Let's do a quick true or false quiz. I'm going to make two statements - one true, one false. Which one is which?
1) I don't smoke. The only cigarette I ever tried in my entire life did not just have tobacco in it -if you know what I mean (wink, nudge, etc). I couldn't inhale it. And I puked copiously during the night after trying it.
2) I think passive smoking is just THE COOLEST.
Do you really need to think about this?
Okay, just in case, I'll give you a few seconds more . . .
1) is true. 2) is false.
Before I launch into my diatribe, let me first start with the disclaimer that I have nothing against smokers. If I had ever started doing it, I'm sure I would be addicted too (I have THAT sort of personality) so I won't judge people for not being able to stop.
I WILL judge you, however, for blowing smoke in my face.
Luckily, Scotland has had a smoking ban in bars etc since early 2006. Until that point, I hadn't realised quite how much it bothered me waking up after a night out reeking of cigarettes when I didn't even smoke. I didn't even APPRECIATE it until I went down to Manchester for a night out later that year and, since England didn't introduce the ban until a year after, found myself once again with a smoke stench the following morning.
And not only is it great that I no longer smell of smoke the morning after, it is also FABULOUS to not have to find yourself inhaling someone else's smoke on a night out. I LOVE that.
It irritates me beyond belief when people flaunt the rules though. Like when you are sitting on a bus, and a wee ned gets on, heads up the back of the bus, and immediately lights up. They are usually only on the bus for five minutes. Seriously, can't they last that long without a hit of nicotine? Do the rest of us have to suffer in the meantime?
Or yesterday, as I sat at Exhibition Centre train station, waiting for a train to my friends. The first train was cancelled and as I shivered on a bench on the freezing platform waiting for the next one, two girls came and sat beside me. Immediately one sparked up a cigarette . . . of course it was the one closest to me and NATURALLY the wind blew the smoke directly into MY lungs.
I tweeted about it because I was fairly convinced that, despite the fact the platform was an outside one, it was still not legal to smoke on it. Several people told me the girl SHOULDN'T be smoking (when I finally reached my destination, my friend ALSO said she didn't think the girl should have been smoking). By this point she had already got on the next train so I was no longer having to put up with it.
But I was still angry about the situation. Because whether or not it was legal, surely the girl should have had a bit of consideration for the fact she had sat next to a stranger and essentially blown smoke in her face? Is it not just common decency? Like making sure you don't have your mp3 player's volume too high so as not to disturb others around you? Or holding a door open for the person behind you, rather than slamming it in their face (however much you may be tempted to?) Or putting your rubbish in a bin rather than on the ground?
I try not to be one of those anti-smoking nazis who coughs and sputters in a theatrically loud manner to stop people polluting my lungs. I quietly let myself be smothered, or move so I don't have to smell it anymore. But the stubborn side of me argues that I was there first in most cases - why should I be the one who moves?
I guess the reason I feel strongly about it is also linked to the amount of wine I drink. I'm already bound to end up with a damaged liver later in life, due to my OWN addiction. I don't want to have LUNG problems too, due to someone else's addiction.
How do you feel about passive smoking? Do you smoke? Or have you ever? And do you have an addiction of your own?