Smoking causes cancer.
Wait. What’s that you say? You already knew this? They covered this in school program after school program, when you were a kid, to the point of cramming it down your wee, smoke-free throat? Well, that’s interesting, since I have decided everyone my age is now a smoker.
Last weekend, as mentioned in my rambling post about cute professors, Mae and I went to a much beloved Texas icon, Gruene Hall. It’s, essentially, a regular bar/music venue, only with more faux-cowboys and wood floors. It’s also filled with college students and post-college twenty-somethings having a very, very good time. And smoking. I swear, every damn person under 30 lit up a cigarette at some point, including some of my very own friends.
Y’all, I’m confused. Did the CDC release a memo saying that smoking is now totally okay for young, cool people? Do skinny jeans and ironic mustaches somehow counteract cancer cells? If so, that’s pretty awesome. More leg stranglers for everyone! Only…I feel like I would have heard about that. You know, being an almost-doctor and all. Last, I checked, smoking still causes cancer, among other awful conditions. Like actual cancer, not the magic cancer fairy from Neverland. It doesn’t only exist, when people shout rousing choruses of “I do believe in Cancer! I do I do!”
So, what’s the deal? I know that our generation loves to rebel, but this seems ridiculous. DARE wasn’t showing us all those gross missing-jaw photos, just because they want to ruin our fun. Cancer isn’t something you just choose not to believe in, like Santa Claus. Smoking isn’t dressed in a red, jolly suit; it’s dressed in a tar-colored cloak of death. Like, the kind you don’t come back from, after a nice chat with Dumbledore in King’s Cross Station.
Also, that whole “I only smoke, when I drink!” thing? Bullshit. I’ve seen that movie, friends. Your cravings don’t magically appear, just because you’re holding a Cosmopolitan. The appear, stick around, and pester the shit out of you, until you’re suddenly saying “I only smoke, when I drink…and wake up, and come back from work, and feel stressed out.” Awesome. So, you’re a smoker. Even if you only did it when you drank, what’s the reasoning? You’d like a little tar breath, with your hangover? You think Ernest Hemingway was an awesome, totally not dysfunctional at all role model? No. The man could write, but he was not an ad for healthy living.
I will give you that smoking looks cool. More than most people, I grew up watching old movies. Cary Grant makes a cigarette look damn attractive, let me tell you. But in reality? Nobody wants to kiss someone with bad breath, except other people with bad breath. Is that what we want, Millenials? We want to kiss people with bad breath? I feel like we’re better than that. We’re sure as hell better than pretending we’re all immortal.
Look, we’re all going to die. That’s the human condition. Let’s not hasten it up, just because all the other hipsters are doing it. Keep your Snidely Whiplash moustache, but – please! – lose the damn cigarette.