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The Self-righteous Smoker

smoker lighting cigaretteIs there anything worse than a self-righteous smoker? The one who lights up with a calculated cool, seen-it-all eye in slo-mo surveillance: just hoping someone with a lung condition will have the nerve to speak up. It’s as if Marlboro slipped some high-concentration deliriant into their products … and New Yorkers are taking the biggest drags. I will acknowledge the appeal of the jaded coffee-shop ambiance. The Velvet Underground’s “Heroin” mellows masochistic ears and the hipster two tables over slips on his reading glasses for Jonathan Lethem’s ‘Motherless Brooklyn.’ The tortured NYU film school dropout radiates nihilistic woe, lamenting that elitist Academy voters will surely never grant David Lynch the Oscar. I mean, did you even watch “Blue Velvet?” Yes, this scene possesses a certain appeal; the same sort of appeal as, say… investing in my own eventual cancer.  Is smoking a fiery statement of fringe status? Or is it the passive declaration of a death wish from those simply too busy to scoot themselves off the Brooklyn bridge? Some see it as up in the air. Others just see the cigarette butts all over the sidewalk.

I will say this: The NYC smoker is a dedicated specimen. With the city’s average p.p.p. (price per pack) at over $11, the out-of-touch “pink lung” (a somewhat unsavory term for the non-smoker) might want to applaud the true smoker’s conviction. One such patriot, a Mr. José Arozamena, had been jonesing too long for a little respect. Reportedly, Mr. Arozamena flashed his dirty yellows when a judge ruled that he could continue smoking in his Park Avenue South condo. Grit your teeth, prudes: It’s going to be a slow burn!

One can assume that the condo board selfishly hoped to reduce the risk of a charcoal building. Here’s the reality: At some point, Mr. Arozamena will probably flick a half-smoked cigarette onto a mostly blank New York Times crossword during an uncharacteristic fit of frustration. He might run out of breath before he can fully extinguish the blaze. So be it; we as Americans are in this together. I believe I speak for all those condominium residents when I say this: we will protect to the death Mr. Arozamena’s right to make his own lifestyle choices.

 

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Filed under: Addiction, Life · Tags: Addiction, cigarettes, New Yorkers, nicotine, non-smoker, smoker, smoking cigarettes

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