The Smoker’s Convention

smokers outside

Welcome to …. the Smoker’s Convention – and the “ups” and “downs” of sharing cigarette time outside with friends and/or coworkers … You see, there are SO many rituals that go along with smoking cigarettes, like packing the pack on your palm, or packing each individual cigarette, or hanging the cigarette out of your mouth for minutes on end before lighting it, or almost lighting it over and over while engaging conversation, but savoring the actual “lighting” moment for later. Then there’s the breathing ritual–inhale, hold, hold, hold, maybe say a word or two, exhale through nose–repeat cycle. Also, there’s the extinguishing rituals, and everybody has their own way of grinding it out, plucking it into the street or dabbing it on the side of an ashtray. The biggest and most important ritual of all is the smoker’s convention–that little group of outcasts that leave the inner office and venture out to some park bench or hand rail to light up and giggle it up, or talk through all their fears real quick. Some times its the smoker’s re-union at a party, out on the porch, balcony, deck or just by the fire pit in the back yard. If you forgot your smokes and somebody’s got your brand, well, that’s all she wrote. “Can I bum one of those?

Smoker’s Convention at a Party

There they go, outside to the deck, porch or side of the house to light up. They’re the smokers. They’ve been labeled. Stigmatized. Criticized. Burdened even–banished out to the cold night air or the freezing day, or worse, the rain. Doesn’t matter to the smoker. They gotta’ smoke. Period. How else to “survive” the day, the stress, the annoying people, the traffic, and the list goes on.

The Smoker’s Convention at Work

There they go, every hour on the hour. Those American workers who smoke a stogie every work break, methodically, all day. Now if non-smokers go outside every hour for 5 to 8 minutes and just sit there and talk, the bosses would tell them to get off their behinds and get back to work, but not the smokers – they gotta’ do what they gotta’ do, right? How else will their work get done?

Pro’s and Con’s of Smoking with Other Smokers

And so the ups to the smoker’s convention include possibly more stimulating conversation, since the nicotine boost of artificial dopamine is rushing through their heart and brain, stimulating BOTH sides of their brain, helping them feel good about something, anything, yes anything but the cigarette hangover that’s on its way out, but on its way BACK in about 30 to 45 minutes. Plus, you’re not the only one with your plight that you know, because you’re looking at a handful of others engage the same health blight. And so the downers of the smoker’s convention include the possibility of fostering a habit that takes away motivation, sex drive and empathy. The downers of the smoker’s convention may include somebody feeding YOUR habit, because after all, misery loves company.

 

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