Though smoking cigarettes is not a healthy or appealing habit, there are a number of Jewish Young Adults, both in the States and abroad, who smoke regularly or socially. Of those that smoke, there is an undeniable preference amongst JYAs for Parliament Lights.
JYA Regina Spektor reminisces about smoking Parliaments in her song “That Time.” While Ms. Spektor certainly has her individualist quirks, this places her squarely in the fold of the JYA community. Most JYAs probably smoke their first cigarette in High School or College, and 87.3% of the time, that introductory cigarette will be a Parliament light. Shaken from a blue and white pack with a distinctive recessed paper filter, this cigarette inspires a brand loyalty that spreads like viral marketing through the JYA community creating a bond that will last until the Jewish Elder the JYA has since become ceases smoking or dies.
If you have never encountered a Parliament cigarette, you can be sure to spot dozens at any Alpha Epsilon Pi gathering where they will be chain-smoked by girls standing next to the pony keg of Pabst Blue Ribbon who “only smoke when I’m drinking or stressed” neglecting to add that drinking and stress are daily occurrences. The parking lots of High Schools in New Jersey and Long Island are also a fruitful hunting ground, as are weddings in Israel for cousins of varying degrees of familial connection.
There are many theories as to why JYA smokers prefer Parliaments over other cigarettes. One possible speculation is that JYAs enjoy disassociating from the mainstream in general, and therefore would inherently choose a more exclusive brand of cigarettes than the garden variety, and best selling, Marlboro Lights. Secondly, JYAs frequently harbor feelings of superiority over their Non-Jewish peers, and therefore would be subconsciously attracted to the seeming exclusivity of the name “Parliament”. One theorist has even postulated that JYAs prefer smoking Parliaments because of their Blue and White packaging, in subconscious solidarity with the State of Israel.
Whatever the reasons, the propensity of JYAs to spark up a Parliament Light as opposed to any other brand of cigarette is readily observable, and merits further academic inquiry. For now we will have to rely only on anecdotal evidence.
(another JYA social smoker)