To begin, one should have harbored a burning curiosity for smoking, which is probably egged on by the fact that the coolest kids are doing it. [See: The Impressionists, Marlon Brando, James Dean, Pablo Picasso, artists, writers, supermodels, rock stars, movie stars, et cetera.] It also helps to have at least two close friends who qualify as smokers; qualifications being that a cigarette in their hands are natural, inconspicuous extensions of their index and middle fingers. Solidarity grows by numbers and these friends will serve as motivation and reason enough to pick up a much-hated-on habit.
  1. The Beatles did it.

    Whilst barhopping — alcohol does away with inhibitions and self-consciousness, things that would inhibit one’s journey to smoking — with one’s future smoking buddies, request a drag.
  2. She did too.

    Take the cigarette in between one’s index and middle fingers.
  3. And they all look damn fucking good doing it.

    Put the butt in between one’s lips and be sure to avoid imparting too much spit. Pucker up slightly and draw a breath. Try not to cough. Exhale. Wonder at the tendrils of smoke exiting one’s mouth and the suffusion of cigarette smolder through the air.
  4. Bromandude, where's your ciggy? You'll be fine.

    Repeat these steps over the course of several outings, to the point where one’s suppliers of drags and bums implore one to purchase one’s own pack. The purchasing of not this pack but the second one will cement one’s place in the long-celebrated and notorious history of smokers. And one will always feel less out of place in China.
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