Saturday, September 28, 2013


Back in January, I remember one of the first things I noticed in Rome was how many young people smoked. You would see groups of them outside of cafes, in piazzas, and even outside our school doors. I felt like it was this problem that being from Pittsburgh, I just had not experienced very much. Smokers to me were older people that started back in the 60s and then couldn't bring themselves to quit.

So...yesterday I was taking a walk around campus before I had to go into work and I started to notice something. Even though there weren't big groups of people smoking as they talked, young smokers were everywhere! My peers were smoking as they rushed to class, as they check Facebook on their phone, and even while they quickly at a sandwich.

I am trying to figure out why there is this difference in the two cultures...and why I felt a bit more comfortable with the Italians smoking. For them it seems more like a social event. They all want to stand and catch up with their friends. They want to meet new people. Plus, they seem to do it in an isolated area. The students I saw on campus in Pittsburgh were just smoking quickly between other tasks or before they met up with friends. And they did it right in front of me as I walked down the street so the smoke blew in my face....I'm not saying either is good. I have no idea why anyone would smoke, especially a young person who knows all of the harmful effects. But it is cool to look at this cultural difference and I can't wait to see what the smoking culture is like in London.

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