Saturday, April 23, 2005


I've been struck lately by the number of young adults who smoke. I'm not especially anti-smoking or anti-smoker, but given how much things have changed I'm surprised by the number of people who pick it up. It seems we transitioned from a time when smokers didn't think there was anything wrong with smoking, and therefore the decision to become a smoker was a trouble-free decision to become a lifelong smoker. Then we all learned smoking was bad. Quite bad, in fact. Over a period of decades we transitioned to a reality in which I doubt a non-trivial number of people who start smoking expect to be lifelong smokers. I imagine most 21 year olds who smoke actually believe they'll quit by age 30 or so. That is, most people who start smoking do so fully believing that they'll go through the horrible process of quitting in the not very distant future. That's why I find it weird that so many young people smoke.