Stop Romanticizing Cigarettes

For most of us currently in college, we grew up in an era where we heard and saw about the horrors of smoking cigarettes from a very young age. Billboards, commercials, advertisements in magazines, you name it. We did not grow up in a time where you could still smoke in restaurants or airplanes, and to many of us, we cannot even imagine sitting on an airplane and have someone smoking across the aisle. With all of the anti-smoking advertisements we were raised with and still see today, why is it that cigarettes are still heavily being romanticized by young teens and young adults?

Smoking is not cool, not healthy, and most definitely not romantic, yet we see it in our favorite TV shows, movies, books, and photographs. We scroll through Tumblr and reblog photos of hauntingly beautiful girls smoking, or girls dressed in trendy outfits holding a cup of coffee with a cigarette dangling in her other hand, or of a boy laying in bed, cigarette in hand. You get the picture. One of my favorite music groups is ‘Cigarettes After Sex’, and even that romanticizes the idea of smoking.

You see college students smoking cigarettes at parties, clutching a beer can and a cigarette simultaneously, leaning against a garage door, a cloud of smoke around them. But, here’s the thing. You aren’t cool, you don’t look cool, and if you think a cigarette is an attractive accessory you’re wrong.

What you don’t see in these photographs and movies with beautiful people chain-smoking, or even socially smoking, is the lung cancer, the brown teeth and fingers, the heart disease, let alone the money you’re constantly spending on a new pack.

Smoking is addicting. You may say you only smoke occasionally, or do it at parties, or when you are with certain people, but nicotine is a highly addictive drug. Quitting smoking is one of the hardest things people go through, and often even after quitting there are residual issues that occur later in life from the years spent inhaling a cigarette.

Cigarettes aren’t romantic. They smell bad, they’re addicting, and they can and will kill you. There is nothing less sexy than a stick that gives you cancer and a plethora of other issues. I guarantee that you will actually look cooler not holding a cigarette; in fact smoking one will actually make you look pretty lame.

Don’t buy into the notion that cigarettes are attractive. Instead focus on the millions of advertisements a year that show the truth behind smoking. Those things aren’t exaggerating. Let them scare you.

It is never to late to quit. For help, visit https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/quit-smoking/index.html