When failure means success

The Great American Smokeout at the community college wasn’t that great, student news reporters said.
“We went, but there wasn’t much going on,” said the head of the TV news team sent to cover the event. “It was kind of a dud.”
Actually, I told them, that may be a good thing.
I added that I was not surprised. I recently asked one of my classes how many of them smoked. Not one hand went up. Five, certainly ten years ago, 80 to 90 percent of the students smoked. Not today.
“Why?” I asked. “Is it the cost of cigarettes?”
Not really, was the response. The main reason students gave was that smoking is “gross.” Or “disgusting.” Or “yucky.”
Which tells me that 40 years after it was begun, maybe the Great American Smokeout is starting to accomplish its end.
Not that I think the American Cancer Society should let its guard down. It’s said some 40 million Americans still smoke.
But not the 22 in one of my classes. So there’s hope.

Ed Ackerman