Tag Archives: cigarettes

Smoking Politicians

ZOË RICE: Tom Brokaw, allow me to virtually fist bump you for writing this recent op-ed piece. Perhaps I will seem square for shaking my fist at cigarettes, and indeed I’m a former smoker myself (nearly ten years past quitting). But the toll this devastating habit takes on our country’s health shouldn’t be downplayed. Obesity may be the health-epidemic-du-jour (and a worthy one), but could Michelle Obama take an equally firm stance against smoking? She and her family stand in all their leanness as examples of fighting childhood obesity, a cause she publicly rallies against. However her husband, our President, can not act as a role model in the fight against tobacco addiction. And I think that should be part of his job.

AKIE BERMISS: I can completely understand where Zoë is coming from, but I disagree wholeheartedly. I mean, I agree that smoking is probably the most horrible and deadly of all bad habits, that far too many Americans do it, and that many of us are likely to die from it. On the other hand, as a smoker (of cigars), I understand what it means to have a vice. I understand how worldly pressures can lead to comfort in acting out “bad” habits. There’s nothing I crave more at the end of a hard day than a nice cigar and some peace and quiet. And I say, let a man have his vices. Assuredly, too many vices is not a good thing but a person with no vices at all? That’s just disturbing.
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Mishaps with Fire: Try This At Home

DAVE TOMAR: I’m not sure what it is about boyhood and fire. Perhaps it’s the promethean impulse toward creation. Perhaps it’s the sentiment of occasion and celebration first inspired by a birthday candle, a fireworks display or a citronella torch on Labor Day. Perhaps it’s the joy of holding a force of such sheer, unimaginable destruction in the palm of one’s hands. For me, it was that very special episode of Webster when he burnt his parents’ house down while playing with safety matches.

AKIE BERMISS: My trouble with fire is that I am practically always playing with it. Cigars — I love ‘em. I smoke ‘em. And there is no better solace after a long night’s gigging that drinking some stale gas-station coffee and smoking my cigar on the drives back to Brooklyn. Some of the drives, you see, are pretty late and pretty long and its rare that there’s anyone to talk to. I used to hook up my blue-tooth and just call anyone I thought might be awake and get them talking, but these days its not as cute as it used to be. People hang up. So its just me. And the road and the darkness. Usually, I light up and I turn on NPR (if I can get it) and I hit the road. But see the thing about cigars is: they’re big. A cigarette is easy to light. You almost don’t need a flame as a really strong spark will probably do the trick. Cigars, on the other hand, they take some real fire to get started. Really its just a barely-controlled micro-blaze.

And its alarming close to one’s mouth. Continue reading

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Electronic Cigarettes

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: Electronic cigarette, you are so clearly not actually burning. You are not a real cigarette. Stop trying to be unobtrusive and realistic looking.

HOWARD MEGDAL: While I am against the electronic cigarettes Molly mentions above, let me be clear: I am even more wholeheartedly against what I though e-cigarettes were prior to researching this article, which is paying of real money for virtual cigarettes, either in jpg form or smoked in some kind of Second Life/The Sims kind of way.

AKIE BERMISS: I smoke cigars. I have a habit. Some would call it a bad habit. In fact, everybody calls it a bad habit. And I don’t mind. I don’t go down to the bar and slap the sugary cocktails out of their mouths and they don’t come to my house (while I’m watching Glee) and knock the cigar out of mine. To each their own, I say. We all have our vices: smoking, drinking, television, pornography. Not horrible things that ruin the lives of those around like (like, say, a fetish for public indoor urinating) but the things we love to enjoy in the privacy of our private places. Vices are usually bad or bad for you, or considered bad form. Fair enough. As well they should be. Continue reading

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