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An article with that title appeared in the New York Times. The premise is that, after a certain age, you should be able to do whatever you want. Why forego cigarettes? Leonard Cohen announces he is taking up smoking at age 81.

The truth is that there isn’t a lot of research about people who begin to let go after, say, age 65. From what I could find, late-onset diabetes doesn’t kill you.

I couldn’t find anything about resuming smoking in the last part of life. A doctor told me at most I’d get a lung infection that’s easily cured just by quitting for a few weeks.

The article suggested that one might avoid smoking because of potential harm to others due to secondhand smoke. A reader presented this article from a Forbes blog, showing that the dangers of second-hand smoke have been exaggerated.

It’s heartening to read the comments: so many of us are more concerned with living well than living long. And more people fear nursing homes than death.

I’d always planned to take up smoking again when I turned 50 or 60. I’d start now, except there’s no place left to enjoy smoking, even in your own home.