Cigarettes, once shunned, have made a comeback with a younger crowd who knows better.

On a recent not-so-wintry Thursday in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, when the only snowflakes seen were over text, a gang of 20-somethings stood in a circle outside Clearing Gallery, sharing a pack of American Spirits.

A few days earlier, at Columbia University, a 19-year-old pre-med student stared enviously at her phone screen — at Parisian women in cute dresses walking, cigarettes in hand — before stepping outside for a cigarette with her friends. (She requested not to be identified by name because she didn’t want her habit to affect her career in medicine.)

People are smoking online too. On Instagram, Tasmin Ersahin, a photographer and stylist, posted a story of her boyfriend, Arsun Sorrenti (son of the photographer Mario Sorrenti), catching a lit cigarette in his mouth. On TikTok, Charly Jordan, a D.J. and model, tried a sexy French inhale for her 7.7 million followers.

“Smoking is back,” said Isabel Rower, a 24-year-old sculptor, one of the spirited Americans outside Clearing. “Weirdly, in the last year or two, all my friends who didn’t smoke, now smoke. I don’t know why. No one is really addicted to it. It’s more of a pleasure activity.”

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John Ortved – New York Times – 2022-01-12.

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