If I were to walk down the pavement in front of you, continuously farting in your direction, would you not find that to be offensive? Suppose I had a pension for the smell of cow manure mixed with vomit, so I had it bottled and as I was still walking in front of you, I pull out my personalized bottle of “Eau de cow caca et vomit” and just started spritzing the hell out of the air around me, with a gentle breeze wafting its splendid aromas in your general vicinity? Would you not want to run up to me and take that bottle out of my hand and throw it as far away as possible? Wouldn’t you think that I was being extremely selfish for putting my putrid smells on you?
Then why is it that cigarette and cigar smokers think that it is okay for them to walk around in public blowing their used smoke, their toxic exhaled air all around for everyone else to smell and inhale.
I for one find the smell of cigarette smoke and especially cigar smoke extremely repulsive. Sometimes it makes me feel to throw up. Smoking is banned in almost all public places in the US, but yet still, it is perfectly acceptable, and legal for a smoker to walk around in “open” public spaces and smoke, toss their ashes on the floor and worst of all, toss their smoldering cigarette butts to the floor.
If a person is eating a burger and just takes the empty wrapper and tosses it into a gutter or on the pavement, everyone will look around and be appalled, maybe even yell at the person to pick up their junk. But smokers readily toss their still lit butts, usually with very stylish, practiced flare, to the ground, and no one says anything. I read a sign outside a deli once that said “Don’t toss your cigarette butts here, the songbirds are getting cancer”.
If you walk in front of Mt. Sinai hospital on the upper east side of NYC, in front of the building at the “No Smoking” signs, you would almost always find people smoking, hooked up to oxygen tanks! Now if that is not the most blatant disregard for other people. Not only are they smoking and spreading their foul smoke, but with oxygen tanks, in a public street! They won’t only blow themselves up, but everybody in a 100 yard radius of them also goes to high heaven.
So what is it that I am hoping to accomplish by writing this blog? That smokers have respect for my air, and my space. Sure, you can smoke, but don’t do it in front of me while we walk down the street unless you intend to hold your breath with the lit end of the cigarette in your mouth for the next three blocks until I turn right off of Madison. And don’t gather like a tribe around the entrance to a building, all ten of you, smoking and creating a dense fog at the door so I have to hold my breath as I enter a building. Why not go around back, next to the dumpster and smoke there? No? Dumpster stinks? Well that’s how your cigarette smells to me. And pick up your damned butts. Stepping on them to out them and leaving them there just don’t cut it!
Also, there are a lot of people out there with smoke allergies and breathing disorders. Some asthmatic’s attacks are triggered by smoke. How about showing them a little courtesy too. When you smokers develop emphysema and are gasping for air like goldfish at the top of a bowl, perhaps only then would you have respect for what I am talking about.
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