Saturday, September 03, 2022

Smoking In Singapore: Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette: Chow Wen Hing.


Smoke 🚬🚭

Singapore has by and large eradicated the rather nasty habit of smoking. This has not been easy, as nicotine is highly addictive both physiologically and psychologically. For the older generation it was the only thing to take their minds off their woes. But alas, many found that years of puffing away only brought them health woes in their later years.

Smoking is social norm in my younger days. It was seen as glamorous and even a macho thing to do. Many young man picked up a cigarette to look tough. We see celebrities with a “ciggy” in hand, looking handsome and thoughtful into the distance. Yes, they even had a cute name! How can an impressionable youngster resist!

Songs that reference smoking or cigarettes didn’t help either. Songs like:
1) “King of the Road” (Roger Miller) and 
2) “Promise Me” (Beverly Craven) are among some of the better know ones. 

Other lesser known ones are:
3) “Cigarettes and Coffee” (Otis Redding), 
4) “You Just Can’t Win” (Van Morrison), 
5) "Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette" (Tex Williams), among many others.

Cigarette and smoking feature prominently in these songs, as a symbol of grit and a fashionable way to pout. Over the years, anti-smoking efforts had helped many diehard smokers quit the habit, and measures were put in place to discourage the young ones from ever picking the habit up.

Vaping too, becomes a problem today.

Although we have been successful in preventing new addiction, it seems that the young are still very much into this nasty habit. As the older generation breaks away from the nicotine addiction, the younger generation is puffing away as if their lives depended on it. And, I’m not being sexists but just stating a fact here - there seems to be more woman smokers these days.

Both young and old, we see these ladies - someone’s mum, sister, girlfriend or wife; proudly hanging around smoking corners puffing away. They look quite out of place, in my opinion; with their high heels and office wears and their cigarettes dangling from their fingers. Quite a liberating sight to behold, some may argue.

A friend was particularly incensed by such a sight, and was so passionate about it that he challenged me to write a song about this developing phenomenon. Well I’m not one who would walk away from a challenge - a song writing challenge at that; so I agreed.

So here’s my take on the situation, entitled “Smoke”:

Standing in a cloud of smoke
Getting stares and curious looks
But with a cigarette in her hand
She didn’t give a damn
She takes a drag tries to look glam

Standing out on the street
At the corner where they meet
In her heels and dress of lace
She looks quite out of place
A flower wilting in a smoky haze

Smoke in the air in her hair in her elegant wear
Smoke in her eyes she wants to cry for being there
Smoke to impress to de-stress to be like the rest
Smoke on the run in the sun is no fun
She tells herself she could stop
When the time comes

With a cigarette between her fingers
She really didn’t want to linger
It’s the usual sad crowd
Acting tough talking loud
Feeling a little foolish hanging out

This set of lyrics is still looking for a melody, so if there’s a virtuoso reading this and is feeling up for the challenge - let your creative juices flow and put some crotchets and quavers down to accompany these words.

And ladies - you know you already look glamorous without the cigarette in your hand right? Speaking as an ex-smoker, I can assure you that you’ll never look more beautiful than when you’re not holding that stick of cancer between your fingers.

An original article  by Chow Wenhing.
Thanks Wenhing for another contribution!

Smoke smoke smoke that cigarette 
Tex Williams. YouTube Video from: onemediamusic

Smoke smoke smoke that cigarette 
Puff puff puff 
And if you smoke yourself to death
Tell St Peter at the Golden Gate 
That you hate to make him wait
But you just gotta have another cigarette!

"Smoke smoke smoke that cigarette"
Written by: Merle Travis, Tex Williams
Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

Read about Cigarette Advertisements in the 60s and its comments by many readers:

Other related songs with topical connections:



I gave up once and went back to sucking my thumb!

I sent that to a few friends who still smoke.
They'll be waiting for you in some dark alley.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

You're always with your wisecracks.
😅 😂 🤣


Ha ha ha Well at least I hope it'll be some nice lady in a dress.
Albeit a smoking nice lady.

Yes, it is a subject that will arouse people's passion as it may be perceived as an infringement of personal liberty and lifestyle choices.


I smoke only when I am on fire.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

😝 😜 🤪


💸 💸
Dollar bills just fly away...

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Was at a 7/11 shop and noticed this guy in front of me taking some time at the counter.
The queue behind was getting longer.

Counter chap in charge was getting impatient. So I watched from behind.

Our young man was choosing to buy a pack of cigarettes. I looked at the shelves. Cigarettes cost from $12 to $16 a packet.

Goodness, gracious!!!

He finally chose the cheapest, paid and left.

Last word came from the counter guy: "He'll learn soon enough."


The young man will be lucky if he can walk away from the habit someday... but if he's anything like most smokers; it'll be a life long baggage that he'll be carrying.


I don't smoke anymore.


As much as I dislike inhaling cigarette smoke, this world will never ever be free of smokers. There's another type of smokers that I am more fearful of... the ones that "smokes" its citizens!

I am also reminded of the joke about a chain smoker who read so much about the ill effects of smoking, he gave up reading. :)

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks to the two JIMMYs who wrote in.
Yes, giving it up is the best option, otherwise, as Jimmy Chng explained smokers will smoke everyone else and we'll all go up in smoke.

pelvis 2022 said...

"Holy smoke, land sakes alive
I never thought this could happen to me
Aha, yeah
Aha, yeah..."


JAMES KWOK said...





used to describe a person that is attractive or good looking.

Use In A Sentence:
The SINGER on stage was SMOKIN’ and all the girl fans loved him for it.

GK said...

Speaking as an ex-smoker, I can assure you that you'll never look more beautiful than when you're not holding that stick of cancer between your fingers.

💪 🦾
last line power

Thanks for sharing this article, Andy.

Anonymous said...

NATO ought to arrange for Putin and Zelensky to meet up for a smoking session...and get them to smoke the peace pipe :P