It happened to me again today. I was in the checkout at Kroger, and among my various groceries was – brace yourselves – a box of Camel cigarettes. Normally this is not an issue, especially in Kentucky. So I was only half-expecting it when the cashier said, “You know these are bad for you, right?”
I’m shaking my head just recalling the experience. “Yes, dear, it’s written on the box.” was my reply.
I would like to comment on this issue. I was wondering how to approach the subject, and I knew I had to do it delicately. Then I realized that I didn’t care so, as usual, I’m going to call it like I see it.
Let me start by saying something – I know that smoking is bad for me. I know that it’s full of very bad things that, should I do it long enough, will probably cause me to meet my untimely demise. I could go over the reasons why I smoke, but needless to say it would be a futile exercise and that’s not really what I want to talk about anyway. So here goes….
Part. 1 – Things NOT to say to a smoker:
“That’s bad for you!”
I’m just not sure how people utter this phrase and expect anything but a snide remark in reply. Normally I am nice about it, but at some point I am going to be inclined to point out things about other people’s health. For example, I will not hesitate to ask, “…and your Big Mac is increasing your life span, is it?” Smoking is bad for you, but so is being fat (among many other things).
“Smoking is so unattractive.”
Several times I have had people say this to me, without knowing that I smoke, and then pretend that they never said anything when they saw me fire one up. I do not believe that smoking is unattractive. Some people may find it a bit of a turn off, but that doesn’t mean everyone does. What I find unattractive about smoking is when unattractive people smoke.
Now that your malevolence towards me is likely melting your screen, I would like to explore the other side of the coin.
Pt. 2 – Smokers, it’s NOT okay to do the following:
It’s not okay to smoke in inappropriate locations or situations. I don’t care how desperately you think you need a cigarette. You may think you are going to die without one, but trust me, you won’t. For example, if you are in the car with a toddler in the back seat and a pre-teen in the front, it’s not okay to have a fag, people. “What if I am not sure whether a situation is okay for smoking?” I hear some of you asking. If you are wondering whether it is…it’s probably not.
It’s also not okay to use a lack of nicotine as an excuse to be an asshole. It may have been a while and you may be a little irritated, but trust me, it could get a whole lot worse. So at the end of the day, you’re not really nicotine starved, you’re just an asshole.
Lastly – and this is a big one – it is not okay, while in situations where it is impossible to smoke (read: at work or on a plane), to constantly talk about how you “need” a cigarette. You don’t need it, you want it, and I believe that part of being a decent human being is knowing the difference between the two.
Well… now that I’ve got that out, I feel much better. I’ll be outside if you need me.