Sometimes on The Walking Dead, Carol smokes a cigarette. It's not in every episode and it's not terribly frequent, but Carol's puffing has become a talking point for #TheWalkingDead fans.
It shows how far health campaigners have come that this smoking is a remarkable thing; check out old Hollywood movies to see Audrey Hepburn chaining like a drunken sailor — and she even rips the filters off first!
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Maybe it's the fact that, while the undead aren't currently shambling through the United States, smoking is an observable, often harmful phenomena that is very real in the world we live in. Carol's been smoking again in The Walking Dead season 7 and it reminded me of an interview a while back.
Comic Book asked The Walking Dead's Melissa McBride how she feels about her character smoking on screen, and her answer is further testament to how deeply and wisely these actors feel their characters:
"I think there's several ways to look at it. She could be punishing herself. She's struggling a lot and she could be punishing herself from the inside out in a way. It could also be a form of escape to do something that's not her. She feels further away from the person she has to be.
"And, also, it goes back to Neidermeyer and just, in this world the best thing that can happen is you don't have to kill somebody today. Neidermeyer she just wants her cigarettes. Sam, he just wants cookies. How she made a big deal of that, when it's just one little simple pleasure here and there, please. There's feeling guilty, too. There's several ways to look at that."
Obviously, smoking is a super-bad idea for your health. OBVIOUSLY, but sensible things like preserving your health are different in a dystopia overrun by zombies. The only reason I can see for not smoking in The Walking Dead world is that you just don't like it. I mean, smoking A LOT could hamper your lung capacity, making you easier prey for the walkers, but with the paltry quantity of cigarettes they're able to get a hold of in Alexandria, why not spark up? Their life expectancies are already hella shortened by stress and their flawed diets, let alone the hordes of walkers and hostile people just straining to get their kill on.
Would you smoke cigarettes if you lived in the world of 'The Walking Dead'?
Here's another lil clip of the wonderful Carol.