Our generation has been pounded with anti-drug, anti-smoking rhetoric for as long as we can remember. My first exposure was in Kindergarten, when my teacher put in a VHS about "Just saying no" and then went outside for a Virginia Slim. Signals have been mixed ever since. Sure, cigarettes might give me lung cancer, but they also look so cool! From James Dean to Don Draper, asking for a light has been shorthand for, "I'm awesome, and by the way, let's get out of these clothes."
My mom's high school had a smoking lounge. My high school had a half-concealed stoop where we hid out so teachers on lunch breaks wouldn't see us in our uniforms. And then I got to Dartmouth, where it became impossible to find a cigarette to bum, a match to light or a crowd who wouldn't stare down a smoker. I was intrigued. We're all in college, we're supposed to think nothing can kill us. And yet, many are the stories of cigarettes being ripped out of mouths and stomped on, all to the tune of, "That'll kill you, ya know." Well, so will binge drinking. "I was so blacked out last night" is shouted across Collis so much it might be mistaken as a particular Dartmouthian way of saying, "Hello." So I decided to use the power vested in me as Mirror Editor (so, not a lot) to investigate this pressing issue. Next week we'll cover what breed of dog the Obamas should bring to the White House, based solely on cuteness and potential for change.