Originally Posted by James81
Why on EARTH people choose smoking as their "patsy" is beyond me.
A couple of reasons, I think: First, although I understand you may not see it this way, smoking occurs as such an egregiously harmful agent, causing cancers, premature aging, respiratory and cardiac problems, etc., that it shows up as bold self-destruction. Many of us have personally witnessed loved ones dying of lung cancer (a very suffery kind of death) or emphysema, or just seeing the skin of someone who has smoked for a few years - yichhh, and actively doing something that occurs as causing those things can make a person look pretty stupid to a person for whom health and vitality are values, and then on top of that, smoking is invasive into the lives of nonsmokers -- it's pretty yucky to breathe in second-hand smoke without having any choice in the matter but to leave, or even have to smell the fairly disgusting smell on people's breath or clothing. Food choices don't tend to infringe on other people's space as much. (Perfume does, though -- that can get pretty gross.) Also, to an anti-smoker, the manipulation for profit by tobacco companies is pretty disgusting, along with the willingness of smokers to dramatically compromise their health and pay lots of money for the privilege of doing so.
So the feeling of resentment towards smokers and the disgust at the manipulation done by tobacco companies, added to what looks like extremely self-destructive behavior, is what makes smoking the patsy.