Friday’s Weekend Column
Some Things Stay the Same

by James Glaser
September 29, 2006

About every afternoon I find myself driving close by the Florida State University campus. Yes, Florida State has lots of young women walking down the street, either going toward the school or coming back from their classes. I would guess they have almost the same amount of young men, but for some reason I never seem to notice them.

What I have noticed, other than the fact that FSU has an amazing amount of very good looking coeds, is that so very many of them are smoking cigarettes. It is quite a sight to see five or six young women walking down the sidewalk all smoking at the same time. Maybe they just had a long class, and I am seeing them as they get their fix of nicotine.

I have been told that if I smoked a joint today I would see that the pot of today is a lot stronger than back in the day I was smoking it. Well the tobacco companies picked up on that, and they have spiked their cigarettes with way more nicotine, especially the brands that are labeled Light or Ultra Light.

I know that the girls walking down that street think they look as good as the Hollywood stars that smoke on the silver screen, but I would bet they have no idea of how much they stink.

I smoked for many years, and all the years I smoked I never knew of, nor could I smell the foul odor that permeates every smoker. Try going out to a crowded bar for an evening and then take a whiff of your clothes the next morning. Even something like Fabreeze can't cover the odor from smoking

All around campus liquor stores and bars are big money makers. Another thing that is the same as when I was going to Arizona State. The University campus is a money maker for bars and liquor stores. It seems that many American corporations know if they can get college kids addicted to their product, they will have life long customers, who will be earning enough to spend a lot on their product.

I went to a volunteer appreciation party at a non-profit arts foundation. They had six selections of alcoholic drinks you could choose from, and one non-alcoholic drink. That pretty much tells you what kind of people volunteer at their facility. It isn't just there, it is all over America. The best information I could find by asking the question "alcoholism rates in America," says that there are a little over 16,000,000 alcoholics in America. So if you give out free drinks at any function, you have to know that a percentage of those you are giving those drinks to are going to abuse. Also there is a good chance that those abusers started at an early age. Like the cigarettes pitched by corporations to kids, companies that sell alcohol know the college age student is about the youngest age group that they can legally hook to using their product.

This isn't new; it's been going on for decades. It is just that I haven't been living in an urban setting for a long, long time, and moving to Tallahassee has put it right out there for me to see. I know it would be the same no matter what city I moved to. Today affluent Americans go to college, and American corporations want some of their money for as long as they live.

Post Script:
Last night my internet access was out, so this is a day late. . . sorry.

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