Smile Politely

Smoking is cool

Smoking is cool.        

Anybody that tells you otherwise is — as sweet, old-fashioned, traditional bigots would say — a left wing, anti-liberty, health Nazi, who’s light in the loafers.

That is why it is such an outrage to see President Obama’s Surgeon General Regina Benjamin issue a report this past week calling smoking in the U.S. a “pediatric epidemic.” First of all, I don’t even believe her statistics. According to the reporting from the patchouli-based media outlet NPR: “… 1 in 4 American high school seniors smokes cigarettes. Most of them will become adult smokers, and half of them will die prematurely as a result…”

Sure: more reports of the Boogey Man from elite “researchers” in their ivory towers. They probably drink fine, expensive beer with the same “scientists” who spread leather-elbow-patched lies and propaganda about global warming and sausage. I can see them now, drinking their fancy Bud Light Platinum, laughing at all of us hard working, Busch Light drinking, Santorum lovers.

Well, I’m not from an ivory tower. I’m from the street. It’s a street where I often ask teenagers for smokes — especially hot teenagers who, you know, should have cigarettes because they look cool and popular. And you know what? I never get ONE cigarette from any of them. Nada. In fact 100% of the teenagers whom I ask for cigarettes in the alley behind their school either walk away from me or threaten to kick my ass.

That’s how uncool — and, clearly, nonsmoking — they really are.

But you won’t find my fieldwork reported in the mainstream media. You’ll just hear smokeless hot air about how cigarette use among young people dipped years ago in seeming correlation with aggressive anti-smoking campaigns. The blue donkey narrative goes on to say that states — many of which are broke, or at least S’ing D for crack — have been forced to now spend funds previously awarded to them by tobacco companies to finance such campaigns in different, emergency-like ways. Which, to that end, I got to give a buttocks tap and “good game” to Altria and the rest of big tobacco for saying: “Hey, states. We gave you money (because of court orders) to pull your pathetic state resources together and create some kind of futile marketing campaign that could go up against, well, our totally bad ass, powerfully researched, financed and constructed branding and marketing campaigns designed to get kids to smoke (but not look like it). Nice try.”

Of course, the people/corporations won’t admit to marketing to get kids to smoke, because they, as a whole, are classier and smarter than I am. But they do it well. And states, non-profits, advocacy groups and others gave a decent effort, but simply lack the God-kissed, free market blood you need to really make your message effective. I mean, remember those TRUTH ads? Jesus. How much did they have to pay those young people to cause public disturbances in the name of not smoking? My guess: not much. Probably some Axe body spray or a gender-bending Bieber poster. Poor kids — used and abused by the state. Next thing you know we’ll be asking them to quietly harvest grains eight hours a day, or make iPhones 37 hours a … day.

You know what truth really is? Being young, finishing a Marlboro Red, and knowing in your rapidly beating heart that you have to have another one. Because, like smoking, truth — when it’s comfortable, or makes you money — is cool.

P.S. We don’t need the state telling our kids what to do. It’s up to parents, and teachers at nice private schools. I suggest Uncle Donald’s approach.

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