Vantage point

Saturday, October 19, 2002

Why do people smoke? Has it not been scientifically proven that it is chemically addictive? Does it not cause cancer?

Even if it is medically benign, a cigarette gives you such a rotten breath. Your mouth stinks and causes the people around you displeasure.

The smell of a cigarette is so disgusting! In our hostel, fortunately, smokers are not in a majority. But whenever a smoker comes puffing into my room, I get so pissed off, because then my room will smell of cigarette smoke for a long time. I say the government should subsidize room fresheners for people like us.

I have never preached anyone or lectured them about not smoking. After all, your lungs, your choice. If so many people do it, there must be something good about it.

But still, I am curious. Why do people smoke? I have had people tell me, "to handle the stress of engineering college" or "to handle the stressful life in a management institute". Is that not a clear cut case of denial? I have been in stress in engineering and management colleges. But I have never felt stressed out enough to smoke, knowing how disgusting and unhealthy it is. And let me assure you, I am not a person of "iron will" or "dogged determination". Neither am I a paramount of virtues. Smoking has just seemed plain stupid to me. Like bungee jumping without the rope, or swimming with your legs tied.

So I still can't get it. Why do people smoke?