OK, I have to rant a bit. Here in Saskatoon, all public buildings are smoke free… well, according to the law anyway.
Today I had to run some errands at Circle Mall and parked at the second level underground to let my car warm up a bit (the winter is cold here in Canada :). Now, as I exited the car with my daughter, I noticed a slightly ‘off’ smell in the air and cigarette butts on the ground, despite several of the above signs around. When we were done shopping, we came back and a woman was smoking right outside the elevator area, literally creating a cloud around her. It seriously looked like something out of a cartoon. Another guy was smoking by his car.
We marched by it as quickly as we could, but when we got home I noticed an unpleasant whiff of tobacco smoke on my clothes. It was at that point I got really mad >:( So here I am blogging my rant.
‘Oh, but its too cold outside to smoke there’ some would argue. But the fact that they could not wait until they were on private property betrays their addiction:
Smokers are drug addicts.
There are lots of euphemisms to avoid this fact, but when I lived in New York I twice saw people smoking crack in public and it was the same thing; light up and breathe in the vapors to get a quick fix. People who advocate so-called “smoker’s rights” are literally advocating the ‘right’ of someone to do drugs in public and expose others to it.
Smoking is a particularly nasty way of getting high; breathing smoke supplies the drug (be it nicotine, or something else) as well as a toxic cocktail of poisonous gasses. Now, someone drinking alcohol or popping pills might be killing themselves slowly, but imagine if they had trouble getting it into their mouth and sprinkled alcohol in your child’s drink or dropped some pills in your food. Imagine the outrage that would follow. Is it any better that I have to breathe their poison? Is it any better that its been part of society for decades?
There really is no such thing as a polite smoker; the stench infuses their clothes and their breath reeks of an ashtray. I cannot hold a conversation with a recent smoker without wishing to flee the smell. Whenever I am invited to the house of a smoker (e.g. my in-laws), I invariably have to have a shower afterwards.
My grandfather, very nice person that he is (though now suffering from senile dementia), used to be a smoker. He smoked for decades (literally since the end of WWII) and only was able to quit as a result of the dementia (literally forgetting to smoke) and the patch (because even though he forgot to smoke, he still got VERY grumpy as the withdrawal symptoms kicked in… he had tried to quit ‘cold turkey’ several times when I was young, but he would always start again after spending a couple days in bed with flu-like symptoms). Before he quit, he smoked three (U.S.) packs (60 cigarettes) a day (~2 cartons a week). At times he would light a new cigarette from an old one (“chain smoking”) and fill a room with smoke until it was cloud-like. And he wondered what was wrong with me when I would cough uncontrollably around him sometimes. He got mad at me as a little kid when I went to hold his hand while were walking and got a burn from the lit cigarette he was cupping in his one hand to shield from the wind. When someone would point out a no-smoking sign near him he would joke that ‘I’m not smoking, the cigarette is’ as if that actually made it ok. Probably the nastiest smoking story involving him was when I spent the night at my grandparents’ place as a kid; I changed in the morning and they washed my clothes and hung them up to dry in the bathroom. My grandfather smoked in there and my clothes were smoked like sausages. When I later put on the pair of underwear they had so much smoke and tar on them it literally itched to wear them. NASTY! And while I can’t prove a direct cause and effect link, my grandmother (who never smoked, but breathed in his clouds) died of cancer…
Conservatives talk of marijuana as a drug but don’t realize their cognitive dissonance in not treating tobacco as the same.
OK, end of rant.