Yes, that does come off as justification, and a pretty desperate attempt at that.
I watched my grandmother die of lung cancer when I was a kid. It was not pretty or cool in any way.
James Dean is only cool because he didn't live long enough to get wrinkly and coughing like he was going to hack up a lung. Also, what's cool in a picture is not the same as what is sexy IRL. Smoking stinks. Smokers stink. And kissing one is like licking out an ashtray. Blech.