Over the years, it has been widely accepted in American culture that the act of smoking does two things: 1. Gives the smoker cancer. 2. Makes the smoker look cooler.
Don't lie and say that smoking doesn't make someone look cool, because it clearly does. Although this is clearly cigarette-company propaganda that has been put into Hollywood movies in an attempt to get more people to smoke, it does nothing to deter the belief that smoking makes a person cooler. Although an educated person will know that the glorification of smoking is a sleazy attempt to sell carcinogens to a younger audience in the hopes that their addictive product will be used by people who can't stop until it's too late for them to sue, it doesn't diminish the fact that smoking adds a certain amount of coolness and rebellion to any character.
Would James Dean have been as cool if he didn't smoking like the wild child that he was? Smoking is known to cause death, and death is the ultimate form of cool. Most of the legends revered today, like Jim Morrison or Jimi Hendrix, would not have been legends if they had not died at a young age. There are few things that can be cooler than living a wild lifestyle and then dying in a spectacular fashion, and if you can show that you don't care about dying by smoking, then you look extremely cool, despite the fact that you cannot depend on an early death and will not enjoy it so much when you are old and wasting away in a retirement home.
Hellboy, the famous demon-child-turned-good-guy, is known for his love of cigars. Now there is absolutely no sane person on this green Earth who can say that Hellboy is not cool or extremely manly, but it might take away from his awesome persona if he chewed gum instead of smoking big fat cigars. If Mafia members took sips of Starbucks brand imitation-coffee, (nine out of 10 hipsters can't tell the difference), they wouldn't be nearly as intimidating as the cigar-smoking mobsters from the past. In this way, smoking gives the impression that you too can be intimidating and have Satanic strength.
Although a sensible person will recognize this, the consuming public will not, because they are too stupid to know a sales pitch when they see one. However, the image of smoking has been burned (pun not intended) into our minds and is unlikely to leave unless cigarettes are banned in all forms, which won't happen until the people in Hollywood stop loving money. That will never happen. Although this rant discusses how cool smoking can make a person look, do not interpret this as an advertisement for cigarettes. If you are an impressionable youngster like me, you should know that smoking has been proven to cause cancer, emphysema, and many other illnesses since 1963. But it also causes coolness, and can lead to secondhand coolness in certain situations. The facts are plain and simple, and although I would like to say that they're not accurate, doing so would make me a filthy liar, as opposed to just plain filthy. We can no longer deny that smoking increases your chances of dying or being cool, but we can take measures to make people aware of the price it takes to be cool. If smoking becomes uncool, then the quality of life in this country will significantly increase, and the public will have to find some other dangerous substance to deem fit as a coolness replacement for cigarettes.I
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