I’m addressing this to young people. If you’re not young you’ve already made your choice and lived with the consequences. The young people still have the decision to make, over and over. You already know that smoking is one of the worst things you can do to your body. I’m wasting your time and mine if I say another word about how unhealthy it is. We’re done with that.
Many people will try to convince you not to smoke. Many of them will tell you that smoking is not cool. These people are liars. Smoking is most definitely cool. OF COURSE it’s cool! Why else would anyone do it? Smoking cigarettes is the shortest shortcut to coolness that ever was, and this is why there are 42 million people (according to the first link I came to when I Googled it) smoking cigarettes in America today. That’s why we all started smoking, and anyone who claims any other reason is lying to you. I started smoking because a boy I liked was a smoker. I wanted to be cool enough for him. That is, aside from a few details, every smoker’s story. I quit once, but started again 6 months later because ANOTHER boy I liked was a smoker. Go figure.
Smoking is most definitely cool. And now that we’ve had Mad Men, and people are “vaping”, smoking real cigarettes even has a whole, new retro-coolness. Honestly, it’s no wonder so many people have fallen for it.
Now that we’ve established that, I’m going to tell you not to smoke. You’ll either listen, or you won’t. I hope you will. If you don’t then it won’t be because I tried to bullshit you into thinking the Rat Pack (ask your grandmother) would have been cooler without the cigarettes. This is the whole thing, in a nutshell: THERE ARE WAY BETTER WAYS TO BE COOL. I already said that smoking is the shortest shortcut, and it is, but only because you pay the price later. You’re buying your cool on credit, with high interest. Be cool… absolutely… but for the love of everything good in this world, get a good bargain.
Here’s what I propose you do: start saving your cigarette money now. Prices will vary, but you’re going to pay about 5 bucks a pack. Let’s say you’re a pack-a-day non-smoker… put away 5 bucks a day. In 6 month you will have 912 dollars. This is a very nice sum of money, and with it you can buy one hell of a guitar. Buy one. The instant you take ownership you become cooler than you’ve ever been. Now instead of saving your cigarette money, invest the time you would have spent earning 5 bucks a day, and spend that time practicing. “I have no musical talent”, you say. So what? Most people who play guitar don’t have musical talent, and they’re all cooler than non-guitarists. All you have to do is play better than all the people around you who DON’T play guitar, and that’s pretty easy. “But won’t I be cooler if I play guitar AND smoke?”, you ask. Well, yes, but you’re missing the point, and how cool do you think you need to be, anyway? We’ve already had one Keith Richards, we don’t need another.
Does it have to be guitar? Of course not. It can be anything ridiculously cool. Get a skateboard, and build a half-pipe in your backyard… that’s pretty damn cool. Or lift weights, and get a 6-pack. Learn martial arts. Get your pilots license. Buy a motorcycle. When you start thinking in terms of things you could do with the resources you’d have to spend on smoking, there are some amazing things open to you. Pick one of those. Thank me later.
(or start smoking, and look forward to a future of saying really cool things like, “honey, would you reach over and turn off my oxygen so I can smoke a cigarette?”. Your choice.)