Eat, Drink & Be Eighty?

Singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen, pictured here, is ready to re-embrace the pleasures of youth: smoking.

At his 80th birthday, he declared it was time to start smoking again. His announcement inflamed a modern debate: At what age do you embrace your mortality and the pleasures that might speed you to its end?

Groups like the American Cancer Society are now sighing a collective groan. Illness caused by smoking and secondhand smoke—cancer and asthma, to name two—continues to plague America’s health system. Despite it, our over-80 population is only growing. —Diane Richard, writer, September 24 Image: Alfred Steffen/Corbis Outline

Source: Jason Karlawish, “Too Young to Die, Too Old to Worry,” New York Times, September 20, 2014