Prompted by something one of my students wrote, I'm adding a fourth argument in support of the claim that smokers are cooler. This is something that it pains me, a non-smoker, to admit, but truth is truth. For your review, the three established arguments are:
- Smoking is cool.
- Being cool doesn't just happen, you have to want it (but not too much). People start smoking, usually, because they want to be cool. What this shows is that smokers have the motivational traits that are a necessary (though woefully insufficient) condition of coolness.
- The disciplines of smoking place the smoker in a myriad of social situations, and so require the smoker to develop social skills allowing her to navigate these situations. But coolness just is an ability to navigate every social situation with aplomb.
The new argument is also grounded in the fact that the disciplines of nicotine addiction increase the smoker's social contact with the world. The novelty lies in noticing that these social contacts aren't always isolated and transitory. Smokers regularly step out of their established social networks, and this gives them the opportunity to enter in to new networks and to bring established social networks together.