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4 years ago by


“I’m vegan now.”

“I gave up dairy. And bread. Actually all carbs. oh, and sugar! … Let’s have a cigarette.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this. Someone is on a health kick, heck, they’re likely even becoming some sort of lifestyle expert and yet, they STILL smoke! If you can explain that to me I’d pay you $5. Just kidding, but seriously – what’s up with this?

How can you go on a diatribe about healthy living and eating, then make a case for smoking? Talk about blowing smoke! So tell me, is it true – can you be just as healthy with a cigarette in your mouth?


Add yours
  • New York Times article: No Such Thing as a Healthy Smoker. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/06/20/no-such-thing-as-a-healthy-smoker/?_r=0
    We found an antique rug for sale online this morning. Went to get it, and the owners were smokers. No sale. Then we went home, threw our clothes in the washing machine and showered (including shampoo). If you don’t smoke, you really smell it.

  • People pretending (even to themselves) that they want to be healthy when in reality being skinny is the real goal.

  • Haha you’re probably right!! Or maybe they are just following thing the latest healthy trend because it’s a “trend” and it makes them feel cool.

  • We all have that one thing we cant rectify. A bad habit that we cant quit. For me, its my closet.

  • You’re so right! My boyfriend is a personal trainer and he’s always hearing from his clients how they want to be more ‘healthy’ and then they proceed to list a whole lot of crazy and unhealthy goals they want to reach aka – being super skinny in no time at all by living on butter!

  • karacocoa October, 19 2016, 2:20


  • Nobody is perfect. Moi je mange des produits laitiers, du sucre, oui pas mal de sucre, mais je ne fume pas.

  • I think you can only understand if you were once a smoker and have dealt with addiction recovery. This sort of mental mind game is one we play on ourselves until we realize that this thought process is absolutely bonkers. It’s somewhat like the bargaining part of the grieving process, because we are in fact grieving a person (our former self) we don’t necessarily want to let go even though it’s best that we do. It’s this thinking: I’ll treat myself well in other ways if I can pick up every once in a while. And then “every once in a while” turns into every other day, then every day, then a couple times a day, etc.

    What seems obvious to those who aren’t addicted (you can smoke occasionally and not be addicted) or never smoked at all is not always obvious to someone in the thralls of addiction (I know that sounds dramatic, but it’s accurate.). It’s called many things, stinkin’ thinkin’ or just plain crazy. But really it’s just a skewed version of living that someone has accepted as their reality.

    I wouldn’t be too hard on these types of people–they at least acknowledge that health is important, and perhaps one day can make that hard step to not pick up again. It’s wholly another thing to be unapologetically smoking on a long term suicide plan. Be gentle to addicts! They smoke/snort/shoot up/gorge/starve/workout excessively for some reason. Doesn’t make it right, but what can you accomplish by being judgmental? That being said, it doesn’t mean you can’t have an opinion on the matter. But note: everyone has his or her own journey to make in recovery. Garance has written about this often. Reading about her journey has helped me with my recovery many times.

  • Well said!
    There can be many issues at play, however suggesting that unless a person is 100% healthy it’s not worth making any health/lifestyle improvements is really quite destructive. Statistically smoking is a more significant risk driver for chronic disease than meat or sugar, but that doesn’t mean that someone should be judged or discouraged from making the changes that they’re able to.

  • I liked reading your perspective.

  • Who shall I invoice for my $5?

  • Christine October, 17 2016, 4:53 / Reply

    Former smoker here. It is insanely hard to quit! I totally went through a phase where I thought I could be healthy in every other aspect of my lifestyle and still smoke, like it was my one allowable vice. Obviously, that was dumb, but it was better to pretend than the think about the fact that I was slowly killing myself with social smoking.

  • Not a smoker but... October, 17 2016, 5:42 / Reply
  • I see your point, Garance. However, eating healthier can be the first step of a longer process that includes quitting smoking…that at least was for me…I was not planning it at first, but I just gradually realised that it was not making any sense to focus on being healthy and smoke at the same time…

  • Genevieve October, 17 2016, 8:12 / Reply

    I agree with others–it seems to have something to do with addiction, and something to do with the fact that many women’s “health” concerns are primarily centered around the desire to be thin. Or anyway, the wish to be thin trumps the concern for health.

  • Maryanne October, 17 2016, 9:50 / Reply

    It’s absolutely hilarious as I know many people like this..

  • Smoking is one of the worst things we can do to our bodies but it’s so hard to quit. Your post reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend about how she was vegan because she just couldn’t justify the cruelty to animals and she went on to criticize everyone who eats meat. This conversation occurred while we sat on her big leather couches and she wore leather slippers. We all like to take a “holier than thou” attitude towards our health and values but the reality is we have to just do the best we can and what our conscience allows.

  • Ahh, this is a pet peeve of mine–I have no problem with wearing leather or eating meat, but people don’t seem to understand the hypocrisy of getting worked up about one aspect of the industry while supporting another. (Example–tons of people I know get sad about Uggs/shearling because it comes from sheep, while wearing cow-leather shoes or carrying cow-leather bags. Or frown upon eating rabbit, while eating chicken and steak regularly.) I think this, and the cigarette issue, boils down to: people are complicated, and sometimes what we believe/feel doesn’t align with how we actually act.

  • Eating everything in a right quantity and smoking sometimes is not a sin ! It’s like drinking a glass of champagne and a cocktail the same evening ! Stop with all this deprivation and enjoy life.

  • Ai-Ch'ng October, 18 2016, 2:08 / Reply

    I think what may get to some people about the ones who go vegan and smoke, is that it feels like a smoker invades others’ health space literally with the smoke from their cigarettes… whereas someone who goes vegan but is a mad online shopper, or can’t stop painting their fingernails every fortnight is seen as “healthy”, because their “vice” isn’t encroaching on others’ oxygen space and making others “unhealthy” the way smoke from cigarettes seems to do.

    There are people I know who are vegan, work-out regularly, do community service, have never ever smoked, and have the occasional glass of wine… but inspire of their incredible dedication to their external health, they aren’t the kindest at all to their immediate family members and are in fact rather unpleasant to be around… I find these kinds of people incredibly stressful and un-healthy (to be around!).

    Conversely (you know what’s coming up), there are meat-eaters who are smokers, and who are truly the kindest, most generous people I have ever met, who will go out of their way to extraordinary and unexpected lengths to help you… and being on the receiving end of the kindness of these people makes you think they are the best thing since sliced bread.

    I think of it the same way that one of your previous posters said: “who of us is flawless anyway?”, and “everyone has their own life path, so let’s be understanding of – and kind to – them, because…” again… “who of us is flawless anyway?” :-)

    One of the truest measures of health is less about what we say we feel and what we say we do, than we what we really do for others.

  • Mon copain est fumeur et c’est un parano du soleil (genre flippé du cancer de la peau…)
    les fumeurs n’ont aucune logique;-)

  • This is so Italian! Italians are obsessed with having clean air, water and food… and then smoke like crazy :)

  • Il ne faut pas confondre alimentation saine et… sainteté ! Ce n’est pas parce qu’on sait que c’est mauvais que l’on arrête de fumer ( ou de boire, ou de finir le chocolat, ou de prendre l’ascenseur plutôt que l’escalier…) – si c’était si simple, personne ne commencerait jamais. L’humain est fait de paradoxes et de contradictions. Et chacun fait de son mieux…je reprends avec Lavieenrouge : nobody’s perfect !

  • DELPHINE October, 18 2016, 4:33 / Reply

    aren’t people entitled to contradictions? wouldn’t it be super sad if people fully lived by one single principle?
    i believe that whatever step you take towards being healthy is positive, and that everything is a matter of balance: like eating mostly healthily in order to not feel guilty when having a whole pizza with wine

  • Haha ! J’ai tellement de potes comme ça !! La dernière en date mes amies m’expliquent qu’ils arrêtent le jambon blanc à cause des nitrites de sodium car c’est cancérigène, tout ce bel argumentaire une cigarette à la main… J’ai bien rigolé, la contradiction nous rend humain non ?

  • muswellmummy October, 18 2016, 7:33 / Reply

    Much of the current ‘elimination’ dieting (carbs, meat, dairy, etc) is really another way of controlling one’s life. I know lots of young people and among girls, it is very common. It allows them to obsess about food, but appear to be healthy/care about the planet. I’m not saying that real vegans/vegetarians don’t care about the planet, but excessively drawing attention to one’s needs and wants via food is a desperate cry for help/attention. I recently went to a day-long vegetarian Italian cooking course in London (out of curiosity and to get ideas, I’m not a vegetarian) and it was full of, sad to say, mostly women going on about how they don’t eat starch, dairy, meat, fat, etc. One of them had children and I asked her if she knew that we need a certain amount of fat for our brains to be healthy? She looked at me very strangely and said, ‘Oh in our family no one wants to eat any fat’. I can only hope that her children don’t suffer from malnourishment. In the old days, if you had a dinner party you’d just ask if anyone had an allergy to something and people ate what they were given. Now it’s not ‘I can’t eat’, but ‘I don’t eat’….

  • Sabine Glascowe October, 18 2016, 8:47 / Reply

    I meet more and more occasional smokers and I am one of those myself. Occasionally, usually socially, I get the urge. Most of the time I get half way through and start to feel light headed and a bit sick and I won’t have another. I have gone through phases where stepping out into the garden for 5 minutes peace to think and recharge has been facilitated by a cigarette. However, the older I get the less I smoke, mostly it makes me feel quite ill and I have never been a regular smoker. What effect this occasional habit has had on my body, I don’t know but I feel healthy enough as I exercise a lot and eat well.

  • Cristina Amaral October, 18 2016, 9:13 / Reply

    I just can say it like this: it’s something called addiction.Something very serious and hard to fight. I have it and i’d love to drop it. But my head tells “I love to smoke”!

  • LOL! Maybe it’s part of their look? And we all have our vices. Eating well is always a good thing and perhaps it helps balance out the not so great choices. I have a giggle when vegan/vegetarians are going on and on about caring for animals while walking around in their leather birkenstocks!

  • En février j’ai décidé d’arrêter Facebook puis en juin d’arrêter le gluten. J’étais toute fière de moi, ma vie sociale et mon transit étaient tous les deux devenus beaucoup plus sains.
    Et y a 2 semaines je me suis dit que c’était très ridicule de se vanter d’aller mieux dans son cœur et dans sa tête tout en risquant un cancer à chaque cigarette que je fumais.

    Depuis 2 semaines j’ai décidé d’ESSAYER d’arrêter de fumer…mais il est beaucoup plus dur de trouver un substitut à une cigarette qu’à Facebook ou au gluten.

  • They don’t want to be healthy. They want to be skinny.
    Nowadays instead of saying: I wand to loose weight, you say I want to eat healthier. It’s always the same: beeing skinny but not admitting you are on a diet.

  • karacocoa October, 19 2016, 2:41

    You have a new Instagram follower! :-)

  • Mais surtout on fait ce qu’on veut !!! La démarche de se nourrir sainement n’est pas seulement une démarche hygiéniste. Genre “je veux vivre le plus longtemps possible”, c’est une démarche personnelle. Les produits bio ont aussi beaucoup plus de goût. C’est aussi une démarche qui consiste à prendre soin de la planète. Moi je mange healthy et je fume et je picole. NA

  • Mélanie October, 19 2016, 2:01 / Reply

    For me, the veggie/vegan question is an ethical question rather than an health question !

    I stopped eating meat because I don’t wan’t to participate neither to the ecological disaster (the food comes frome south america to feed our cows in europe, you need some much water to produce 1 kg of meat… and so on) nor to the animal exploitation,
    but not for me !!! I used to love meat !!

    So for me, there is no real link between these two things.

  • Well, except if you smoke organic tobacco to me it’s un-ecological to smoke.
    You encorage a production of tobacco and cigarettes. Cigarettes are filled in with chemicals additives, which production is pollutants and the remains of each cigarettes will then pollutes the water!

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