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Smoking is cool

December 15, 2006

I don’t smoke, and neither should you, but it is cool.  If it wasn’t, why else would people start smoking?  There are many youth-targeted campaigns that wrongly state that “Smoking is not cool.”  Despite their noble intentions, these unchallenged proclamations are simply untrue and are usually conducted by the same organizations that cite that staying in school (something else I recommend, but probably would be reluctant to write a hip-hop song about) is an action that can be considered cool.

While I feel it is important to educate our youth on the dangers of smoking, it is equally important to educate them in what is cool.  Anyone who’s ever received an atomic wedgie understands in hindsight that knowing what is cool and uncool are critical to survival, especially in the early years.

Most unhealthy, life threatening activities are cool, such as carelessly wielding a large knife, riding a bicycle without a helmet, getting a tattoo with unsanitary equipment, or taking part in unlicensed pyrotechnics.  Conversely, activities that are not life threatening…tap dancing, keeping all arms and legs inside the school bus at all times, eating green vegetables, and doing the macarena…are often considered not cool.

I support campaigns that promote healthy youth and urge them not to smoke, as long as they don’t falsely mislabel the coolness of the activity.

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