Start Smoking Again

leonard_cohen

Leonard Cohen has started smoking again, just like he said he would, as he releases a new album – You Want It Darker – at the age of 82.

I can see it becoming a trend: starting smoking again. And just like there were all those people who told you that they’d quit smoking with a smug grin, there’ll be people – maybe the same people – who’ll tell you, “You know what? I’ve started smoking again!” with a sly grin. And if you ask them why (as if you’ll need to ask why), they’ll say something like, “Life’s too short, and smoking is one of life’s pleasures, so why deny myself that pleasure? And anyway I don’t believe experts like I once did any more.”

And then smoking prevalence, which had been slowly falling, will start rising again. For when one person starts smoking again, others will follow.

And the reason why this is likely to happen is because smoking is supposed to be a thing of the past, like climate stability and patriotism and self-governing nation states with their own flags and languages and money. And when people turn their backs on globalism and the EU and climate change and fat-shaming and political correctness, and want to go back to the way things used to be, they’re going to want to start smoking again, because smoking was an integral part of that lost world they now want to restore. And people are more and more turning their backs on it.

His voice just gets deeper and deeper.

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About Frank Davis

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54 Responses to Start Smoking Again

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    Funny but for the last few years the largest new smokers were quitters that started back again.

  2. Joe L. says:

    I’m so glad you brought up this subject, Frank, as I meant to share a encounter I had but I got sidetracked and had since completely forgotten about it!

    A few weeks ago I was in San Francisco for a job interview and afterward I stayed one night with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. As I was leaving for the airport to return home the following morning, I was having a cigarette while saying goodbye to my friend on the sidewalk in front of his apartment. During our conversation, an older lady who appeared to possibly be a realtor (she was carrying a binder of some sort and was dressed in a professional manner) walked past us. As she passed by, she exclaimed to me, “Wow, that cigarette smells really good!” I offered her one, but she declined, stating, “No, thanks. Five more years!” I looked at her puzzled and asked “I’m sorry, five more years?” She explained that she had quit smoking 20 years ago and in five more years, she would turn 80 years old. She had made some kind of promise to herself when she quit that if she lived to see 80 she would start smoking again.

    She kept walking, and I was left speechless. I couldn’t understand why anyone would deprive themselves of a simple pleasure for 25 years. Moreover, why quit at all if you only intend to pick it back up again in the future as some sort of reward for quitting in the first place? However, I must say I enjoyed our brief conversation because I don’t believe I’ve ever encountered an ex-smoking stranger on the street who actually struck up a positive conversation about the smell of my cigarette smoke. It was a refreshingly pleasant surreal encounter. I hope for her sake that she lives to see 80 (or better yet, hopefully she just says “fuck it” and starts again sooner).

    • Frank Davis says:

      There was also that nostalgic piece in the Telegraph a few days ago, whose author was inhaling deeply as she passed smokers in the street.

      I’ve never tried giving up smoking. I’ve never wanted to. But the impression I’ve gained over the years of knowing lots of people who stopped smoking is that none of them really wanted to, but they were terrified of getting lung cancer if they didn’t. And if they were to stop believing that smoking caused lung cancer, they’d start smoking again. And they are ceasing to believe. Nigel Farage said a few months back that he thought the doctors had “got it wrong”. That’s a straw in the wind. And then again, at some age, it really ceases to matter whether smoking causes lung cancer or not. Equally, if we have another world war (which is looking rather more likely these days than it’s been for a long time), and everyone has the feeling hat they’ve only got days to live (or maybe just hours), it won’t matter one damn whether people smoke or not, and everyone will start smoking overnight.

  3. Joe L. says:

    I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge one of my favorite singer-songwriters, the legendary Nick Lowe, who also started smoking again a few years ago. He even referenced it in the lyrics of his song “Lately I’ve Let Things Slide” (Smoking I once quit / Now I got one lit / I just fell back into it).

  4. Lepercolonist says:

    Overheard during a break at work:

    “May I have one of your cigarettes?”
    “I thought you quit ?
    ” I did quit but I am stressed-out from this insufferable manager.”
    “Sure, have one and start enjoying your life.”

    • prog says:

      It wouldn’t surprise me if it turned out that half of quitters weren’t, though claimed to be so. In some ways there was already some evidence from TC itself when crowing on about x zillions of successful quitters, not pointing out that most of those were serial relapsers thus making the rest of the world believe their useless and highly profitable NRT actually worked.

      • nisakiman says:

        I have a friend who gave up smoking two years ago. Every time I see him, he scrounges a roll-up off me.

      • Some French bloke says:

        Expect Pharma profiteers to try to jump on the new bandwagon (heading towards the very point the first one started from!) by launching NRTs (Nicotine Resumption Therapies), which will once more prove useless, this time due to the 100 % success rate of the natural resumption method…

  5. Igromyown says:

    A friend on mine always says if I knew I had only so long to live I would start smoking again. Pointing out that we all have only so long to live makes no difference . So Frank I think that you have revealed that there is a proportion of ex smokers just waiting for permission to start smoking again.

  6. Lecroix says:

    Reblogged this on Contra la ley "antitabaco" and commented:
    En su 80 cumpleaños sugirió que volvería a fumar. Y a los 82, Leonard Cohen lo ha cumplido. ¡Bien por usted, Sr. Cohen!

    “Pues si no fumase, viviría aún más”, puedo escuchar a un acérrimo antitabaco decir, erre que erre con la cantinela…

    Pero incluso aunque la cantinela antitabaco fuese cierta, que no lo es, yo creo que a los 82 años y con una vida plena, plenísima, uno puede mandar a tomar vientos con facilidad a los agoreros.

    ¡Bien por usted, Sr. Cohen!
    ¡Que disfrute usted su placer!

    ¡Ah, y gracias por las poesías! Las viejas, las nuevas y las que vendrán.

  7. petesquiz says:

    Although I don’t smoke, I can appreciate your sentiments and, in a similar vein, I’ve recently gone back to proper butter on my bread and returned to Lard in my chip pan!

    • Rose says:

      I am very glad to hear it.
      For a while it became impossible to find to real cream cheese and I had to learn to make my own.

      I never did believe that margarine was better than butter and stuck to a traditional diet but finding real food got more and more difficult, I particularly hated it when supermarkets started cutting the fat off meat, for your convenience, before you could make the choice of how to cook it. No matter how good the offer, it just wasn’t worth bothering with.

      • Tony says:

        I always used to buy full fat milk and found semi-skimmed rather tasteless. But sometime in the 1980s I started to find full fat milk had an unpleasant sourness to it. I wasn’t sure if it was me or the milk that had changed but I read recently about semi-skimmed having a far longer shelf life. It makes me suspect that the retailers adapted to semi-skimmed times and simply allowed the full fat milk to go off.

        • Rose says:

          Ah, I’ve always had a milkman deliver, I thought that supermarket milk tasted like cardboard.

        • tony says:

          I tried having milk delivered for a while but gave it up because in summer I used to come home from work to find a bottle of curdled milk on my doorstep.

        • Frank Davis says:

          You can get little insulated containers for the milkman to leave the milk in. They’re quite good at keeping the milk chilled.

          In Devon, full cream milk delivered by the milkman was much creamier than supermarket whole milk. It used to have an inch or two of cream floating on the top.

        • Rose says:

          I can understand that, M&S and Morrison full fat aren’t bad these days.

        • nisakiman says:

          Of course in the ‘old days’, when I was a kid, the milk was on the doorstep before 6 am, and the only problem we had was when the Blue Tits pecked through the foil cap to get at the cream. It was always in the fridge before it had time to spoil.

          I lived for a time in about 1970 in Salisbury, and I used to buy my milk from a small place down the road where it was still in the churns just delivered from the farm. They would ladle it out and pour it into the bottle while I waited, and press a foil cap on it. It was delicious. Unfiltered, unpasteurised, straight out of the udder that morning. It really was ‘The Real Thing’.

          When I go to the supermarket, nothing that is labelled ‘lo-fat’, sugar-free’, ‘lite’, or anything similar gets anywhere near my basket. I stopped eating ‘Flora’ and the like after I saw how it was made. (I used to pick up 20 tons of the stuff sometimes from the Adelaide factory to take to Melbourne when I drove trucks in the ’70s). I’ve eaten butter ever since.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I’ve always used proper butter. But it’s relatively recently that I’ve gone back to using lard, and eating black pudding.

  8. slugbop007 says:

    Just saw this news item:http://www.conveniencestore.co.uk/news/black-market-cigarette-trade-increases-in-the-uk/537289.articleMs Arnott neglected to mention these facts in her latest declaration that smoking prevalencehas diminished since she and her cohorts enacted their initiatives. I wonder why?slugbop007

  9. Stan says:

    A lot of people who quit smoking probably did so because of the price. Tobacco is the only product that I know of that has a 500-600 % tax on it. In England if there was no tax on tobacco 20 cigarettes in the shop would cost a little less than 2 pounds. That’s with the manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers all making a profit. ( 25p, 50p and 50p approx ) if the Govn’t would not tack on 7 or 8 pounds tax a lot of former smokers would take it up again me thinks.

    • beobrigitte says:

      if the Govn’t would not tack on 7 or 8 pounds tax a lot of former smokers would take it up again me thinks.
      That’s what Arnott et al blabbed and still does. The truth is different. The supply chain has changed. And a lot of “former” smokers can now easily tap into that new supply. It’s called black market, btw.

  10. Rose says:

    Now that’s something that never occurred to me.

    ‘People with the best voice always smoke!’ Adele complains that her decision to quit smoking has left her with ‘weaker’ vocal abilities
    23 September 2016

    “Despite releasing some of the most powerful ballads of recent times, Adele believes that giving up smoking has left her with a ‘weaker’ singing voice.
    The 28-year-old chart-topping singer quit her habit five years ago in a bid to improve her health – but she fears she has damaged her voice in the process.”
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3803767/Adele-complains-decision-quit-smoking-left-weaker-vocal-abilities.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

  11. Doug G says:

    Eventually, high-end vapes will be invented and introduced to the market, and when they become devices that can truly be taken seriously smoking will be gone. Vaping means using a fifth of the herb or leaf you prefer, and ensures you will not cough out your entire puff for only the breeze to enjoy. Not only that, but since you aren’t destroying your taste buds, you will actually be able to taste the herb or leaf you are vaping. Smoking was most likely first invented by a bunch a primitive bozos that could not keep their heads out of the tribal potpourri bowl. Vaping on the other hand most likely got started by a whiff of an aromatic plant, and trying to create something more potent than a smell.

  12. Rose says:

    Just found this again.

    2013
    “…several years later he (Tony Blair) agonised about the smoking ban in public places and finally justified the move by suggesting:
    “The public gave us permission to introduce the ban.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/iraq-10-years-on-so-you-think-you-know-why-blair-went-to-war-8500265.html

    The public did not.

    “The survey was conducted by BMRB International using the BMRB Access Omnibus (telephone) survey between 20-22 January 2006. It involved 831 adults aged 16+ in England.”
    http://www.ash.org.uk/media-room/press-releases/new-poll-shows-public-back-health-select-committee-amendment-on-smokefree-law

    Reported as –

    ASH poll shows public support full smoking ban
    31 January, 2006

    “An opinion poll published by anti-smoking group ASH reveals that 70 per cent of the public support smoke-free legislation.
    The poll asked 831 members of the public whether they supported a full ban rather than a partial ban based on food.”

    “ASH director Deborah Arnott said: “The message to MPs could not be clearer. The public wants smoke-free legislation. They want it in England, just as they do in Scotland, Wales and in Northern Ireland.”
    http: //www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/General-News/ASH-poll-shows-public-support-full-smoking-ban

    • smokingscot says:

      Yo Rose,

      You seeing what I’m seeing.

      A rigged poll fronted by failed journalist involving all of 831 people results in Blair “getting permission” to trash the social infrastructure of the UK, most notably in the deprived areas of Britain.

      Yet when 17.2 million of us vote to leave the EU, close to two thirds of our legislators feel it’s their duty to attempt to sabotage the vote.

      (And – as a Scot – our lot continue to try to thwart the 55.5% who said NO to independence).

    • beobrigitte says:

      ASH poll shows public support full smoking ban
      31 January, 2006 […]

      […] ASH director Deborah Arnott said: “The message to MPs could not be clearer. The public wants smoke-free legislation. They want it in England, just as they do in Scotland, Wales and in Northern Ireland.”
      I do not recall having been asked – neither do I recall anyone else having been asked. I guess for Debbie Arnott it was good enough to ask her supporters.

  13. slugbop007 says:

    This is a new twist on anthropological science. What will they think of next? If you are a smoker you can blame it on the Neanderthals. https://www.rt.com/news/332244-dna-neanderthal-depression-smoking/slugbop007

    • beobrigitte says:

      Actually, the Neanderthals…. Not as stupid as previously portrait but nevertheless extinguished. Very few of us carry Neanderthal genes – if smoking is one, I am one of these rare people.

  14. Roberto says:

    A come back of cigarette smoking seems odd or outlandish ? Not at all. When something is so vilified and so subjected to scare mongering by “established” authority figureheads, a lot of folks (even those who may not have a special taste for it) begin feeling curious and start exploring it. Just look how pornography flourished when it was furiously censored and banned by the moral authorities. Yes, looking for the forbidden may happen mostly underground and hidden from public view, but it happens. Puritans controllers and censors always miscalculate the attraction they deliver to what they so actively forbid. Yes, there are real health hazards from primary smoking cigarettes, but this may not prevent in the future causing a lot of folks who never smoked to wonder why the authorities have been so active and keen in eliminating it. Perhaps we are beginning to see this phenomenon.

    • Roobeedoo2 says:

      No, I don’t think so, Roberto. I don’t see adults taking up smoking (as opposed to smoking again after giving up after a length absence) because it costs too much money. And you can’t smoke and socialise in public at the present time…

      *Which bit, Clicky? That I can’t smoke and socialise in public at the present time? Well unless I go outside…*

      *True, I fucking hate smoking outside, especially on the street… makes me feel like a whore…*

      */nods… Or like George Formby…*

      What are these ‘real health hazards from primary smoking cigarettes’ that you speak of Roberto?

      • Roberto says:

        As I said, when puritans and censors make so much emphasis in forbidding something they involuntarily create attraction to it among some folks, specially non-conformist folks. I’m not saying it is happening now with cigarette smoking (certainly not in English speaking countries), but that it may happen.

        Regarding real hazards. I am a smoker and I am well aware of how health risks are exaggerated. A lot of cigarette smokers (even heavy smokers) live long lives without health issues related to cigarettes, but a lot have health problems over time and a tiny proportion get lung cancer. It is a complex matter that depends on genetics, life style, diet and lots of factors. For 10 years I smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day and got every year several colds that evolved into nasty bronchitis. I switched to smoking only cigars and pipes without inhaling. For the last 30 years I kept smoking and enjoying tobacco without inhaling and these nasty colds ended. This worked for me, but it may not work for others and I never preach cigarette smokers to follow this route.

    • beobrigitte says:

      Yes, there are real health hazards from primary smoking cigarettes,
      Really? Which ones? After 47 years of smoking I find I can still kick ass in a gym.

      but this may not prevent in the future causing a lot of folks who never smoked to wonder why the authorities have been so active and keen in eliminating it. Perhaps we are beginning to see this phenomenon.
      Why would this generation wonder? They will have been told we all would have died if they hadn’t intervened….
      Nope. This generation has smokers, too.

    • beobrigitte says:

      Just look how pornography flourished when it was furiously censored and banned by the moral authorities. Yes, looking for the forbidden may happen mostly underground and hidden from public view,
      Actually, it is easy to find on the net. It cost my youngest his internet access!!! The way I found out was that all of a sudden I had naked women coming up on my PC….. Cookies….
      So I changed the PC password.

      • Roberto says:

        I believe you. I also know cigarette smokers doing regular exercise that are much healthier and fit than most non-smokers. Regarding my analogy with pornography, I was thinking of pornography in now gone times (before the 1950’s way way before internet) when it was illegal and very much vilified and associated with scandal. People felt attracted to it as precisely because of this.

  15. Tony says:

    That Leonard Cohen song is a great find Frank. Great gif too. I’m surprised no one else has commented on it yet.

    It’s a beautiful, haunting piece though I don’t claim to understand all the lyrics. His voice does seem deeper than ever, possibly with the help of the ciggies (I read somewhere that most opera singers smoke + Rose’s post above) and if he ever lost anything over the years he certainly seems to have re-gained it.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I’m surprised no one else has commented on it yet.

      Maybe they don’t like Leonard Cohen much. Maybe they prefer Lady Gaga or something.

    • beobrigitte says:

      That Leonard Cohen song is a great find Frank. Great gif too. I’m surprised no one else has commented on it yet.
      There are quite a few comments and “Happy Birthday” underneath the video on youtube.
      There you can also see the lit cigarette well!!

  16. Bandit 1 says:

    Bought my first vandalised (plain packaging) fags today. I didn’t know they were like that prior to purchase, because of course all tobacco products are shuttered from view in shops. Was quite an unwelcome surprise. Haven’t really studied the packs but a glance suggests the ‘warning’ messages on them have become yet more shrill and insistent. “QUIT NOW.”

    Uh, yeah… fuck you.

    The big price hike was something of a shock. The bizarre ‘packs must contain 20’ diktat explained most of it, but not all – the manufacturer/retailer had clearly taken the opportunity to increase the unit price too.

    The last unwelcome surprise was seeing that the branding text on the cigarettes themselves had been Puritanised as well; plain black sans-serif.

    Whereas the other aspects had annoyed / inconvenienced me, or depressed me in an abstracted way, this was chilling. It felt intensely personal, like a physical invasion of my personal space (I suspect that was the point?), and it felt vile. And it was a vivid, tangible reminder of how far the war on smokers had progressed, and a sign of what was still to come. Because more will come. These people will never stop, unless they’re stopped by force. My overriding thought, as I smoked that first vandalised cigarette, was how they would poison us without hesitation, just like people were poisoned during Prohibition.

    I know that decency will prevail eventually, and all the destructive, Statist, anti-humanity measures will be swept away. But just how much damage will have been done by that point?

    • beobrigitte says:

      Indeed, the porn printed on my tobacco has reached a new level. I do the sensible thing: I ignore the nonsense.

    • Rose says:

      It felt intensely personal, like a physical invasion of my personal space (I suspect that was the point?), and it felt vile

      That is chilling. I do hope you’ve emptied it and thrown the packet away. I wouldn’t want a thing that made me feel like that in the house.

    • Joe L. says:

      The last unwelcome surprise was seeing that the branding text on the cigarettes themselves had been Puritanised as well; plain black sans-serif.

      That actually sounds like a flaw in their design! Sans-serif fonts are all the rage these days (even Google recently dropped their iconic serif logo for a cleaner sans-serif font).

      If the Antis really wanted to discourage people from buying packs of cigarettes, they should have required all text to be in multi-colored Comic Sans.

    • nisakiman says:

      I buy my tobacco online from Germany, and the packs had the warnings on them, but also there was room for some description, explaining that it was a blend of Burley and Java, and that there were no additives etc etc. I didn’t like the way the warnings took up a third of the pack, but it was tolerable, just about.

      I just received my latest shipment (I buy 30 packs at a time, so there’s a fair gap between purchases), and the packs are now covered in deranged images and warnings. There is no description of the contents (probably disallowed now), just blank space inside the flap, and the pack is just plain ugly, which was, of course, their intention.

      My immediate reaction was like Bandit’s; that they were invading my private life. And although I transfer the tobacco to a leather pouch anyway, it made me intensely angry. Just who do they think they are to deface my product of choice with their grotesque nightmares and fantasies? What right do they have to dictate the packaging? But mostly it was “JUST WHO THE FUCK DO THESE PEOPLE THINK THEY ARE?”

      Had one of the instigators of this poisonous policy been within reach, I would have cheerfully have given him a good beating for being such a despicable and misanthropic arsehole. This really has gone too far, and these maggots need to be held to account for the way they are destroying enjoyment in any form it takes. And all their stupid, spiteful rules rescinded.

      • Rose says:

        Just the blighted souls of Tobacco Control, practicing their hexes.

        “A curse (also called an imprecation, malediction, execration, malison, anathema, or commination) is any expressed wish that some form of adversity or misfortune will befall or attach to some other entity: one or more persons, a place, or an object.”

  17. Clicky says:

  18. beobrigitte says:

    Pure brilliance! And I do like the point of the lit cigarette (.gif image) on the video!!

    His voice just gets deeper and deeper.
    It sure does. As a party piece I could do “I’m your man” for a laugh. This one there is no way!!!

    A man true to his word. And his first smoking-again album most certainly shows the guy still can kick ass! (album will be ordered and added to my “laughin’ Len” collection! I did get a lot of stick back in the 80s for admitting to liking Leonard Cohen, btw. ) That does remind me, what has Leonard Cohen released when he didn’t smoke?

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