Smoking is the act of breathing in enormous quantities of the aerially-dispersed waste products of combusting organic matter. For reasons unknown, this is done for pleasure.
There has been some debate in recent years over whether or not smoking is harmful to a person's health. While long-term smoking does cause some cancers, tooth decay, and death, it is proven to make one infinitely more popular and attractive. Despite this, being a corpse, although popular, is not attractive. It could therefore be argued that the short-term benefits of smoking are outweighed by the long-term harms.
The pleasant effects from the inhalation of air-born waste were inadvertently discovered in 1607 by Virginia colonist Nathaniel Ebeneezer Smitherspoon while he was being burnt at the stake by the Jamestown Council of Religious Enforcement for not sufficiently loving Jesus. Smitherspoon got stoned out of his mind from breathing in the heady, intoxicating fumes from his own immolation. Unfortunately, he did not live to pursue further research in this area as he died from an acute case of burning to death a few moments later.
In 1903, the billionaire tycoon R.J. Reynolds began experimenting with toy soap-bubble-blowing pipes and candy cigarettes by inserting into them various burning substances and testing them on children.
After many hundreds of trials, Reynolds finally hit upon the magic combination: decayed leaves from the mutant hybrid tobacco-tomato plant soaked in a solution of formaldehyde, cyanide, urine, hydrogen peroxide, nitroglycerin, hemlock, mercury, arsenic, DDT, TNT, depleted uranium, extra high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and artificial colors.
This potpourri of random crap mixed with tobacco became widely popular among early 20th century hipsters as the practice of smoking was not yet mainstream.
There are at least 4,000 chemicals in a cigarette, with a maximum of 4,001. The best-known of these is nicotine, but also present are formaldehyde, ethylene, toluene, naphthalene, dimethyl sulfoxide, potassium cyanide, lysergic acid diethylamide, super celery, vinegar, sodium bicarbonate, psilocybin, carbon monoxide, tar, TNT, hydrogen gas, tobacco, red 27, yelloe 5, Boeing 747, elemental sodium, Istanbul (but not Constantinople), and pure unadulterated flavor.
The most immediate effect of these chemicals on the smoker is to cause mild feelings of relaxation, euphoria, tension, and nausea. However, you can be assured that, behind the scenes, they're fucking your shit up. Not only do they have unusual and subtle effects, but prolonged smoking can cause mutagenic effects on your DNA. This will most likely turn you into a mutant. And not a cool mutant, like Wolverine, either: think more along the lines of the Toxic Crusader.
edit Compulsive tipping
Those who smoke a pack a day or more often succumb to compulsive tipping, leaving gratuities of 30% or more. Only a civilly worthless cheapskate dork could not appreciate that. In one case study, a three-pack-a-day smoker actually ordered a club sandwich and left the waitress the keys to his Jeep. Researchers have not been able to adequately characterize the specific synergistic effects of the chemicals in tobacco smoke that cause this behavioral change.
Common wisdom for centuries held that the tendency toward cow tipping was the reason that smokers were perceived as cool and non-smokers were perceived as douche bags. However, this common wisdom was recently shattered when mathematicians conclusively proved that smokers are cool and non-smokers are douche bags.
Cigarettes have long been known to make you cool - cool like The Fonz. White House scientists hypothesize that the elemental sodium in cigarettes combines with free chlorine ions in the body, causing an endothermic reaction that lowers the core body temperature by seven degrees. This makes you as cool as a cucumber.
Being cool has some beneficial effects. For example, immediately after smoking a cigarette, it is often possible to turn on a jukebox on simply by hitting it with your fist. Also, if you should find yourself in a hostage situation with a gun pointed at your head, you will be more likely to make sarcastic wisecracks; although this will infuriate the gunman, research shows that people who make sarcastic quips during hostage situations are unlikely to be shot. They're just too cool.
Nazis were the first to suggest smoking was linked to cancer. They used this information to their advantage by filling gas chambers with tobacco smoke to slowly try to give Jews cancer from 1940 to 1945. In fact[Citation not needed at all; thank you very much], Adolf Hitler was so personally disgusted by smoking that he initiated the first and most successful anti-smoking campaign in the world.
After World War II, all traces of Nazi research into smoking, cancer, and Nazi hover tanks were lost. It was not until a decade later, after such innovations as cigarettes with asbestos filters, that a link to cancer was theorized by American scientists. Many were shocked at the assertion that breathing in smoke is not as good for you as it tastes.
This "discovery" was believed by governments across the world who have enacted policies to make smoking less enjoyable than it already is. When it was discovered that most smokers were literate, the government mandated that cigarette packs come with labels warning of their harmfulness to pregnant women and people with lungs. When it was discovered that people enjoyed smoking while doing just about anything in public, some governments found it necessary to ban smoking while doing anything in public. The state of Iowa, where gay marriage is legal, is particularly oppressive of smokers -- a person may marry a fag in Iowa but they can't smoke one. Places where smoking is commonly but senselessly banned include elementary schools, hospital maternity wards, and dynamite factories.
Additionally, some guys in California have posited a link between the chemicals in 365,000 - 1,000,000 cigarettes and cancer. But the jury's still out on this one; maybe one day we'll know for sure whether cancer and cigarettes are related in any way.
edit Negative calories
Tobacco is a food stuff of negative caloric impact (it takes more calories to smoke and digest than you consume), cigarettes exhaust 200 calories per day from the typical smoker. You're losing weight, looking cool, and getting your daily health portion of vegetables.
Smoking is the only known cure for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and some minor forms of dementia, because smoking kills you before you ever get them.
It is also a great way to rid oneself of lungs, which are a known component of lung cancer. Many studies have also found that smokers have a 70% higher rate of lung cancer survival. In fact, a medical university in Moscow, Russia has been researching ways to cure cancer through the inhalation of tobacco smoke, but thus far they have been unsuccessful.
Tobacco also gives people an excuse for social interaction. For example, one may use the phrase "can I bum a cigarette?" in order to play on your recent pattern of selfless giving in order to set you up for the second question, "Hey, you didn't notice when we slipped a bit of that new pneumonia-causing pathogen in your pouch of tobacco when you were staring at the loud distraction we created across the hall for 3.78 seconds?" And then the natural followup: "Well, fuck you anyways buddy. You're just hacking and wheezing 'cuz you are a smoker, I'm gettin' tired of conducting these experiments anyways 'cuz you never die or seem to suffer." And that is how tobacco facilitates new and meaningful conversations in the modern and progressive world.
Tobacco also helps you waste time. For instance, when you are downloading a zip file of kiddie porn you purchased from an unnamed offshore source, one full cigarette is about the time it takes to download the necessary files via your AOL instant messenger.
Smoking is an undeniably crucial part of the success of Western society. Social smokers have for years been smoking for the benefit of those around them. Their thoughtful provision of carcinogens and other pollutants has warmed up many bars and pubs in the winter for the benefit of the general community.
Countries which are still developing have more smokers than countries which are already developed. This implies that many would rather die of lung cancer than live in places like Moldova or Sudan.
- ↑ Smokers to be encouraged by "smoking is cool" picture
- ↑ That is, a cucumber that is seven degrees cooler than the average human.
- ↑ UK pub smoking ban going as smoothly as might be expected