We get it, smoking kills.Like tattoos
, it’s just not “cool” anymore. So why do so many of us still do it? Emily Flake tackles the question in her entertaining graphic novellaThese Things Ain't Gonna Smoke Themselves: A Love/Hate/Love/Hate/Love Letter to a Very Bad Habit
. Without further ado, a few of Flake’s reasons for incinerating the lung:
1. Work breaks.
3. Staying awake.
4. Having something to do alone at bars.
5. Making new friends [smoking bans help with this one].
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6. Mental heath.
7. Most important: Smoking “provides counterpoint to conversations dull or lives, uncomfortable or intense. It’s a very sociable habit, a social lubricant, a shared experience that forms a tiny, temporary community. The little burn, the constriction when it hits your throat- will, it just kind of reminds you you’re alive.”
Flake always thought she’d quit when she hit 30, but guess what? She’s 31 and still puffing. She knows smoking is stinky and deadly and makes her look like shit, but for the moment, the habit rules. But she seems to know that at a certain point, you just HAVE to quit: “…if you do get sick, imagine the depths of your regret then. It’ll be awfully hard to ask for sympathy on your deathbed if you planned, built, and paved your own superhighway there in the first place. Kind of like how nobody has a lot of sympathy for your hangover, but times like a million.” This cutely drawn little volume is a fun read that will certainly give pause to those of us who still smoke. – Cathy Matusow
These Things Ain't Gonna Smoke Themselves: A Love/Hate/Love/Hate/Love Letter to a Very Bad Habit, by Emily Flake, Bloomsbury, $12.95.