Fact: smoking is cool again.

Smoking seems to be pretty widespread and popular in Japan still – unlike Australia where smokers are increasingly made to feel like the outcast, anti-establishment reprobates they secretly long to be. Part of the appeal here may be due to advertisments like this (click to make bigger):

Glamorous westerner Henry-Fonda-alike-motorcyclists, cowboys, astronauts (maybe), all stoically grimacing out from the side of cigarette vending machines, sucking in the smooth taste of a devil-may-care attitude. I guess it’s the reciprocal appeal of westerners getting Chinese or Japanese characters tattooed on themselves – both leave you with something you may not want when you’re 60.

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