Smoking makes you Ugly!

Quit Smoking Now

Smoking used to be hip, fashionable and cool. When I was growing up almost everyone smoked. When I was a teenager I even tried it myself even though I never liked it when my father smoked. He was a chain smoker and if he wasn't eating, sleeping or showering he was smoking. Nevertheless, I still gave into peer pressure and tried it one summer afternoon. I didn't like it, and made a comment that maybe if they made chocolate cigarettes I might be tempted but until then it was not for me.

Life went on and studies were made and it became increasingly clear that smoking was officially bad for you. I grew up in California. Now California may have a lot of problems but one thing I'll say for that state is that they are into HEALTH and BEAUTY. As soon as the news hit the fan that smoking was unhealthy cigarettes were dropped. Moreover, the whole state figured if it hindered the beauty factor it wasn't worth it. Forget that smoking kills and that secondhand smoke is as bad as smoking yourself, that you could die a horrible death gasping out your last breath the real reason that smoking declined in California is because smoking made you UGLY!. One of the main reasons I never was tempted to smoke is that smoking made you look older faster. It gave you more wrinkles and it made your teeth yellow and let's face it ...it smells bad. And, growing up in California, that alone is probably what caused everyone to quit smoking, regardless of early death, early ugly was a fate worse than death!

Today, the only people who smoke in California are foreigners and old people. The message is quite clear that it is now uncool to smoke. Unfortunately, the rest of the country does not seem as influenced by beauty and health as California. I've lived in several states since my childhood and smoking still has it's devotees in those states.

Recently, smoking rates among adults have declined to 18% nationally and in California it's only 12%. Prior to 1997 the rate was almost 25% nationally. And while most pundits attribute the cause to higher taxes, smoke-free work places and public areas and less public acceptance. I think the main reason is that Hollywood has cut down on the habit and the rest of the country has followed suit. If there ever were an institution with a vested interest in staying beautiful it's Hollywood! Now I know some of you out there might object, after all whenever I go to the movies I often see stars puffing away. But, have you seen any old movies lately? It was much much worse back in the day. You would think that everyone of those stars would have died from lung cancer.

Maybe, instead of showing commercials of blackened lungs and people on their death beds due to smoking they should show before and after shots of beautiful people ravaged by cigarettes. If there is one thing that California and Hollywood know it's that sex appeal always wins even in the war against tobacco!


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Comments 19 comments

Jesse 7 years ago

Everything you write in your post is factual, unarguably correct... except, that is, your title statement. Inexplicably, smoking IS cool. This is contingent, of course, on the smoker. In the hands of the 58 year old guy in raddy clothes outside OTB, smoking is not cool. But a cigarette tucked in the fingers of a well-dressed man, casually puffing away while sipping a single malt, is cool. As is the smoldering end of a butt glowing in the corner of a scruffy lead guitarist's mouth... cool. This is all counterintuitive, even reprehensible, but nonetheless a fact. Cool is not healthy. Cool is not wise. Cools is a fleeting, youthful illusion, raw yet polished, ridiculous yet dead serious.

I am over 30. i am no longer cool, no matter what I do. I still smoke, despite numerous sustained efforts to quit. 95% of the time i light up nowadays it is uncool; it is stinky, unwieldy and socially awkward. Sometimes, though, at just the right moment, in just the right place, it is cool. I'm not saying those isolated, rare instances make it worth the physical and mental effects, or even the financial implications of smoking. What I'm saying is, simply, "don't kid yourself". Smoking is cool.

Why else would kids start smoking? It doesn't get you high, doesn't help you on the football field. It is cool.

I'm not saying you are wrong to try to stamp out smoking. I just ordered nicotine patches, hoping this time I'll have the strength to break away. I plan to do whatever it takes to keep my children away from this deadly habit. I am saying that your definition of cool is flawed. "Cool" does not equal good. If you are on the side of good, of well-being and moral acumen, more often than not you are uncool. By stabbing at a cool image while appealing to potential smokers, you are doing yourself a disservice... and waisting time and money.

Smoking will be extinguished by legislation, by legally keeping it out of kids' hands. It is already fading away, on the path to relic status. This only required a legal nudge, enough to tip the first domino. We erase ourselves, we smokers. We beg to be eradicated. Now that the tobacco lobby, our blinking, fading forcefield, is failing, we are left naked and black-lunged, unable to even run away. Calling us all uncool, as accurate as it may be, is like picking off lemmings with a sniper rifle as they jump off a cliff.

My plea: Stick to the attacks at the level of distribution. Not only are they the only successful (very) ones, they are the only honest ones. You only hurt and confuse your cause by telling kids something they know to be untrue, namely that smoking isn't cool. You may even be making it cooler.

I'm rooting for you,

jesse


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 7 years ago from Manhattan Author

Well Jesse:

I disagree with you. I have never thought it was cool. I wouldn't go out with Johnny Depp because he smokes, to me smoking is uncool and only suggests an addiction to a product that smells bad, costs a lot of money and gives you wrinkles. The only reason that kids do it is to fit in but even just going along with the "crowd" is becoming uncool So, no, I do not think that it is a fact, that smoking is cool.


Jesse 7 years ago

I think you may have missed my point. Not difficult, obscured as it is by my embarrassingly wordy comment. "Cool" is not a concrete concept. What is cool to me may not be to you. I don't, as I said, find smoking cool anymore, save a few fleeting moments. I, however, am over 30, and what I find cool is officially irrelevant. Cool is a young person's game, and adults like myself (and you if you are an "anciant" like myself) only weaken our message by playing it. Teens aren't even always sure what "cool" is, but they know what it isn't with unwavering certainty. It isn't their parents, teachers, or anyone old enough to have seen the first "Ghostbusters" in the theatres. Whether you would go out with Johnny Depp or not, he's still cool (Oh... forgot to mention that the age thing goes out thw window when you're dealing with popular, relevant entertainers) from what my teen and tween nieces and nephews tell me.

I hate smoking. When I stop, my daily bicycle rides jump from 5 miles to 20. I feel better and look better when I stop. There's no rational argument for smoking. Unfortunately, though, "cool" isn't rational.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 7 years ago from Manhattan Author

Well Jesse, I think cool is a subjective term and not limited to part of the population under 30. I am part of the baby boomer generation and we have the numbers to legitimately designate what is cool and what isn't and in my opinion a substance that smells terribly, ages you, is unhealthy and can cause impotence is not cool. The only people who are pushing the cool thing are the manufacturers of cigarettes and Hollywood who gets paid by the manufacturers.


Serenity 7 years ago

I believe you have not been to a bar/club in a while. I am in my late 20's and believe me there are plenty I mean plenty of beautiful LA people in their 20's that smoke. So the fact that you say only "foreigners and old people." smoke is ridiculous. That's my 2 cents take it or leave it.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 7 years ago from Manhattan Author

Well, California compared to almost every other state has the least number of people who smoke, there is a reason for that...therefore my post.


Marlboro  6 years ago

Give it a rest, Brie. You're dangerously close to becoming pedantic and shrill. Chill.


lucky strike 6 years ago

What really is cool?

Youth, beauty, charm, wisdom, intelligence, talent, skill, wit and other desirable attributes.

We all want to be cool. We consciously or subconcsiously emulate people who we percieve to be cool.

I submit to you that cigarettes were perceived as cool because of the people who were seen smoking them—movie stars, musicians, society elites and so so forth. These were people who frankly were cool whether they smoked or not. Any coolness that was attributed to smoking came not from the cigarette, but from the people that were admired. If you strip away the glamour, all that is left is a smelly, addictive, expensive, unhealthy habit.


Dan 6 years ago

Brie is correct, cool is only percieved as cool by the person trying to be cool. Lets face it, folks buy tons of cosmetics trying to improve their appearance, and if you think about it, no one else really gives a shit what YOU look like, they are all looking in their mirror at home trying to look like....someone the arent. When I think of cool, I think of the person that has a perfectly polished dance step, or someone that has the self assurance to speak up in a crowd and people want to hear them speak, cool is not doing anything that the ignorant masses can do, it is doing the out of the ordinary that others aspire to.

By the way, who is this Brie chick? I thought brie was cheese, and I like cheese, now that is cool!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

To Everyone who has commented in the last 2 months: For some reason my email notification was off so I wasn't notified when you wrote your comments. Thanks for commenting and I'm sorry I wasn't able to respond in a timely manner.


fucsia profile image

fucsia 5 years ago

I completely agree with you. I am an ex smoker and one of the greatest difficulties for me was the understanding ( the deep understanding) that the image of myself with a cigarette in my hands is not the image of an elegant and beautiful woman but it is the opposite. Now I am sure of myself, now I respect me, now I love me, Now I am beautiful both inside and outside.

I firmly believe that stopping smoking (as well as stop any kind of addiction) is essential to love ourselves: who loves himself becomes beautiful and interesting!

Thanks for your great article.

Fucsia


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Fucsia!


Larry Fields profile image

Larry Fields 3 years ago from Northern California

To the it-makes-you-ugly argument, I'd like to add that for women, heavy smoking can ruin an otherwise beautiful voice. (Nicotine mimics testosterone.) My neighbor's 20-something daughter, who should know better, is on the road to sounding like Lauren Backal. (spelling?) And yes, I live in California.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 3 years ago from Manhattan Author

Yes, I know of a few people like that. It's one of those things that they should advertise to get people to quit..vanity can go a long way to motivate people (especially in CA!)


LeslieAdrienne profile image

LeslieAdrienne 2 years ago from Georgia

You are so right... your lips darken, your skin dries and shrivels, no matter what fragrance you wear, you are still tainted by the subtle odor of smoke.... So glad I was able to quite and stay free....


word55 profile image

word55 2 years ago from Chicago

Hi there Brie, I agree with you here. Smoking takes away from a lady looking like and being a lady. I've said in my hub that a decent man wouldn't want to kiss a smokey breath with tar and nicotine odors. Yuck! Enough said. Thank you! Voted up!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan Author

Yep, although I understand that it is very difficult to quit.


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 2 years ago from West Virginia

I can't stand the stench on them and around them. If someone comes to my house or is driving in my car with us they have to do it outside....oh and please pick up your nasty butts before you leave. Besides that it is a real health hazard to be in someone second hand smoke and it is to them too. A long time ago I dated someone who smoked and well I could not stand kissing an ashtray and we did not last long at all. Just Yuck!!!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan Author

Yea me either..although I would hold my breath for Ryan Gosling! :)

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