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This is news?
For example, the chapter on why teenagers still start smoking even after decades of health warnings, etc., provided no new insight. Basically, the reason provided was that kids don’t start smoking because the action of smoking is cool; they start smoking because the SMOKERS are cool. In other words, cool people smoke, just like they do other things. So to be cool, you’ll emulate the cool people. And smoking is one thing you can do to be like them.
Also, the author states that genetics is the reason why certain smokers become addicted (every-day smoking of several cigarettes per day, with great difficulty in quitting including withdrawal symptoms) and why other people can smoke very few cigarettes in a week, every week, for example, and easily stop doing that with no problem. Since the concept of “social smokers” is quite well known now, I don’t think this was any revelation. Just like not every social drinker becomes an alcoholic, not every social smoker becomes a hard-core nicotine fiend. And doesn’t genetics cause pretty much everything? I’ve heard a figure of 80% of our behavior, traits, intelligence, etc. is genetic. This may or may not be true, but the proposition that nature, rather than nurture, is controlling us is not a new idea either. The “masses” won’t be impressed with his ideas on genes.
This book was also very short. I would have appreciated much more substance, and just more MATERIAL in general. Thankfully I got this from the library so I didn’t waste my money on a short, dissatisfying book that states the obvious and expects the public to be wowed by the “insight.”
The author seems to have rattled off this book in one sitting, perhaps as an afterthought, for what reason, I don’t know. I also sensed a patronizing tone throughout. I get the impression by reading it that he wrote this first as an outline for some high school sociology class, and then tried to expand it to something that the great “unwashed masses” would take as a serious, scholarly work. Well, I’m sure that even the “masses” aren’t that easily impressed.
So I do not recommend wasting your time on this one!