Smoker Solidarity

The act of smoking cigarettes is inherently irrational. It has been conclusively proven that smoking cigarettes is severely bad for your health and that it will very likely lead to a premature cancerous death. It fucks up your skin, yellows your teeth, and I also hear that it makes your cum taste rank. It seems quite adverse to the innate human drive for self-preservation, and it doesn’t do much for your sex appeal.

I’m someone who prides myself on living a very healthy lifestyle. I abide by a healthy vegetarian diet, I rarely consume unhealthy foods, and I’m physically active. I do however; smoke cigarettes on a very regular basis. Not excessively, but a regular and hearty 5 or 6 a day. More if I’m drinking.

Why are these cancerous tobacco sticks so damn appealing to me?

A lot of different things come to my mind when I think about smoking. Everything from depraved meth addicts with no teeth and thugged out suburban teenagers adorned in extra-large Tupac shirts to the ever so-suave Don Draper from Mad Men and the refined literary characters in the works of Hemingway and Salinger. Nonetheless, there seems to be something about those short-lived and insatiable nicotine rushes that cause people from all different walks of life to smoke; the lone financial businessman taking a break outside of the high rise office building and the large mass of bloodstained factory workers huddled in the pouring rain outside of the meat packing plant.

Every time I step outside to smoke, whether it’s a break at work or outside my basement apartment at 4 AM, I experience a very brief moment during which everything is still. I take solace in these moments – I’m standing outside and am doing absolutely nothing except inhaling deep breaths of exhilarating chemical-laden smoke between refreshing breaths of fresh air. I enjoy the relaxing rush of the nicotine coursing through my veins, as my body gently numbs and my mind begins to clear ever so slightly. The experience may seem rather miniscule and insignificant in the context of everyday life, lasting only a few short minutes at a time. However, these short moments represent something much more than a cheap chemical-induced rush. A successful cigarette break will have one feeling a little bit more composed and ready to continue. Whether it’s the momentary escape from the fact that the love of your life is fucking your best friend or just escaping the brutal physical and mental anguish of working in a factory, these moments allow one to ever so slightly transcend and persevere through the existential crisis that is life.

Whether I’m walking through cigarette littered streets, huddled with other smokers on a cold winter day or simply sharing a cigarette with the homeless woman with the cat, I can’t help but feel an ever so slight connection and sense of solidarity with all those in humanity who are just trying to get through life.  Perhaps, if we’re lucky enough, we can maybe even enjoy a cigarette together to celebrate that we’ve made it this far.

So, to all those who have ever told me that I should quit smoking, fuck you.TC mark


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  • Sippycup

    I don’t think the cum taste is much of a deal breaker. Just tell the guy ahead of time and he’ll bust on your face instead.

  • Yan Zhitui

    Amen brother.

    Do you know Richard Klein’s Cigarettes Are Sublime? If you don’t, you should. Excerpt here:

  • saigon

    omg, you talking about cums. there is a certain charm about smoking. something rebellious and non chalant, but health comes first

  • Je Sk

    very pretty. i enjoyed reading this.

  • AJ

    Smoking is a give and take relationship. I don’t think I could ever permanantley close the door on them but for right now I’m happy to be smoking the least I have since I started 6 years ago. If only for the fact that I ran 3 miles yesterday, which would have been impossible a year ago.

  • bret

    the only reason i took up smoking is for the breaks

  • Miriam Mogilevsky

    “Fuck you” to everyone who cares about your health? Wow, I feel bad for your friends and family.

    • P. H. Madore

      There was a time when people had enough respect to wait for someone to ask them for advice or condescending sermons.

      “Vonnegut has chain-smoked Pall Malls since 1936 and during the course
      of the interview he smokes the better part of one pack. His voice is low
      and gravelly, and as he speaks, the incessant procedure of lighting the
      cigarettes and exhaling smoke is like punctuation in his conversation.
      Other distractions, such as the jangle of the telephone and the barking
      of a small, shaggy dog named Pumpkin, do not detract from Vonnegut’s
      good-natured disposition. Indeed, as Dan Wakefield once said of his
      fellow Shortridge High School alumnus, ‘He laughed a lot and was kind to

      Kurt Vonnegut outlived the vast majority of those who spoke against him and died at 85 (of brain injuries from a digger he took).

      It’s all in your fucking head. Now I need a cigarette.

      • DARKSTAR

        Soooooo my grandmother’s death from emphysema and my grandfathers’ death from heart disease were all in my fucking head?  Cool.

      • P. H. Madore

        I just got out of the army that defends most of your right to judge people Had the Germans made it to our shores without the unit I watched men give their lives for, I assume you’d still pass judgement based on whatever — “church” or “science” — but I’m making sure it’s clear that your judgements would be based on the ability to get them outside of your meal-filled mouth.

        Thus then would it be that I’d say: go to your nearest Army or Air Force the morning of a physical fitness test (exam, really). Those who run too slow are punished for such — and I was never among them.

        Yet, you fuck, haven’t I chain-smoked since the age of 12 (1999)?

        Because, during my run, no matter what your people said to me in my head, I told myself that that pain of my lungs was far less than you’d estimated her to be. Moreover, I told her such as this: you will survive to the finish line and then we will discuss your “no cigarettes period” option.

        Were my lungs conducive to the fidcuiracy cocermns (I’m drunk and you know all the ltters to those words are ther so fcuk yrself new york piece of shit) of whatever state I happened to be located in or moreover if said states were to devote their UNFUCKINGREASONABLE excise TAXES to research for those who couldn’t think in such a way and really fell victim to some dude on a ranch with a Marlboro hanging from his cheek, then I’d see everyone’s point.

        I will die because I am an asshole, and since I have been such to so many peopel, it will probalby not be because of anything  Idone to myself from so early on, but if it twas, then good godammit and goddamn es-fuck-specially you in such — couldn’t ask for a better out.

        Nor will you find me on one of them machines. Most of your assumptions will be based on statistics and not those who you knew. Now, if you did something with those who you knew and they never listened to you, maybe it’s time you realized that they had reasons they were fucking tired of the life you wer eprobably still leeching offthem to achieve anyfuckingways.

        When I die, I’ll be as debt-free and rude as I am on this day. And even if the country my friends died over ther ein the fucking desert for no longer exists, you will stil forever have a long argument to make when you start talking abotu how my choices don’t add up to my life or my circumstances don’t add up to the reasons for those choices.

        My people win the war, every time. My people go out of business either early on or long after every one writues us off. My people knwo your people are fucking suckers, and my people profit by your people’s weakness once a day or more on fucking average, you worthless defeatist.

        Paul Henry Madore III
        (Grandson of the millworker and son of the sailor, to avoid confusion)

      • Guest

        Those are very inspirational examples but if you want to prove something, you should use trends instead of individuals.

      • P. H. Madore

        I’m not trying to prove anything to defeatists because proof is usually their third or foruth reason for doing anything. But I do appreciate your input, GUEST.

      • P. H. Madore

        Pauline Madore defeated cancer thrice without pain medication. In the 1950s, she was a smoker. She died of her fourth bout after a long hopeful struggle. More than 600 people came to her funeral in Bangor, Maine. Her daughter, Linda, had died of lung cancer in 1996. It was not easy to get her to speak on that, but I’m more than 100% sure (being the present patriarch) that she’d have not blamed one or another decision of Linda’s for such as that. We live the lives we lead and those who don’t respect us live their own. I apologize if you can’t dig your head out of your ass long enough to write a response to my comment, but welcome back, dickpiece, to the United States.

      • simon

        Yes, you need a cigarette because you are weak-minded enough to remain ignorant to science. Smoke it you want but saying it’s all in your head is just plain fucking retarded.

  • Sandy

    Is there a non smoker equivalent to these breaks

    • P. H. Madore

      Let me know if you find one.

    • Andrew Pham

      You could learn some fancy yoga meditation or something?

    • Aelya

      Moments of solidarity and reflection without a cigarette, where you observe things around you in silence. Literally, just doing nothing.

    • Guest

      In college I would just go for a walk or take a break for tea. 

      • MarieSa

        This is an excellent idea. Why don’t I already do this?


    Spot on. The best thing about a cigarette break is that you’re not doing anything else, at all.  The only true respite. 

  • Guest

    smoking made my dad an ugly person. he’s fifty years-old, and he already had two fucking strokes from high blood pressure relative to smoking. when was this, what, two weeks ago?  the high blood pressure isn’t hereditary and it isn’t food-related because my family and i all eat the same thing and our blood pressure is fine. ok, there may be other contributing factors, but it is so wrong of his daughter wanting him to quit? so fuck me for wanting him to quit? fuck me for wanting him to quit so he doesn’t relapse into another stroke and this time die? fuck me for wanting him to quit because he has four children to support and me having a mother that can’t support herself? fuck me because i want him to be at my high school graduation and in eight years, my brother’s graduation too? these nicotine rushes put my dad in a hospital. so fuck me not wanting to see him die in a hospital bed today, tomorrow, the next day? fuck you.

    • Guest

      fuck you for not accepting your dads choice, if he wants to die, let him die! if he’d rather smoke cigarettes than spend 20 more years on the planet, then let him, stop being so selfish

      • Guest

        if we actually had the money to fund his cigarette addiction, hell yes i would think it would be selfish of me to want him to quit because he can afford it
        but we don’t have the money nor does he for his cigarettes much less the medical bills so uh yeah, hi

      • Guest

        it sounds like your dad dying would be best for all parties involved 

      • Aja

        Wow.  Nasty.  

      • Tristan

        as everyone knows, cigarettes are also incredibly addictive. the choice of whether or not to smoke a cigarette, no matter how bad you know it is for you, can be one that is far from simple. there are those who can quit cold turkey, and there are those who have to work a lot harder. there are also those who know the reality of the situation but who don’t want to deal it and choose to maintain their denial because it is easier. i don’t think people who don’t have the self-discipline to quit should be given excuses, but with something like a chemical and psychological addiction, it’s just not always so simple or easy to stop. it’s never ever wrong to want someone to quit smoking, it is never wrong to ask someone you love to quit smoking, and it is obviously never wrong to quit smoking yourself. nor is it wrong to start. just a bad idea.

  • jennbenn18

    Loved this!  I wrote in a similar vein about the same idea.  I think you’ll appreciate it:

  • damo

    YES. this is what i need to send to my friends who continuously question why i do it to myself.

  • A.

    I don’t even care that smoking is bad for my health. Everything else in life I enjoy has also proven to eventually give me cancer (cigarettes, alcohol, tanning, fake sugar), the way I see it, at least I know how I’m going to die and I’m embracing it.

    • xra

      real sugar will give you cancer too

  • 107yo

    But you really should quit smoking.

  • Briana

    something i’ve noticed about roughly 60% of recent TC articles: the (pen?)ultimate paragraph is followed by a one-liner that, frankly, in my opinion, ruins the tone of the piece. 


    • Mr Shankly

      I see what you did there.

    • Andrew Pham

      I actually hesitated for a very long time in regards to that last statement.  However, reading the discourse in these comments, I’m glad that I left it in.

  • Mr Shankly

    Post meal smokes are the highlight of my day.

    • Tim

      Well that’s kind of sad. Now, each to their own, but the highlight of my day is hanging out with people I love and care about and having a good time…

      • Born in NY

        HI Tim.. You’re a square

    • BK Girl

      How about a post sex smoke? ahhh

  • inflammatorywrit

    I want to take a cigarette break with you.

  • Visionary

    What an awesome piece. I think I’m going to distribute pamphlets of this piece out to every narrow-minded individual who tells me to stop smoking. A+ what a fantastic, relatable read!

  • darlingnikkisiks

    I used to smoke. I also used to work in a hospice. Many of the patients there suffered from smoking-related cancers. They were the ones who were fucked. Them and everyone who loved them. It was a very frightening look at mortality. We’re all going to die, but not necessarily like that.

    Sometimes I don’t know what to do with my non-smoking hands, but then I deal with it.  Things are still. I breathe deeply.Smoke if you want, but I gotta leave you hanging on that self-congratulatory high five. Smokers may light up in a group, but we all die alone.

  • Jake

    yo yo-ing is just as addicting and more fun bro…

    yo yo breaks

    i have a bumble bee that buzzes when it sleeps, so dope 

  • Gteodorio

    “Whether it’s the momentary escape from the fact that the love of your life is fucking your best friend …”How many times has this happened to you?

  • Pfft

    oh for fucks sake who cares

  • Alison

    Oscar Wilde wrote “A cigarette is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can one want?”
    Also, its not wrong to be anti-smoking or to worry about loved ones health. I respect/appreciate my family and friends for caring. But that’s my family and friends. Keep your unsolicited advice to strangers and acquaintances to your goddamn self. And if you’ve ever been the asshole who walks by a smoker and fake coughs extra loud to passive-aggressively tell the smoker your opinion, seriously go fuck yourself.

  • Lord

    number one reason not to smoke is that is tacky

    aesthetics are everything

  • Asdf

    Yeah. A big “fuck you” to all those cared enough to offer help with quitting. Quaint, self-absorbed and snotty. Aren’t you a special snowflake? Have fun killing yourself softly.

    • DontTalkSoLoud

      Why don’t you have a cigarette and calm down…

    • alva

      you have a sad life

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