It has a long and storied history. People have been doing it for roughly 7,000 years. And I fucking love it.
I am a non-smoker myself, though I have tried many different things in my day. I suppose I could be best described as a Second-Hand Smoker. When others take smoke breaks I go with them, sometimes I even take a short or two myself, but I could never really get into it.
Don't start with me. Don't even start to conjure into your brain the health aspects. I don't fucking care. You can show me, or anyone else for that matter. as many horrible pictures of cancer and diseased lungs and rotted away jaws as you want. It won't change a damn thing.
And that's what I love about smoking. It is Practical Nihilism. Everyday people, living their everyday lives, yet making a conscious decision to say "Fuck it". They just don't care.
When I had to take a government mandated substance abuse class the speaker said every cigarette takes and hour or a day or some such off your lifespan. In response to this I heard a man ask; "Is that an hour off like the middle or towards the end?" to which the speaker replied "I guess the end when you're old and your lungs and heart are failing." It was at that point the guy sat down and lit a jack. He had the right idea.
In Europe the EU has mandated that all packs of cigarettes carry in bold lettering SMOKING KILLS on the front and SMOKING CAN CAUSE A SLOW AND PAINFUL DEATH on the back. As if we didn't know.
I do not think I am being pessimistic in the least when I say that we are all dying slow and painful deaths.
The idea that a life has to be long to be full is just bullshit that has weeded its way into our subconscious and I don't like it one bit.