Everyone already knows all the side effects of smoking. And everyone who doesn't completely thrive on repetition is very sick of hearing them. Thus, that would be an extremely tedious article to read and/or write. Smoking is not like alcohol, where people are tricked into thinking it's not that bad. Everyone knows it's bad. So this article is going to be somewhat short.
All I'm going to address is the motivation to
smoke. And it looks something like this: insecurity or pre-pube. If you're under 10 years old, you can be excused from the insecurity causation by default of stupidity via pre-pubescent status. These children have parents that smoke. Human nature suggests that kids emmulate their parents because it's the reality they're presented with. Hence they smoke. I can forgive this without laughing.
But if your age hits the double-digits smokeless, and you initiate smoking at any time following, you're, by definition, extremely insecure. And that's fine, a lot of people are insecure- maybe not quite to your level, but it's okay nonetheless. Just try to understand that you smoking won't make you any less insecure okay?
I can logically see to some degree how they caught on in the first place- they were marketed as a kind of quasi-health-boosting stick. "4 out of 5 doctors recommend..." and then Camel or Marlboro, etc. And on top of that, the box smells like dusty raisins and smoking was "cool." These are all good things.
But lets play this whole causation model out today. Now, if you smoke, I'm sure you're way too insecure to label yourself at this level, so we'll third-person perspective it for you. Watch someone else
start smoking. They light it and immediately begin to cough nonstop until several minutes after putting it out- to the intensity that their lacrimal ducts overload and it looks like they're crying, often having diarrheal discharge as a response to the body's rejection of the inhaled toxins. This has gone as far as reporting that a pretty stout percentage of people trying to begin smoking actually shit their pants routinely in the early stages due to how their body responds to the cigarettes. This is obviously not pleasurable. At least I sincerely hope it's not. If this smoking-initiation phase is
in fact pleasurable to you, you have an obvious psychiatric illness that needs to be addressed. I'm not saying I'm psychologically flawless, but when I want to have a good time, my first choice is not to cough uncontrollably while risking the chance of having mild to moderate amounts of anal release. So I can at least one-up anyone who begins smoking for pleasure. Luckily those people probably don't exist. So that leads us to believe that the extent that insecure people are willing to go to in hopes of feeling "cool" is staggering.
In favor of old people, they can still argue that they were tricked into thinking it was healthy. Granted Olestra didn't last very long after people realized the health benefit was coupled with possible anal leakage. But chips don't have quite the same level of social esteem, so the health argument only goes so far. But at least they can excuse themselves to some degree with "I thought it was healthy." Now what have you
got to excuse yourself mr. young smoking person? Every human being living knows how unhealthy it is. So it's not health. Initiating a smoking habit is among the most uncomfortable and unspeakably embarrassing things in the world. So it's not pleasure. But it is
considered "cool." There's no argument against that. So unless you're a pre-pube, that's what you're doing it for. A last ditch effort to be "cool." There's no amount of arguing that can counter this. You realize that right?
Let's think about it though... It wouldn't be nearly cool if you had your first cigarette in public would it? You'd be embarrassed as hell. So you hide out smoking your first ones in order to prep for the forth-coming cool phase.
Now lets reflect on this honestly because we're all relatively insecure people and we all do things for attention and social acceptance. None of us are exempt from this. But smoking is by far the most hilarious option to attain it. By nature, people who chose smoking as their pathway to this level of attention are generally the people who are either A) not good enough at anything to be cool otherwise, or B) so over-the-top insecure that they need to pull all the strings possible to try to feel accepted.
So do one thing for me. Instead of being pissed at smokers because of the smell they make, or regarding them as cool because of the image associated, feel sympathy for them. They've had to go through a lot of agony to adopt this habit, which now totally occupies them. Chances are they've even shit their pants as an adult in order to be in the position they're in- which is probably financially unstable because of the constantly rising cost of their now addictive state of their coolness sticks.