Smokers Don't Scare Easily, Think Things Through

America's leading cause of awesomeYou think you’re going to fright a hardcore smoker-I mean a real smoker, not one of those irritating “only when I drink” dilettantes-with a picture of a diseased lung or some prominent verbiage about emphysema or tracheotomies or whatever? Think again!

Jamie Arndt, a psychologist at the University of Missouri, had student smokers complete questionnaires designed to induce either thoughts of their own mortality or thoughts about failing an exam. Then the researchers offered the students a cigarette and measured every person’s smoking intensity-each puff’s volume, flow and duration. Students who did not smoke often indeed smoked with less passion after being reminded of their own mortality, as compared with the light smokers who read about failing an exam. As Arndt explains, the infrequent smokers may have been responding to thoughts of death by trying to reduce their own vulnerability. But students who were heavy smokers reacted to thoughts of death by taking even harder drags on their cigarettes. Arndt suggests they might have been sub consciously attempting to dispel a negative mood with an enjoyable activity.

Or maybe they are just super-tough people who LOVE TO SMOKE AND KNOW THAT THEY ARE BULLETPROOF AND WILL NEVER DIE. I mean, it’s certainly not that they’re in denial or anything.