Taking a cigarette, coffin nail, cigar, cigarello, pipe, joint, doobie, blunt, Churchill, cancer stick, smokey treat, j, puffer, cig, fag, beedie, or briar and igniting one end and sucking at the other, inhaling the smoke into your lungs to recieve a dose of which ever drug happens to be residing in the substance witch was lit.

I'm an apparent Mormon. I've never smoked, drank, or done any kind of synthetic neurotransmitter/facilitator/stimulant stronger than caffeine. I know people who smoke. I'm even friends with a few of them. I have little trouble with smokers, or what they do.

My beef is with the people that make cigarettes. Oh, sure, you claim they're not addictive. I don't care about that. What I do care about is the smell.

All it takes is one. After that, the old, stale smell has permeated into everything, making it a house of memory; old subways with odd memories of my grandparents, the skin on their hands smooth, wrinkly, always contrasting.

If they make a cigarette that's odorless, and no impediment to respiration...

". . .they had left some of it and it had grown, it had come back, it had laid eggs, was stowed away, was stuck to the side of the spaceship. She had seemed good for a while, had done the chemo, had gotten the wigs, and then her hair had grown back - darker, more brittle. But six months later she began to have pain again. . . they had opened her up - a phrase they used - and had a look inside, it was staring out at them, at the doctors, like a thousand writhing worms under a rock, swarming, shimmering, wet and oily - Good God! - or maybe not like worms but like a million little podules, each a tiny city of cancer, each with an unruly, sprawling, enviromentally careless citizenry with no zoning laws whatsoever. When the doctors opened her up , and suddenly there was light thrown upon the world of cancer podules, they were annoyed at the disturbance and defiant. Turn off. The fucking. Lights. They glared at the doctor, each podule, though a city unto itself, having one single eye, one blind evil eye in the middle, which stared imperiously, as only a blind eye can do, out at the doctor."

Dave Eggers from A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius


There is no denying that certain personality attributes either encourage people to smoke a certain brand of cigarrette, or are attained after smoking a particular brand for a lengthy period of time. Either way, the following can be assumed about smokers of these particular brands:

BENSONS: The B&H smoker thinks himself to be, or maybe even is, rather suave and sophisticated. His beverage of choice will almost certainly be Stella, as the thought of something being 'reassuringly expensive' makes him salivate. He will be quick to demonstrate his naturally generous side, so crashing fags is a definite option.

MARLBORO REDS: This breed of smoker will have lungs of pure asbestos; make no mistake, he can smoke, and is likely to take somewhere around the region 4 seconds to finish a fag. This skill inevitably wins him a lot of respect of his peers and thus he will be the 'Don' in his particular social circle, often leading him to become overtly gregarious.

MARLBORO LIGHTS: These boys could be smoking purely to make themselves look cool, hardened smokers trying to quit or may simply love the thought of getting silicone in their lungs from this brand's dubious filters. They will often be seen in trendy clubs, frugging relentlessly to the latest hip-hop 'soundz'. They ARE cool. Ask them.

ROYALS: For these fellows, less definitely is not more. Lured by the extra 4 ciggies per pack, they are often accused of having eyes bigger than their lungs. In contrast with the Benson smoker, the chances of crashing a fag here are negative, as invariably they will drain your own supply at an alarming rate. A modern Northern term for such individuals is a 'scrubber'.

DORCHESTERS: Has there ever been a Dorchester smoker under the age of 75? I don't think so. If a life of smoking doesn't kill you, this is what you'll be purchasing from your local newsagents in the pouring rain when you are old. Whilst picking up your pension.

SUPERKINGS (any brand): Favoured by those who really do hate spending money, or just love to have long, cylindrical objects in their mouth all of the time. Are very similar to the Royals smokers, but are even more shameless.

MAYFAIRS: Quite simply, Mayfair smokers are masochists. Smoking such abominations is equivalent to eating your own shit. They ARE cheap though.

EMBASSY No.1s: The favoured brand of people who like to regard themselves as hard. They tend to be able to take enormous amounts of alcohol, an ability obtained by spending many years and many thousands of pounds in seedy pubs. They are usually from the Northern regions of England. They shun the puny insignificance of the Embassy Filter sister brand. Will always be up for testing themselves to both their physical and mental limits.

Of course, there are other brands of fags. Several of them in fact. Unfortunately, concrete evidence has not been provided to make them relevant to this particular topic, but hopefully it will be in the future.

A method of cooking by which food (usually meat) is exposed for an extended period of time to smoke.

There are basically two types of smoking: cold smoking, and hot smoking. Cold smoking is using low temperature over a very long time (days). Moisture is removed from the food, and thus the food is preserved. However, it is not truly cooked. Bacon is typically cold smoked--you still have to throw it in that cast iron skillet to make it suitable to go along side eggs.

Hot smoking, on the other hand, goes significantly faster(hours), and involves a higher temperature. The food is cooked, though it is not necessarily preserved (make sure you have your refrigerator ready). Salmon is usually hot smoked.

In both cases, a cure is applied to the meat. It is put in a chamber where it is exposed to the smoke. In the case of hot smoking, the smoke source is basically in the same chamber as the food being smoked. Cold smoking, on the other hand, has one chamber for smoke, some ducts to allow the smoke to cool, and another chamber for the food (connected by the duct).

In either case, hard wood is allowed to smolder, producing the smoke. Though the type of wood can introduce flavor, it typically takes six hours for such difference to be realized in the food.

When it comes to cooking, my mom and Alton Brown really taught me everything I know. This writeup is all Alton.

This isn't a long writeup, because I don't have much to say. But I feel that what I do have is important, so here it is.

I've seen too many people who have been majorly fucked over by smoking. A lot of them are really close friends of mine IRL.

But sure, I've tried it. I wouldn't be in a perfect position to criticise it if I hadn't. Don't knock it until you've tried it may well be a sentence of great wisdom, but I've tried it, and fuck yeah am I going to knock it. I've seen my best friends need a smoke so bad that they are picking up fag ends. It's the worst thing I've seen them do - I usually look up to all of them, but seeing the weakness they all had really scared me. I had tried it and not liked it before then, but my decision was only reaffirmed. I could have been like them by now.

My stance on smoking is nearly the same as my stance on dance music - I hate it, but I don't hate those that enjoy it. I spend most of my time outside my house in the company of people who kill themselves very slowly on a regular basis. It's their choice - or so they say. But when you have to pick up something someone has stepped on, and put it in your mouth, it's not your choice anymore. And they are all 15 or 16 years old. I have frankly no idea what sort of state they will be in by the age of 20, 30, 40, or if they will even make it.

That was macabre, wasn't it?

But it's true. A teacher once told me that cigarettes are the one of the only things you can buy that kill you when used in the way they are intended to be used. It's stayed with me ever since, and stopped me more than a few times, when I've been offered one. Why? Does a nicotine rush suddenly make you want to recruit new smokers? Does it make you so compassionate that all you can think of is "Hey, look - one of my friends isn't smoking! We'll soon have that sorted out..."? As much as I enjoy the wonderfulness of free things, free death is not quite so well received by yours truly.

So go and smoke. But I've seen the state of my grandmother after she smoked most of her life. I've seen my friends after they have been smoking - some for only about a year, but it's affecting them just as bad. I fear for my friends. I don't want them to die early. But they will.

Everything Quests - Smoking

(it's just my thoughts, confessions if you like)

Friend of a smoker

Smoking... I never smoked, not even a single cigarette. For most of my life I always hated any connotation to this "activity". I simply couldn't find anything good in it.

But then the situation changed... a very close friend of mine is a smoker -- she smokes about half a pack a day, so one can say she is hooked. From the moment I met her, I really didn't thought about that, but after awhile, when she started to become the closest person in my life, I realized that she is dying faster than me (1 cigarette = 5-7 minutes of her life) -- so I started to read everything I could find about tobacco, nicotine, its addiction (for me nicotine is as bad as heroin or cocaine). I may say I became quite obsessed with this thought - I became depressed, anxious about how many fags did she smoke, talking about it far too often etc.

Each time I think I take it too serious (she's a big girl after all, she can think and decide for herself), I can see her - dying of cancer far too early, when there are so many beautiful things we can do together. That scares the shit out of me. She wants to quit, but it really hurts me when I see her craving for a smoke... I don't want to be a friend who tells you what you actually need to do. I really respect her, and I want to take her as she is, not as I would like her to be.

So, smoking no cigarettes, I'm still a slave of smoking - her smoking. Paradox? I love her too much to leave her alone with it.

Couple of months later the situation is somewhat different. I had my first Camel in my life. I wanted to know what it's like before I can speak about it... and after this my worries abouth her are even bigger. Image of her, still in her pyjamas, smoking her first cigarette that morning on balcony, on the mountain trip, still lingers in my mind... Sometimes I really want start smoking, to make her feel bad about getting me into this (who knows, maybe she would quit after seeing what she's done?) but that would be even more stupid. It's my life, after all.

Everything Quests - Smoking

I've taken up smoking. Why, you ask, would I do something so stupid? The short answer is: because I am a very stupid person.

Sometimes I need an edge, that's why. Sometimes, caffeine and sugar just aren't enough. Because sometimes lives depend on my alertness, my vigilance, my ability to perform.

Lung cancer seems like a very distant threat compared to the anti-tank mine that hit the vehicle in front of ours last night, blowing off two of its wheels and cracking its hull. It left a crater five feet deep and eight feet wide. I chain-smoked seven cigarettes, not because I was particularly rattled, but because it seemed like a thing to do. No one was hurt too badly; a broken ankle here, a sprained wrist there, a couple of brain contusions perhaps. Inexpensive Purple Hearts, compared to the guy in Red Platoon who took shrapnel from an IED to the face, that took his ear nearly clean off, and lodged in his sinus cavity and brain. Even he's going to be ok, though.

I turned 23 the other day. To celebrate, I smoked a couple of cigarettes and, from atop the Haditha Dam, watched distant lightning across the reservoir, with the sound of lapping water in my ears.

I watched the stars come out for a while, savoring it because we were standing by for another mission.

I looked up at Polaris, the North Star, whose significance became clear to me on that final night of the Desert Survival Course a few months back, when, separated from the guy with the GPS unit, I discovered I could navigate by looking to the sky.

Since that night, I've been trying to learn constellations. The Big and Little Dippers are easy, and familiar from childhood. There, in the same neighborhood are what I think of as the Clash of the Titans constellations (you remember that old movie with the claymation Medusa and the clockwork owl). That misshapen 'M' is the Queen, Cassiopeia, and next to her, the King, Cephus. Their daughter, Andromeda, whom they sacrificed to the sea monster, and the Hero, Perseus, flying in atop Pegasus to save her.

In some of the constellations, you can actually kind of make out what the Greeks saw. Pegasus' torso, for example, and his head and forelegs. Orion with his belt, sheathed dagger hanging, his shield ready in front of him and his spear arm reaching back, poised for the kill.

Babylon's not far from here, it occurs to me, and these were the stars those Babylonians sought to reach with their tower. What would they think of this dam, I wonder, as overtly defiant of nature as it is? Really, the dam impresses even me. And it affords quite a view. The reservoir is big enough that at night I can pretend it's the ocean, or I can walk to the other side and look for patrol boats on the Euphrates, stretching away ten stories below.

Being here conjures up all kinds of weird images. I see boys tending their flocks and I think of a young David, or Daoud as he's known here, with his harp and his sling, keeping his bearings at night, perhaps, by this celestial panorama. Maybe had the the Exodus generation of Hebrews learned their stars better, they wouldn't have had to wander the desert for forty years, chasing around a pillar of fire.

The water reminds me of home and sometimes I am terribly lonely and homesick. Sometimes I just hate this country, and all its stupid people. Sometimes I completely fail to connect on any level with my fellow Marines. Sometimes I am exhausted, physically and mentally, and I am conscious and ambulatory only because of all the caffeine and nicotine coursing through my bloodstream.

At times like this, my bones vibrating and my mind numb, it's all I can do to remember why I am here. I try to imagine my friends' and family's faces, and hope for their safety.

Sometimes I turn to the North and find Draco, the Dragon, curving out from between the two Dippers. I breathe smoke as if I, too, am a dragon, and I beg him to deliver a message to the other side of the world for me.

If you ever find yourself outside on a clear, moonless night, glance Northward, look for that arching figure, and know that out of his gaping maw spew forth all my best wishes.

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Smok"ing, a. & n.

from Smoke.

Smoking bean Bot., the long pod of the catalpa, or Indian-bean tree, often smoked by boys as a substitute for cigars. -- Smoking car, a railway car carriage reserved for the use of passengers who smoke tobacco.


© Webster 1913.

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