Thank you for smoking
Most people born into our generation have grown up being taught by teachers, Sesame St and magazines, that smoking is a bad thing. I bet as a kid you had the idea that it was gross, and knew all the damage it could do. We’ve had warning on packets and graphic lung ads. We even had that Nico guy with the bad teeth. If you were born in the 80s or 90s, it has pretty much always been an accepted fact that ‘smoking’s not cool.’
The Mad Men Effect
But have you noticed that it’s started to be sort of cool again? Mad Men has made cigarettes and mid-day scotch look, frankly, the height of 1950’s glamour. Why did we stop doing this, when it looks so deadly? And what could be better in the summer sunshine than some al-fresco drinking, and since you’re outside anyway… Somehow smoking is back to being, well, yeah…cool.
Not so sexy
Ugh. But what still isn’t so glam is addiction. While you might feel madly sophisticated with a cigarette in your hand, the very picture of Betty Draper/James Dean on his motorbike, there’s nothing sexy about smoking because you have to – in the morning (vom) or outside in the rain. The cough isn’t very attractive, the yellow teeth are grim, and the not being able to get up the stairs, let alone on yer bike, well, that’s pretty lame too. I guess they don’t show that bit in Mad Men, or not yet anyways.
People can tell you all they want about heart disease and emphysema and cancer, and tell you they should, but that’s about other, older people. None of these things really mean too much when you’re young. And yeah, right now it does look cool. But for life? It’s the addiction that counts. If you start now, and get addicted, it stops being cool. If you keep going, it becomes coughs, yellow teeth and cancer. Like a dodgy tattoo, it sticks. The HSE are running a great campaign right now to help people quit smoking. Check out www.quit.ie or have a look at the section on smoking for some good advice. Drugs.ie also has information on this and loads of related stuff.