Why would Tom Rather smoke then take Amanda's suggestion, quit, and put the money he saved toward a night-school course in accounting?
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Tom heads out to the fire escape to smoke, and Amanda complains that he spends too much money on cigarettes; if he saved the money, he would be able to go to night school. Tom replies that he would rather smoke. I think Tom is set in his ways and a little depressed. Smoking is a vice he thinks he needs.