Shameful vices versus “shameful” vices

Here are some vices that are socially acceptable:

Pouring all your data and attention into privacy-eroding, mental-health-warping social media platforms.

Binging on junk food.

Watching entire seasons of TV shows in one sitting.

Video games.

Alcohol, to a point.

Adult entertainment.

Do any of this and it’s fine. You’re doing it in moderation. You’re blowing off steam. It’s something you deserve after a long day or week or whatever.

Compare that to smoking, which most folks will turn their noses up at you for doing.

It’s a disgusting, filthy habit, after all.

I mean, is someone who smokes but stays away from social media and the news really worse off than the other way around?

Maybe, maybe not.

But some of those things are ‘normal’ while some aren’t.

It might not be fair – especially because, a few decades ago, smoking was one of the normal vices.

It doesn’t matter. Nor does it matter how deep this hypocrisy goes. Eat burgers every day? That’s not great, but whatever. Smoke? Well, you must be some sort of loser with no willpower.

If you have the strength of character to not care what others think – ever – that’s impressive. But what others think has real-world implications. Show up to a date or a job interview reeking of cigarette smoke does you no favours.

Folks judge you for smoking – yes, even for vaping – whether or not it’s right for them to do so.

Your choices?

Ignore them and keep paying the cost of being less influential, less attractive and less respected by most folks you meet.

Or quit.

Quitting is the smarter move, especially when you factor in the financial and health benefits too.

I’m not saying you should always capitulate and go with what the mob thinks is right. After all, the mob is nuts. But it pays to choose your battles and, really, is this what you want to defend? There are bigger, more important issues that need you to fight.

So learn how to quit now. It might take a session or a few. You pay the same amount either way.

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