Monday, April 30, 2018

Smoking, New Haven, 1960s

Photo by Salt Water New England

52 comments:

  1. Those chairs are "back in" now . LOL

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  2. So Cool! I started smoking because it was Cool, I was Cool. I quit because...oh, all those reasons but still, as I was working in my yard today...a car came by and from their window I got just a bit of that wonderful tobacco essence and decades were taken from my age. Oh, but how long has it been since I've seen anyone smoking in a setting where they looked Cool.

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    1. How true. It used to be, or seemed so, that smoking managed to make a person look sophisticated and even worldly. The woman in the photograph above certainly has that air about her. But it has been a long, long time since smoking helped one in that endeavor.

      Best Regards,

      Heinz-Ulrich

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    2. I picked up a smoking habit in college that followed me for 20+ years. I quit for good years ago but as mentioned, occasionally I get a whiff that takes me straight back to the pleasures of a Friday night cocktail and cigarette at the country club bar. An older English gentleman always had his lighter at the ready when pulled a cigarette out of my pack.

      I still have an engraved silver lighter, a gift for my 21st birthday. I wouldn’t know where to get fuel or flints for it anymore.

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  3. Wow! That could have been me. Dress, shoes, bag, hair style, cigarette. There were rules about smoking - must be sitting down, no dangling from mouth, not in public. So glad I quit.

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  4. Smoked a pipe from 1961 to 1994.
    Thoroughly enjoyed it.
    No health problems.
    Gave up smoking in 1994.
    Don’t regret doing so.

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  5. Smoking has become the thing people do in private, behind buildings, alone. A woman this perfectly put together would never be seen holding one today. It would be like carrying your trashcan with you everywhere. Unless you're in Europe, where evidently smoking does not cause cancer or if it does, no one cares... Somehow, doing it next to the Seine makes it chic. Doing it next to the dumpster less so.

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  6. my father died of a massive heart attack at 45. i was 17.
    my mother died of lung cancer at 51. i was 26.
    my husband died of esophagus cancer at 43. i was 33.
    i've had over 53 years of breathing heavy second hand smoke. first from my family then from working in offices where it lay in thick grey clouds above our heads. i have never personally smoked a day in my life. why would i need to? i breathed it continually all those years.
    i have heart problems now. Afib and two heart attacks. and an LAD stent.
    smoking doesn't seem cool to me at all. it really never did!

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    1. Sorry for your losses. Smoking is definitely not cool.

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  7. The 2007 Smoking ban in England was one of the best things to have happened in my lifetime.

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    1. The subject in the photo looks just like a very nice lady I once knew in Houston who had no visible means of support. When I asked her what she did besides relax at the pool and the racquet club looking glamorous, she told me she worked for NASA's 'protocol office'. Took me a while to figure that one out.

      Growing up in the age before no-smoking sections in restaurants and other public venues did more to steer me away from smoking than anything else. Where I live, when the tide started to turn in the 70s, it was public pressure more than city ordinances or government mandates that forced the businesses to accommodate non-smokers. Since the owners of most places smoked, when people started calling for segregation, they would set aside a tiny area in the very back so that you would have to run the gauntlet to get to the couple of tables that didn't offer much in the way of relief. Smokers at the time may not have believed this, but there was really no ill will towards them. Everybody had a loved one or five who smoked. Many of our local establishments held out until it just became too expensive to ignore the loss of revenue.

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  8. I was born in 1974 & don't remember when smoking was cool. In my memory, it's associated with low-class families whose children always smell.

    It looks to me like a cigarette was another version of Dumbo's Magic Feather: it didn't really do anything, but because people believed it was cool, they acted cool when they had one. This lady would look just as lovely & cool without the cigarette, but I wonder whether she could have achieved the detached, careless expression without the psychological prop of holding a cigarette.

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  9. Cigarette smoking never seemed "cool" to me, but let us not forget that pipe smoking was part of the Trad ethos/mystique, and as much a characteristic of the Ivy League professor as the tweed jacket. Both Brooks Brothers and LL Bean had their own brands of briar pipes and pipe tobaccos.

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  10. I've never aspired to be cool.

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  11. Oh look! I long, tired, deadly earnest treatise on the evils of smoking instead of a discussion of the elegance of the woman, the composition of the picture, or the variegations of social mores between then and now. Thank God. For a moment there, I thought we were in danger of having fun and enjoying it.

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    1. Right? I am sooooooo tired of the tedious "health" snobs who take every opportunity to virtue-signal; "Well, I! never." They come off like a cross between the school nurse and some tight-collared Aunt Euphonia.

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    2. To each their own. Though when one's habits affect the health of others, aye, there's the rub.

      -your dear Aunt Euphonia

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  12. Elegant and very attractive woman from a man's perspective.

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  13. How did she get her hair to form that perfect sphere??!

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    1. Preceded by setting on rollers, teasing, and brushing.

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    2. Yes, definitely Aquanet!

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    3. I met a girl once whose name was Aquanetta.no kidding.

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  14. May be that health and a long life are just a lucky draw. My grand mother smoked a pack a day along with drinking a bottle of scotch a week. She died just shy of her 108 birthday.Her sister was very much into living a healthy lifestyle. She never saw her 60th birthday.

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    1. You can also speed your whole life without ever crashing your car, but the risk is high.

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  15. Robert ReichardtMay 1, 2018 at 7:37 PM

    She looks like an Extra from “Madmen” waiting to be called into Don Draper’s office.

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  16. So relatively easy to stay skinny through middle age in those days when almost everyone smoked . . . HUGE piece of the picture NEVER mentioned when the bandwagon blares today about modern "obesity." I know PLENTY of people who wouldn't admit to smoking if they were waterboarded, but sneak a cig on the sly when their husbands aren't looking; helps maintain that gamine look! I say it's each person's own business which vices they choose to indulge. Best thing you can do for longevity is be born of the right set of parents! ;-)

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    1. I quit smoking in 1999.

      For me, longevity isn't as important as the quality of my life. Getting winded when walking upstairs, smelling terrible, spending money on cigarettes when I could have instead donated it to a good cause and living with the guilt of knowing I was abusing my body--those are the reasons I choose not to smoke.

      Also, I am fifty and not overweight not because I was born with a "thin" gene but because I work at it.

      From research I did back in 2010: "34% of women in America reported smoking in 1957 compared to 18% today, which represents a reduction by 16%, yet obesity among women in 2010 has increased by almost 44% since 1960."

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    2. @Averyl - I quit about the same year. Definitely helped with the temptation to graze, but the trade-offs were no longer worth it.

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    3. Why put obesity in quotation marks? Americans are among the fattest people in the world. There is, in fact, an obesity epidemic in the United States. That's a fact.

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    4. Whether or not obesity is an "epidemic" depends very much on whose metrics are being used to define it. The best meta-analyses to date show unequivocally and reproducibly that the lowest levels of morbidity and mortality (best health) is actually achieved by those with a "BMI" between 26 and 31--the "overweight" but not "obese" cohort. Which pretty much blows out of the water the need to mortify one's flesh with extreme food or exercise discipline to achieve anything below that except for reasons of vanity. Standards of "obesity" have, actually, always been subjective. They began with the Met Life tables in the 60's, succeeded by "BMI" which was invented by someone interested in population averages (not health) in 1835! Those arbitrary numbers were arbitrarily reduced (classifying millions of healthy, normal people as "overweight" or "obese" overnight!) around 2007.

      "BMI" is very well known to be unhelpful in categorizing athletes with high muscle mass, anyone past young adulthood, or really for most medical purposes. But it's GREAT for inflicting an unrealistic cultural expectation of appearance, particularly on women. The "beauty standard" since the 1950's has been getting more restrictive all the time, and now idealizes an often UNhealthy emaciation, genetically unattainable but all but natural ectomorphs. Those UNDERweight die before the OVERweight, and a lifetime of dieting may well be a factor. THAT'S a fact, and you can check it at the Cochrane Collaboration or just google Obesity Epidemic if you like. Also, to compare today's population averages with those of the early to mid 20th century is invalid--nutritional differences today AND most people no longer smoking change the parameters utterly.

      Nowadays when you read ANYTHING, especially about "health" or "the environment," it's best to ask yourself not just "Is this really true?" but "Who wants me to believe it IS, and why?" Cui bono!

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    5. You may want to check your facts on the BMI mortality curve.
      https://www.bmj.com/content/353/bmj.i2156

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  17. Can we agree that smoking doesn't increase longevity, and that it causes various health problems in many (albeit not all) people who smoke? Whether seeing a woman with a cigarette is a turn-on or turnoff I suppose is a matter of personal taste. For me, it was and remains a major turn-off. Back in my hunting-for-women-single days, many a time I saw an attractive woman across a room and considered approaching her until she pulled out a cigarette. The cigarette was an instant non-starter for me. Life is so much more pleasant and healthier since smoking was banned in virtually all public places (at least here in California), including many outdoor areas. As for the woman in the photo, the chair is cool (and back in style among mid-century modern afficionados), and the woman is well-put together, but the look of ennui on her face is itself a turnoff.

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  18. It took me several tries to quit smoking cigarettes, and I finally did, years ago. We did all kinds of things to curb the cravings: snapping an elastic band on my wrist (ooch!), "smoking" a cinnamon stick, and the "butt jar".

    The butt jar worked best for me. This was an old mayonnaise jar into which I dumped a few full ashtrays of used cigarettes and their ashes. I then added a few tablespoons of water. As you might imagine, it smelled disgusting. Every time I had a craving, I'd unscrew the lid and take a sniff. It didn't take long to finally give up cigarettes after that.

    Aiken

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    1. In the early years I used to hold my pen like a cigarette and flick imaginary ashes. However the thing that really worked for me was the group facilitator of the smoking cessation group from which I dropped out. They were trying to force Zyban on us and I wasn't in. She said: "You'll never quit smoking on your own." I'm still proving her wrong, not that she would have any recollection who I am. There are no bad reasons to quit! :)

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    2. That’s a great story. We never know how others will influence our behaviors. People who rub us the wrong way sometimes are a blessing in disguise.

      You were smart to avoid the drug. When I quit, I also tried a nicotine patch and Zyban, but it was called Wellbutrin then. There can be an adverse interaction between the nicotine patch and the medication that elevates blood pressure, which I experienced. Of course, the docs wanted to give me another med to control blood pressure. That’s when I quit the quit smoking program.

      I stopped about 20+ years ago. Five years ago, I was in a bar in Swansea, Wales and was trying to impress a woman I had just met. She was smoking a cigarette, so I casually took one from the pack and lit it. While attempting to perform my best suave impersonation, I became visibly repulsed at the disgusting taste of the cigarette. My suave composure fell apart in one puff! That was the last time I smoked a cigarette.

      Aiken

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  19. I think we can ALL agree that life was more FUN before the cultural-wide anxiety about "health" and "longevity" became an obsession imposed and programmed by the very industries that stand to profit. We LIVED a long time and rather better before we became the "worried well," neurotic about every meal, air and water and the moment-to-moment metrics of our own bodies. Or is "working at" biological perfection now the alpha and omega of "virtue?"

    The most absurd articles these days are touting "apps" considered indispensable for monitoring functions (are you thirsty? are you hungry? sleepy?) that our autonomic nervous system has taken care of quite nicely for millions of years!

    Read Barbara Ehrenreich's new book, "Natural Causes." She gets it RIGHT!

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    1. I don't drink, smoke or eat junk food and I'm having a blast!

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    2. Well, I'm no libertine, but I'm not willing to live the life of a monastic ascetic for the sake of "winning" an extra 15 minutes or two months at the tail end of old age, fighting bedsores and being sedated into compliance at some industrial gov't.-run nursing home.
      Which is where you might wind up if you manage to outlive your money!

      No statistics at this time show teetotalers or vegans or extreme-exercise buffs outliving anyone else. What they DO show with the utmost clarity is that socioeconomic status takes care of about 85% of the "mortal threat." Which means anyone reading this blog has very little to worry about!

      But if snarfing kale while burning that treadmill and telling everyone about it makes you feel righteous, knock yourself out I guess! ;-)

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    3. I am tired of the "Eat More Kale" bumper stickers in my morning commute. I am tired of feeling like buying the occasional junkie snack is the equivalent of buying drugs behind the 7-11. I don't want to spend my free time jumping up and down (the gym and exercise in general has only ever made me feel terrible while I'm doing it, and guilty when I'm not). I'm tired of the shame I feel at the check out line if I have nothing from the produce section that isn't exotic enough. However, I think that dying of lung cancer has got to be one of the most terrifying sensations. It would be one thing if you were just taking a few months, even years, off the tail end of your senile stage in life, but dying in my 50s from what amounts to a slow suffocation is not worth the fun of smoking. I don't drink, I don't smoke, and I don't kale.

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    4. "I don't drink, I don't smoke, and I don't kale."

      That needs to be a bumper sticker!

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    5. I detest gyms, I don't smoke, drink, or do kale. I don't think I do or not do anything to extreme, and I am of slender/normal weight without obsessing about it. I'm with Averyl--having a fine time and am grateful each day that I am vertical. I do, however, think that artificially sweetened things (especially sodas that people drink gallons of) are an abomination.

      Jacqueline

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    6. “I don't drink, smoke or eat junk food and I'm having a blast!” Me, too, Averyl. And life is certainly grand!

      Healthy eating, exercise, and prudent consumption isn’t really about longevity. That’s probably mostly determined by genetic makeup. Being able to enjoy whatever longevity you have is what it’s all about.

      Don’t like kale? Eat broccoli. Don’t like to go to the gym? Try playing tennis or volleyball, go swimming, cycle, or do some other ‘sporty’ thing you like. There is an abundance of workable options. Don’t blame lack of discipline on kale. It can’t hear you and doesn’t care, anyway.

      Aiken

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    7. "I am tired of the 'Eat More Kale' bumper stickers in my morning commute...I don't want to spend my free time jumping up and down (the gym and exercise in general has only ever made me feel terrible while I'm doing it...)" My goodness the life you lead. I'm impressed that the burden your first world sedentary American sloth problems don't crush you under their weight. You brave, brave soul, you.

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  20. I like that she is looking up and we can see her expression. She appears to be daydreaming...do people daydream anymore?

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    1. Daydream? As often as humanly possible. Walter Mitty and Billy Liar have nothing on me.

      Best Regards,

      Heinz-Ulrich

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    2. Do people daydream any more? Every day, many, many times a day. In fact, it's an epidemic.

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  21. Bored? Daydreaming? Thinking? Fast forward to today and the "smoke" is gone and she is looking down as she furiously stabs away at her iPhone.

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    1. The lady to me seems to be waiting for someone. Perhaps affecting boredom, while smoking to calm anxiety? Or just to pass the time. The difference between her and the iphone jockeys of today is that the phone people take themselves out of the scene they're in, to distract themselves elsewhere. This removes the very possibility of meeting new people, making new connections, learning something interesting about even a stranger's life. I used to have great conversations with fascinating strangers on Metro-North; now, everyone's in their own little world of "screen."

      Even out in front of my house, if I say "Good Morning!" to the double-earbud cyborgs with vacant gaze and genetically-attached phone; no answer, so I say "Or NOT!" and they don't hear that either. Sad!

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  22. Anonymous @ May 9, 2018 at 6:13 PM

    Maybe if you ate more kale your attitude would change.

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