Smoking Etiquette in a Smoke-free Society
I still have the "flaws" I had as a smoker and a drinker. Happily, all smoke/drink-related issues, i.e., stuff that ensued as a direct result of my addiction to nicotine and of active alcoholism, vanished for the obvious reason that these addictive disorders have long been arrested/halted.
There are myriad pathways in the process of each unique individual's "day-to-day" and other than very broadly agreed-upon universal human behavior parameters, i.e., don't kill, steal, etc., we're basically on our own.
Some individuals, guided by revelation, holy script, lunacy, self-interest, etc., want to tell others how to live. In a relatively free society - when we don't harm others in an impactful way as we go about our business - things, generally speaking, truck along.
We now, however, "know better" regarding blowing toxins in our neighbor's immediate vicinity via cigars, cigarettes, pipes. When we await public transit, for instance, a bus stop should, it seems, be clear of smoke breaks.
I've been invited to lovely San Diego, CA, where folks have already achieved bus-shelter smoke-free zones, by ordinance. These don't-smoke-here activists want me to speak at a public venue, downtown. I'm pleased to be a part of this effort in an after-the-fact small way; they did all the hard work. Of course, most folks don't want the Phyllis Schlafleys of the world to wag a finger in their live-and-let-live direction. Immediate, public-health issues, e.g., the dispersing of life-threatening toxins literally in one's face, don't need judgmental extremists to finger wag; community common sense prevails as the facts concerning nicotine pollution have long been in.
A flashback: To the then very young woman, who over four decades ago, picked up a squashed cigarette butt, dropped and stomped on the sidewalk, by me, and who gently - yet directly - stated as she handed the butt to a stunned me: "You dropped this," I now offer a long-belated "good for you!," although I was pissed off at the time.
Again, a flashback: And, to another woman at an indoor gathering over three decades ago, who - yes, gently - removed a lit cigarette from my poised fingers, speaking only with her eyes whilst extinguishing said cigarette in an ashtray, I now say, though some personal-freedom activists might collectively raise eyebrows: "Thanks, I needed that."
Of course, we don't want to get in each other's faces except in cases of extreme circumstance. Were these persons ahead of their time, so to speak, or simply annoying? Maybe both. I'll happily share the results of my forthcoming San Diego adventure with you in a later post.
Since we nowadays "know better" re: the hazards of nicotine use, why not take this opportunity, today - right nowm- to remove these life-stopping smokes from your own experience? There's loads of support available in today's world wherever you might geographically reside. Seize this support and then you could reach out to help others remove nicotine from their lives.
Visit me at www.quitnicotinenow.net. I look forward to being with you again next week.