Though I don’t smoke, I spend enough time looking and listening to notice that when NYC put out a big tax on cigarettes, the city extinguished a conversational spark.
It used to be that the smokers’ question: “bum a smoke?” would lead to a talk — as well as a cigarette. And I’m sure I’ve heard that phrase used purely as an excuse to talk to someone else. Ever since a pack of Marlboroughs went up to about $7 in NYC, people have taken a transactional approach. With fifty cents in hand, hard-core nicotine addicts try to buy a cigarette from smokers.
Those former talks are now lost, since the buyer/seller are now just part of a transaction. So, their lungs may be cleaner, but they’ve lost a connection to random strangers that used to exist. We hope that Chatfe makes up for that loss. [Note: I first wrote about this years ago, but thought it was worth reposting here. Chatfe is an antidote to this behavior.]