I find a lot of people feel they have a right to judge smokers, and make rude comments to them. Which I find interesting and unfair as it’s an addiction, and not many people will berate others for being an alcoholic, or drug addict. As a matter of fact, most of us view commenting on these addictions to be crossing a line and interfering in someone else’s business. So why is it okay for smokers to be treated with such contempt?
I see the most resentment coming from ex-smokers and current or expectant moms. The ex-smokers seem to take the view of “i quit so why can’t you?” The response is simple, not all addicts can quit. Will power and the affects of nicotine are different for each person.
Current and expecant moms are most often upset that smokers are “spewing” second hand smoke into the environment and thus their children. I can’t speak to all locations, but for most in Canada smokers are very restricted in where they can and cannot light up. In my city they can only be outside~ not even under an awning.
So if they’re limited to specific indoor spaces then I feel parents need to accept that if they go to those locations there may be smoke. Don’t go if you are offended. As to the outside and passing through a cloud of second-hand smoke, well frankly the toxins in our general environment are far worse than what is in that whiff of cigarette. How can you walk down a busy street teeming with cars and exhaust with your baby but then yell at someone smoking out in the open air?
For myself, not only do I think people’s reasoning for hating smokers are irrational, but I also grew up with a smoker, my Dad, and the idea that someone might treat him with distain because of his addiction really bothers me. I spent many years trying to convince him to stop smoking and he made many efforts to quit, but he couldn’t. He just couldn’t. He’s now quit and what made him kick the habit was getting cancer and a long stay in hospital. It took cancer, radiation, a depressing 3 months in hospital, and losing most of his physical independence to quit. That tells you just how hard this habit can be to kick.
Once he was diagnosed I heard countless times how the cancer was his fault because he had smoked for 50 years. Well, a lot of people get cancer. They’re not all smokers. And not all smokers get cancer~ such as my Grandfather on my Dad’s side. Smoker of 60+ years and he died of a heart attack. Blaming someone for their own cancer is just low.
So that whole perspective aside, I did have a smoker who really ticked me off today. I was waiting for the bus and she was far on the other side of the shelter away from me. Even before being pregnant I have always tried to just not stand next to someone smoking. I don’t enjoy the smell and would prefer not to inhale too much.
This woman sees me pregnant, and basically seemed to make the decision to stand as close to me as possible. As a matter of fact I moved away from her about 3 times and she followed me?! Always with her ending up being about 2 feet away. Who does that?
The streetcar came and I got on board, so I let it go. But I have never been closer to yelling at a person about smoking near me. The positive side is it reminded me to post about smoker hate. Smokers are human beings with an addiction. Just because you can hide your addictions and keep them behind closed doors, don’t judge others for theirs.