Sunday, 21 February 2010

SMOKE WITHOUT FIRE . . .

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?

Wee tits.

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?

21 comments:

  1. As you know, I smoke every once in a blue moon, but I always make sure I drop back not to inflict my smoke on anyone else.

    There's no way they should have been smoking on the station platform though. Grr at them! (Again!)

    I do have an addictive personality, but thankfully smoking has always been one of those things I can take or leave. Everytime I have a cigarette it only reminds me how vile it is and I never have more than that initial one!

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  2. I'm a smoker.. I've never really embraced that label but I can no longer hide from the fact. But I think I'm a bit of an unconventional smoker in the way that I love the smoking ban. I don't like smoking indoors; I will very rarely smoke in my house and when I do, I'll be sitting on the windowsill, hanging out the window. I just don't like it.

    BUT when I'm out roaming about the streets, I never really think about other people. I will never light up in a bus stop, because that's just rude. But I've never really thought about lighting up anywhere else. Like when waiting for the green man to let you cross the road. Or in the shelter of the doorway (outside) of a shopping centre. I suppose I SHOULD think more of other people, but it doesn't really cross my mind.

    But when it comes to people smoking indoors, I'm the bitch who tells them to bugger off. In the end, if I can wait till I'm off the bus or done with my shopping, so can they. The law's there for a reason and even though it might make them seem like the "tough guy", sparking up in ASDA, they'll soon think different when they've got a 5"7 girl dressed all in pink telling them off.

    Chavs make me fear for mankind. They really do. The day I want to tuck my trakkie bottoms into my socks is the day I should be taken behind the shed and shot.

    xx

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  3. I am not a smoker and never have been, casual or otherwise. That being said, I feel a little empathy for the way smokers are being treated these days. At the theme park where I worked you couldn't even smoke OUTSIDE, unless in the designated areas. Really?

    I drink too much wine, too. And although I'm not an alcoholic, I've been trying to cut back and find it's tough because, quite frankly, it's a treat that I greatly enjoy! I can't imagine how hard it would be to quit something as addictive as nicotine!

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  4. I don't smoke and never will - never saw the appeal in it and I try not to be one of those who annoys everyone by going on about how it damages lungs and whatnot. Nerdboy smokes, but does it outside so there's no danger of me breathing it in as well. As for passive smoking in general - ugh.

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  5. I'm not a smoker - though I have also had the "nudge nudge" variety, and yep, puking is a side effect to be watched out for (especially if drinking is also happening... and when is it not?!!)
    I am so happy that Scotland led the way on the smoking ban. It's made going out so much more pleasant - not to mention the smell of my clothes and hair the day after.

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  6. I'm not a smoker - i've never even had a drag on one - and i absolutel HATE passive smoking. I'm an asthmatic, and although its only mild asthma, other peoples smoke makes me feel sick and makes my throat and lungs feel tight for a while.

    My grandma is a smoker and because of this ( and other reasons ) i wont go visit her, especially not with my new baby.She smells, her house reaks of smoke.... its disgusting.

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  7. As I write this I have just lit a cigarette.

    I found the smoking ban good for only one thing: pulling. You're outside you get chatting etcetc..

    But, I did like the fact that when I went into pubs prior to the smoking ban I could smell smoke, now it's feet and stale alcohol.

    I miss cigarettes in pubs and cafe nero.

    Not so much clubs.

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  8. I am an ex-smoker of 10 years who quit 3 years ago. When I was a smoker, I felt entitled to smoke how/when/where/why I pleased. I did not have consideration for non smokers. Now, feeling that quitting has been one of the best decisions of my life, I see the other side of it. I get annoyed at those people, who I once was, that are passive in their smoking. I now HATE when I visit a friend's place who smokes and I come home smelling of it. Quitting has vastly improved my life. Being on the other end now, I think you have every right to be peeved by this.

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  10. Oh my god this drives me UP THE WALL. I went through a phase of smoking in my late teens when I thought I was COOL and AWESOME. Then one day I had one and promptly vomited violently and since then the smell turns my stomach.

    I think the trouble is that their senses are so deadened from inhaling the stuff that they have absolutely no idea how gross the smell is and therefore don't realise that you might not want it near you.

    They just seem to have a knack of standiing in just the right place so that the smoke goes bang in to your face.

    The boyfriend just quit in the new year (I never in a million years would have thought I would have gone out with a smoker) and he is suddenly smelling things he never could before.

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  11. I've turned into a bit of a social smoker. One of the last packs of cigarettes I bought was back in October/November because a girl in hotpants with a little tray was selling 20 packs for 3 quid, and I was sober enough to see the value. They lasted me a good while.

    Bought a pack of cigarettes on Friday though - and, being a social smoker - ended up giving half of them away.

    I'm so fucking nice that way.

    I think I quite like the odd cig though because it means whatever booze I've been drinking makes me feel the effects more, thus saving me money. Result. Albeit of a stinky-smoke kind.

    xXx

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  12. I'm a smoker who hates smoking. Strange!

    I really wish i could give up, ive tried and failed many times.

    I also miss the smoking in pubs thing, when you go way on holiday and you can sit with a ciggie after your meal over a glass of wine im in heaven, although i do still go outside most of the time.

    Once when we were in Barcelona, we went outside for a fag and the waiter came running after us as he thought we were leaving without paying the bill. He couldn't understand why we wanted to go outside!

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  13. I used to smoke when I drank in college. It was purely a drunk thing. Now though, I think you know how I feel about it as I posted my own rant about this last week! :) Hate it!

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  14. They haven't banned smoking in bars / clubs here. I smell of smoke everytime I go home from a night out :( luckily they start banning smoking in restaurants, especially those in the malls. Only let smokers go to balconies to smoke or something so I suppose it's good.

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  15. when I drink too much, i try to smoke. but i can't. it makes me cough and wheeze, but for some reason, drunk me thinks it looks sexy. but it doesn't. damn.

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  16. DC is smoke free (thank goodness), so the only time I ever smell it is out on the street, and that's rare. BUT it makes me forget how goshdarn foul it actually is! Gross.

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  17. I started writing a reply but it got really long so I turned it into a post.

    Essentially I agree with everything you say. Passive smoking is just wrong.

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  18. i have no idea if she was smoking illegally, but i do think that the courteous thing to do is to pay attention to the prevailing breeze and use it to minimize the discomfort of other people...

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  19. Great post lady!! I am not a fan of any type of smoke. They banned smoking in restaurants & bars in the early 2000's in New York & New Jersey & have to say I was glad. I don't like inhaling other people's smoke at all! It's really inconsiderate!! Great last paragraph, I'm the same too. I don't want to pay for someone else's mistake!

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  20. I'm a smoker - I smoke cloves, which are different, and I'm not a heavy smoker. However, I support not smoking indoors in establishments - I like being ABLE to smoke inside a house but I won't even do so in my own - and even I hate the smell when I am eating. I try when I am on the street to steer clear of children and not be too close to people.

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  21. I am a nonsmoker and it just got banned in bars/restaurants here in my state and it is amazing. I love it. I hated waking up smelling like an ashtray and coughing with a sore throat after a night out.

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