You Cannot Be Serious

It was in 1964 that the first Surgeon General’s report on smoking was published. Called Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service, this report recognized the proven link between smoking and lung cancer.

So we’ve had over 50 years to learn about the negative health effects of smoking. Is there anyone not aware of such effects?

That’s why the headline in today’s Wall Street Journal was so surprising:

Cigarette Sales Rose in 2020 for First Time in 20 Years


Now I know the past year has been a challenging one for many people, but starting or increasing the amount you smoke seems like a poor decision to make in the middle of a pandemic. Particularly when the pandemic is one that could potentially affect your respiratory system. If anything, you would think that cigarette smoking would have decreased during such a crisis.

I guess it proves once again that people are not rational, and I am sure the tobacco companies are grateful for that.

But let’s close on a happier note.

Who can forget this classic moment from Wimbledon:

*image from Twitter


62 thoughts on “You Cannot Be Serious

  1. In my country. The income from cigarettes is staggering. Although some reports of cigarette companies say they continue to experience a decline in sales.

    But I think it’s just a trick to get them out of the big taxes.

    In reality, cigarette sales continue to increase. Directly proportional to the health problems caused by smoking. Including lung cancer.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. John McEnroe acted like a brat on the court, but he was a heck of a player. He’s an engaging interview and a good tennis analyst these days.

    Stress seems to lead to poor decisions. Think of all of the other things people do when the evidence is clear that they shouldn’t. Drinking and driving come to mind, and that can affect plenty of innocent people.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m not sure even a cigarette would have calmed McEnroe down.

      And it is nice to know that cigarette smoking has declined, but I’m always stunned when a young person starts smoking…


  3. I’ve never understood smoking. I’m all for legalizing drugs, but I wouldn’t mind if cigarettes were illegal, as second-hand smoke can be lethal. When someone lights up, I just want to holler in their face, “You cannot be serious!”

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Like Pete said, stress can lead to awful decisions! Lots of people don’t think rationally when dealing with stress. Just need to find better coping methods, because one thing that this world is always going to have is stress, unfortunately!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. i attribute it to people feeling overstressed and out of sorts from whatever situation they found themselves in with the pandemic, politics, or who knows what- or just being stupid

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This rise in sales may be representative of more people being home or working from home where corporate smoke-free policies do not exist. Most can handle a few hours between cigarette breaks in the office, but on the weekends they are not so curtailed. I agree the data seems counter-intuitive, but so much does these days!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. that’s true, all that working from home probably made it easier to get ina few moew cigarettes during the day; hopefully the novelty will wear off and they can cut back on the extra smoking…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m certain I read a study on people who’d survived a heart attack making little/no behaviour changes – though I’m having trouble finding it, so my thoughts can be dismissed as theory but…

    I think there is an element of ‘it won’t happen to me because… I do it in moderation / my grandma smoked 40 a day and lived till she was 83’ etc.

    I also think people do a cost/benefit justification in their head ‘I know this is bad, but it gives me pleasure and reduces stress…’

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Benefitting from technology all these years later, that serve was clearly out. I started vandalizing my mother’s cigarettes by the time I was seven. She quit by the early seventies, the reports coming out were so clear. I’ve never understood the allure of cigarettes, and believe me, I’ve had plenty of unhealthy addictions. But this one makes zero sense. A vile habit, no better than spitting.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I wonder if this rise is attributed to new people smoking or to smokers smoking more. I would suspect the latter since being at home you have less restrictions on how much and where you can smoke. So with this in mind, no new stupidity, just more of the same ones.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Like others, I guess this was more likely to be people trying to kill themselves more quickly at home than people taking up the habit. Time to be alone with that Strand again!

    That McEnroe outburst was so typical of him. We were there the first year he played Wimbledon, and were walking from Centre to No.1 courts while he was playing – he could be heard from the walkway!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I would love to attend a tennis match at either Wimbledon or the U.S. Open. McEnroe was one of the few American players I rooted against because his behavior was so boorish.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ve never been to the States but have been to Wimbledon many times over the years. It’s a magical place and I’ve seen some great matches there, going back to the days of Borg, Nastase, Connors, McEnroe and many others. McEnroe did tend to divide opinion, didn’t he!

        Liked by 2 people

    2. I agree; it is likely existing smokers increasing their intake.

      and I usually like cocky athletes – like Muhammad Ali and Jimmy Connors, but something about McEnroe just turned me off. He was a great player and he seems to be doing a good job as an analyst

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There’s a distinction for me between cocky and big headed. I think both you mention were the latter, but I agree McEnroe is doing a fair job as a pundit. If only his voice wasn’t so nauseating!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. That is concerning – I wonder what the stats are on healthier activities. Are people exercising more as a whole as well? Stress is funny – it can have such a varied effect on different people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. that’s a great point; I think COVID did cause more people to try and get outside and do things, but you’re right, some people seemed to go in the opposite direction and increase their smoking…

      Liked by 1 person

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