-2 years. Why did I go back, you ask? Simple, booze. Well, I’ve been an ex-drinker for 15 months and 5 days (but who’s counting) and the smokes are next on the list. One vice at a time was my motto, and my other goal was to have my fitness routine at the gym cemented in place to avoid trading cigarettes for food. With all of these pieces in place, it’s almost time to take the leap. I’m to the point where I am sick of it, oh I enjoy it at times, believe me, it’s my best friend like alcohol was, but it’s got to go. So, very soon the cigarettes will be substituted for step classes and treadmills and lifting weights. I know my addictions transfer, I transferred drinking to writing, and I’m going to transfer smoking to exercise.
    This piece gave me a kick in the ass, and I thank you for it.

    1. Thanks Tracy,

      I think you got a great thing going on here. Good luck (544 days for me, but again who’s counting?) And I totally get that addiction transfer thingy. I went the other way though, like Eric said…pizza and cup cakes. I think you’ll be just fine, and in fact I know you’ll do better then me with all of your plans. Keep it up. You’re an inspiration.

  3. I used to go out in Washington DC before they banned smoking in bars. I would wake up the next morning with my lungs hurting, and my clothes would smell awful. It is so much nicer to go out since the ban.

    1. I bet it is. But a little sad at the same time. When I go to places like that I often have to wait for friends to get back from smoking…awkwardly sitting there with the other non-smokers. There doesn’t seem to be a non-smoking club like there is a smoking one.

  4. I hail from Kentucky. If there’s any state where your grandparents put a cig in your mouth at birth it’s mine. I’m so thankful my grandparents lived in Georgia. Smoking sucks dog balls. =p

  5. My dad smokes so I don’t smoke because I never do what my parents did wrong. Plus I think it’s like $8 a pack some places around here. I think in NYC they’re like $15. Unfortunately all that means is smokers’ children get cheaper food because smokers can’t always quit.

  6. The Big question is What are you doing with all the moolah you used to spend on booze and cigs? That must be fun. When I was in college there was a little while where it really bothered me that I couldn’t join my roommates when they went out for a smoke. It’s the only time I’ve ever wanted to smoke-I felt left out. Then I got a new boyfriend. problem solved. You could always trade addiction for relationships maybe. Although pizza & cupcakes don’t ever let you down or say retarded things….

    1. I’m starting to wonder how I ever afforded to do those things. I don’t seem to have any extra money for some reason.

      I hope you’re not trying to set me up with some guy? I’d rather not have a new boyfriend. (I know you’re not…but still…no thanks.)

  7. Still smoking. Still know I need to quit but don’t. So I would say I am still in the love/hate relationship with it. All of your reasons are sound Jon, but you have to be ready and KNOW that you are done with it.

    1. I absolutely agree. I didn’t quit because a doctor told me to, or a friend was giving me too hard of a time. I quit because I finally WANTED to. I did it for me…no one else.

      (I wrote this for my mom, who is refusing to read it. She is the reason I know what I do about the smoking aquarium in Denver International Airport. After she was done she asked me “did you mind waiting?” I said “No, but I’m going to write about it.” “Okay”…and that was that.)

  8. Never have done it (it burns my bananas) but…
    Do you know here there is no advertising. Packs cost over $10 easy, all places that sell them have them behind lock and key and out of sight, the packs themselves have about one centimetre square for the name of the brand, the rest is images of what happenes to your body if you take them… I really need to post about this it will blow the rest of the world’s minds.

      1. I was born in the dense central Australian jungles. Now I live in my monastery. Humble and peaceful. Where that is, I don’;t even know – the walls are quite tall and I never leave the place.

  9. I am also a former smoker, and I think what you’ve said here is very true, especially that last one. Holy crap, when did they get so expensive?!

    Something interesting to note, when I was quitting, I told people I was a nonsmoker when offered a cigarette. I found that when I’d say, “I’m trying to quit” people would try and tempt me. Smokers hate to lose each other to the other side.

    Having said all that, I still enjoy the occasional cigarette (once in a blue moon) and appreciate a good cigar. There’s a time and place.

    1. Yeah, that’s what our dad told us he did. Back when he quit smoking was just a normal EVERYWHERE thing…so when asked smoking or non-smoking he would answer “I don’t smoke..” instead of saying non-smoking.

      I wish I could be like one and done…but cigs are like lays potato chips to me. Can’t have just one.

  10. Just had a conversation with a friend about my smoking career. I quit five years ago again (started at 14 stopped at 24 for five years, started and stopped here and there again), but I still don’t think it’s fair smokers can’t smoke anywhere now. Cigarettes should be banned if smokers aren’t allowed to smoke anywhere. This is just me.

    I still love the smell of cigarette smoke. But on the train I told my friend about a friend years ago who lived in an SRO on 14th Street. We’d be smoking in this cramped room getting on each other’s nerves accusing the other of smoking too much. So it did get to me here and there.

    I just romanticize it once and a while. I saw an old photo of an actress all dressed up sparkly from the 1930s and she was smoking. It looked glamorous.

    But you are absolutely right — smoking is muy stupido. That’s sad what Nat King Cole said. Maybe you remember years ago that controversial commercial with Yul Brenner who was dying of lung cancer, warning people against the hazard of smoking. They had planned to run it after he died. He says, “I’m dead now, but…” I can’t remember exactly what he said after that but it was creepy.

  11. I started smoking when I was 8. That seems amazing now, but at the time we all did it. I grew up in a mill town in South Carolina in the 60’s. There was a mom and pop store where we could buy loose cigarettes 2 for a nickle.

    Believe it or not, I think we were encouraged to smoke. South Carolina grew a lot of tobacco in those days. I’m still using Nicorette gum and an e-cig so I can’t claim to have totally quit, but I’m trying.

    Every story about someone who quits smoking is an inspiration. Thanks for the encouragement.

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