No One Smokes at FinCon

Tons of people have written recaps of their time at FinCon18. You really don’t need another one. But I did find something to talk about that is unique even here in the blogger forest.

Nobody smokes at FinCon.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that hyperbole can be a writer’s friend, but I meant that LITERALLY, nobody else smoked cigarettes at FinCon.

By day 2, it was weird and I was consciously watching out for another person. By day three, I was actively hoping not to see another smoker so that I could say LITERALLY nobody else was smoking.

I would see someone now and again, but it was always a Barnes & Noble conference person, or a Microsoft conference person, never a FinCon person.

I found this interesting even though it made perfect sense.

Who in a group of naturally frugal people would waste money on a dumb habit that was bad for your wallet and your health? Not FinCon types right?

Not even me really, I am quit mostly quit for years now. My wife or I buy a pack when we are at a wedding, or on vacation, or drinking, or at a seminar.

It all stems from a magical time long long ago when smoking was actually a habit that brought people together. In its heyday, a smoke break meant you instantly made a couple of new friends. Light up and meet your new fellow smoker.
Deluxe Social Lubricant, some would say better than alcohol.

Fast forward a decade or so and you can’t even smoke in a bar???

Nowadays a smoker is the social pariah of the group. The person who has to excuse himself from the fun to go feed his habit.

I know on a macro level this development is a good thing for society. But that doesn’t mean the world didn’t also lose something valuable. Maybe intangible, but something missing nonetheless.

One mystery I did solve. It used to be that standing against the wall at the party where you did not know anyone was awkward. Pulling out a cigarette and smoking actually solved that dilema to some degree. I am not doing nothing, I am smoking.

I racked my brain until it clicked, that cigarette has simply been replaced with the phone.  Who me?  I am not a social dullard standing here near the punch bowl, I am ‘on my phone‘. Maybe texting with the Pope, you don’t know.

So as I periodically ducked out of FinCon to burn one, I always made sure to wash my hands when I went back in.

Nobody seemed to mind too much, they were still nice to me.




11 thoughts on “No One Smokes at FinCon

  1. Ironic that we chatted outside while you were smoking. And didn’t you bum a smoke from another conference attendee? So there was at least one… 🙂 Great to meet you IRL and chat a bit.

  2. This sounds like a part of a series, Funny FinCon Facts 😀
    Glad to hear that you are only a causal smoker. A very bad habit.
    Back in the time we were a pack of around 15 youngsters who were (drinking) hanging out together every weekend (ok, sometimes through the week also). Guess who was the only non smoker? Yeah, me. Back then I was the one who was left out of the fun because my lung was not able to tolerate that amount of smoke. Actually I am happy with the current trends but very sad about the phone replacements. We were attending a birthday dinner this Sunday, 18th birthday of a friends daughter (you don’t understand why the hell were we invited to an 18th birthday, neither did I). As I was watching the kids only a couple of them were actually having conversations or interacting with each other the normal way. The rest were just sitting next to each other staring at their phones while other were busy all night to take selfies at any possible ways. This truly disturbs me and I felt an urge to turn the key of the EMI machine…

    • I have been trying to hold out, my 12 year old does not have a phone, but he might be the only one at his school. I am OK with that.

  3. it’s a good thing i didn’t attend or you would not have been able to write this article. what if i attend one and i’m the only pariah around? shunned by the community? i’m never one to tell anyone else what they ought to be doing with their ___________ fill in the blank. maybe i wouldn’t be shunned, due to being fun and all.

  4. Interesting that there is a natural selection for non-smokers at FinCon. Maybe FIRE was the only flame the needed. Good point that it makes logical sense that it is also could be a frugal move as well. Well glad you are quitting/quit. As a radiology doc I get first hand images of how the lungs look in a smoker compared to a healthy person (spoiler alert, it’s not good)

  5. Now that’s a really good society, no one’s smoking…I think the worst effect comes after lots of years smoking, then needing to pay for the health effects and financial effects.

  6. Interesting to feel the misfit at a conference for misfits. You help me understand the solace of smokers a bit better.

    There was no shortage of craft beer drinkers at FinCon (an identity I don’t inherently possess, but was willing to try on for size over the weekend).

    Camaraderie and a buzz. Is that what it all boils down to, belonging with a touch of social lubricant?
    Is the cell phone its antisocial replacement?

    Saving grace is that more folks in that self-selected crowd are inclined to accept than judge, so you’re more likely to receive an arm thrown over your shoulders than a snide glance of condescension.

  7. I wonder if we met. You were not the only smoker. I was too. I’m most quit as well, but there are times… sorry to burst the FinCon fact bubble. But didn’t you feel awful being the only one (like me) who had to walk all the way over to the side and have a quick puff before staff told you where to go? Knowing the money we’ve spent and here we are at the MONEY conference?

    No, you were not alone.

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