# It helps to release tension - is probably the mode of all excuses statistically ordered. Then follows:
# Cigarettes are more faithful then men/women. I am disillusioned with relations with human beings, I am having an affair with ciggies.
# The day I find someone I will quit.
# No one asks me to stop! No one really cares!
# It is cool ! ( A passé now )
# A ciggi is my act of rebellion.
# It keeps off the cold.
# I am not addicted! I can give up anytime I want.
Personally, I don't like to nurture any kind of enslavement. Maybe my control freak nature is an impediment. A 22 yr-old acquaintance of mine defends that it is no use drinking if you don't get drunk. I argue that I want to know when I am having a good time. Why turn oblivious?
The cool quotient in yesteryears might have been associated with a cigarette dangling from your lips. Fortunately, nowadays it is uncool to have unhealthy habits. ( If you excuse the 4 hours sleeping routine ). Most of the gym inhabitants are very particular about their diets too. I saw a chain smoker quit. He simply woke up one day and told his roommate 'I'm quitting' and he did. On the other hand, there's someone I know who has been trying since the past three years and has written a post about it. He left smoking for three days and bought a packet on the fourth day. Reason: 'Too much work pressure, I needed one.'
I observed a general trend here in US- women smoke more than men . Or maybe I noticed it more. The typical Indian mentality is that a girl who smokes is easy; hence, most Indian women prefer to smoke privately, careful not to send out wrong signals. I have also seen cigarettes being associated with a sense of power. A middle aged woman who's the HR Director of an IT firm with a huge market presence in India can never be seen without her favorite brand. It's awe aspiring in a way. It is not just because she smokes. She has a personality that is captivating. But the first thing anyone will mention while describing her is : She smokes a lot!
And who can forget Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct (1)? The classic scene: 'Have you ever f***ed on cocaine, Nick?' couldn't have been depicted as effortlessly by anyone else. The menace accompanying it is enhanced by the way she lits her cigarette. A silent threat meaning: 'Don't mess with me. I can overpower you.' So, is it the attraction for the darker side that attaches you to your 120mm long friend (if you are a smoker)? I don't know. But if you are pregnant or your girlfriend refuses to kiss you because you smell like smoked salmon, then it really is the time to quit :D
Photo courtesy: ucla.edu, sify.com, and us.movies1.yimg.com respectively.