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Old Things That Are Tough To Explain: Why Did So Many People Smoke Cigarettes?

December 8, 2017

When I was a kid, if you could take down a couple packs of cigarettes a day, you commanded respect, even from people who hated smoking. To become a smoker, to join that club, you had to endure coughing fits and the embarrassment of your smoker friends laughing at you as you got used to the poison in your body. It was a rite of passage. Nowadays, you just blow out water vapor.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not necessarily anti-vaping. If vaping had been around as an alternative to cigarettes decades ago, a couple friends of mine might still be alive. But every once in a while I see a bunch of young people standing around vaping, seemingly trying to look cool, and I think:

What a bunch of wimps.

Dysfunctional Literacy

This old ad would probably be considered to be in poor taste today. (image via wikimedia) This old ad would probably be considered to be in poor taste today. (image via wikimedia)

Back when I was a kid, almost everybody I knew smoked.  My parents smoked, and my friends’ parents smoked.  My brothers smoked, my friends’ brothers/sisters smoked, and even a couple of my friends got started in their early teen years.

Things have changed.  Now, nobody in my family smokes.  The relatives who had smoked when I was a kid either have either quit or… you know.

Yesterday my youngest daughter asked me for permission to use her own phone to look up what a lit cigarette looks like.  She said she didn’t know how yellow/orange the lit end of the cigarette would be, and she wanted to get the color exactly right for a poster she was making for a school project.  I thought it was strange that she asked me for permission, but…

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From → The Repeats

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