"Hell with the lid off"

Pitt_Historic_Image_Collection Campos Research sent out this blog post the other day about our fair city, Pittsburgh, and the psychology of smoking.

Not only do Pittsburghers still light up, but the habit is not confined to less affluent socioeconomic groups, as it is in most of the rest of the US. Pittsburgh boasts a disproportionate number of well-to-do smokers. Also, Pittsburgh is one of the few major cities that still allows smoking in bars.

Perhaps this is some sort of unconscious vestige of the city’s industrial past, when the air was constantly clotted with smoke and pollution. (Note the two dashing gentlemen pictured above. This photo from the Pittsburgh Historic Image Collection was snapped at noon. Seriously.)

Or maybe Pittsburghers see themselves, collectively, as being kind of tough and strong – and maybe that is somehow connected with this blue-collar habit of smoking. It’s very weird.