Let’s see, where to begin — and this is coming from someone who grew up around a smoker that quit 20 years ago this coming January:
1. The root word of “smoking” is SMOKE! The fact I need to go beyond that is asinine unto itself.
2. Smoke inhalation is the leading cause of death in house fires. Smoke kills. Cigarette smoke kills you slowly. This has been very, very well documented.
3. The risks of that smoke extend not just to the smoker, but to those in the smoker’s immediate vicinity. The risks of second-hand smoke are real.
4. The risks of smoking around children are real. Let me put a bit of perspective on this. My wife’s dear friend and her ex-husband, let’s call them Alice and Ralph, were smokers with a daughter who is now 11. My wife and I had actually been trying to pressure Alice and Ralph to quit smoking for YEARS without success. In part because Ralph was a hard-ass on it. Even when I offered, multiple times, to buy vape kits or nicotine gum or patches.
Alice eventually moved to vaping with her girlfriend Trixie. And this past May I bought Alice an upgraded vape kit (a more-expensive sub-Ω kit for additional flavor) and both Alice and Trixie a decent supply of juice. Because we were worried about not only the health toll smoking was taking on them, but especially on Alice and Ralph’s daughter — especially now that she’s trying to get into music.
Not to mention the fact that I absolutely hated when my wife came home after spending time up there, and why I refused to step foot into that house for longer than a brief period for the longest time.
Seriously the smell alone is noxious. This is why no matter how considerate you try to be, you can never be completely considerate. That smell permeates everything the smoke touches. Doesn’t matter if you smoke outside, that smoke still gets on you and your clothing, and that smell is noxious and easily picked up by anyone not used to it.
It’s why whenever my wife visited, she kept a spare set of clothing separate in her vehicle away where it wouldn’t get contaminated by that smell, that she changed into at her first stop on her way home. And why we kept the contaminated clothes tied up in a bag until they could be washed. Now that the smell is almost completely gone from that house, we don’t need to worry about it.
I can walk into that house without feeling like I’m going to suffocate.
5. Your right to smoke, frankly, ends when that smoke starts to negatively affect other people. And it always will. That is why the places where people can smoke have dwindled, and will continue to dwindle. I don’t like that it’s happening through laws rather than at the choice of business owners (though places that allow smokers were starting to die off before the laws were passed because non-smokers didn’t want to be exposed), but eventually smokers were going to lose out.
The dirty looks and condescension are because we know what you’re doing to your body by continuing to smoke. You are demonstrably harming your body, and creating risks for those around you, especially if you smoke at home around children. Not to mention the cost. Good god, the cost alone should be reason enough to push to try to quit.
It’s not about the smoker, but about the smoke. And if a smoker is going to get uptight or lippy with me about it, I’ll gladly give them a piece of my mind.