Thursday, September 6, 2007

Smoked Out

Every day now, I pass the smokers....the sad and forlorned faces standing in the building doorway on my way to work, puffing their lungs out. I don't like them. They give me a bad feeling.

I wonder why people smoke. What in the world ever causes them to put a burning piece of anything to their lips and inhale? Who decided that was a good idea? It stinks, it's unattractive, it's expensive and there are so many nicotine nazis out here now, it's become a total social faux pas. So why do they do it? I can't think of a single redeeming factor it offers. Yet they puff away like there's no tomorrow.

I wonder if they know....that automatically, when they light up a cigarette, they assign themselves a lower I.Q.; they move themselves directly into a lower class of people; they reveal themselves as being woefully uneducated; and they scream to the world that they're worthless and weak and a slave to a filthy, nasty habit.

And you know what? None of those things may be true, but that's what I think when I see someone light up. I can't help it. It's simply my perception.

I do not have friends who smoke. I've never specifically set out to socialize only with non-smokers, but it seems to have turned out that way, and I don't think that's an accident. I remember my dating days. I wouldn't go near a guy who smoked, no matter how hot looking he was. It simply turned me right off.

My parents smoke. Or they used to. In their 70s now, they've all but quit, finally. My dad has given it up completely; my mom has cut down to a precious few per day. But they were from a different time, a time when smoking was part of growing up, a right of passage into adulthood, something glamorized by the big screen. So I can forgive them my perceptions because when they first lit up a cig, it was a different world. Today, it just makes me cringe to see a young person smoke.

I've never smoked. Never smoked anything. Never even tried it. No cigarettes, no cigars, no marijuana, not one puff of anything, ever. I simply abhor the notion. To me, the smokers in the doorway are just nasty little addicts. They may as well be standing around shooting up heroin.

I wonder if we'll ever come to a time as a society where people simply don't want to do that anymore....they just stop and never do it again. I don't know what it would take to make that happen. What attribute can we discover about smoking that would make it so abhorrent that everyone would just stop smoking? We already know it can kill us, so that wouldn't do it. Maybe if they discovered that it made us fat or old or short or bald, people would actually want to stop. But somehow, I doubt it. And that's a real drag for all of us.

1 comment:

SandDancer said...

I'm a non-smoker too. I've never really seen the point of it - why take up something that you will eventually want to quit? Why not just not start at all?

Probably more than the health risks, I'm absolutely terrified of the thought of being addicted to anything. My ex-best friend is a heavy smoker and she once said that she can never go to the cinema because she can't go that long without smoking. That strikes me as incredibly sad. Allowing your life to be dictated to by a habit.

However, I do wonder if the banning in public places laws will just heighten its perceived glamour as a rebellious act. The Rolling Stones recent smoking on stage being quoted as an example of their cool rebel behaviour (rather pathetic and selfish in my mind - the venue would be fined not them, a cost passed down to the public later now doubt).