This article is from 2013, disclaimer:
Anti-smoking campaigners have reacted with anger to news that sales of Lucky Strike cigarettes have jumped from 23bn in 2007 to 33bn in 2012 – after being featured on hit US drama Mad Men.
The show charts the ups and downs of New York ad agency Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and their client Lucky Strike, without shying away from the hard drinking cigarette puffing lifestyle of the period.
Lead character Don Draper is depicted as a chain smoker with a cigarette invariably in hand on screen.
Why am I writing about cigarette stats from 2013? Because I'm currently rewatching Mad Med for the 7th time, and last night the same thing happened to me that always happens when I watch Mad Men - I considered going out and buying a pack of real cigarettes. I used to smoke occasionally (socially, when I drank, so...pretty much all the time) and while I was I was never hardcore addicted smoking cigs at 7am hanging out of my window, after I quit the Juul (RIP) i get a craving for a real cigarette every once in a while. Sure, they're gross, but they're so fucking cool. I always thought it was just me, idolizing a man on TV who let his vices control him. Turns out, MANY people decided to pick up smoking, too.
Dr Penny Woods, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: "It's long been suspected that many people start smoking because they consider it 'cool'. It is possible that programmes like Mad Men, where successful men in sharp suits chain smoke throughout the programme, are playing a part in maintaining that image.
"Over the last decade, measures such as the smoking ban and the ban on tobacco advertising have helped cut the number of young people smoking in the UK.
"It would be deeply distressing if the glamorisation of smoking on TV was counteracting any of these achievements.”
Oh, it'd be a shame if smoking was glamorized? Who would ever think to do such a thing?
Yea, Dr Penny Woods, smoking is cool. People see Don Draper pulling on a Lucky Strike every 15 minutes, and they run to the store for their own pack, throw on a suit and some 60s aviators in the hopes that they too, will look cool. It's the same way that I scroll through instagram, and I see Kendall Jenner wearing 4 inches of fabric over her vagina at the beach, so I buy the same outfit in hopes that I will look like her. No one ever looks like the person they're emulating, but we all try. Cigarettes are no exception.
It's all fun and games of course until your fingernails and sides of your fingers are permanently stained yellow, your breath is NEVER as fresh as it should be, the wrinkles around your mouth start to get so deep that even a facelift won't help you. There's a reason people died young back in the Mad Men days, Don is literally considered an old man at like, 35. Maybe this is the key? We can all stop living so long if we start acting like Don? Lots to think about. I think I'll need a quick ciggy to ponder it fully.