Let’s face it, smoking is a controversial topic. If you smoke, you probably feel that it is your personal right to smoke and that you should be able to do so anywhere you want. On the other hand, if you don’t smoke, you probably feel that those who smoke around you invade your personal ‘healthy’ space; and that your health is being jeopardized due to other people’s personal choices.
I tend to have an extreme sensitivity to smoke. So much so, that when I’m driving on the highway, I can tell if someone is smoking in a car 100 feet in front of me. I kid you not. I am that sensitive. I’m not sure this level of sensitivity is typical, but I do know that many of my friends and family are also very sensitive to smoke and don’t really like to be around it. Granted, we have come a long way in regards to no-smoking laws, but from a non-smoker’s perspective, I think we could go a bit further.
Obviously, there are smokers who are very sensitive and try to minimize their impact on others, but unfortunately, many smokers aren’t. My friend Amy D. and I were chatting about this and we agreed that there are certain places where smoking seems contradictory to the perceived experience, and as a result, we wish no-smoking laws would be passed for these places. At the risk of offending some very nice smokers (it isn’t you, it is the smoke), here is our list:
- The Beach: The preference is for a healthy dose of the smell of salty, sea air as the warm breeze relaxes you and your toes play in the sand. Smoke takes away from that experience. Further, many people (not all people, but many) discard their cigarette butts in the sand, creating a landfill of cigarette carcasses.
- Parks/Nature Preserves: You leave the city to get away from the smog and pollution, looking forward to the beautiful fresh, clean air of the mountains and running streams. Unfortunately, when people smoke in these environments, the smell of pine trees become background.
- Outdoor Cafes: It is a beautiful day and instead of dining all cooped up inside, you dine al fresco, hoping to enjoy the warmth of the sun and a light, natural, non-air conditioned breeze. Many restaurants don’t let people smoke inside, but they haven’t extended that law to outside facilities.
- Marathons / Triathlons / Ironmans / Bike Races: World class athletes are pushing themselves to the max. Oxygen is their life and their fuel. While at the Boston Marathon, I was blown away by the number of people who were smoking at the finish line, right where the athletes need clean oxygen the most.
- Skiing/Snowboarding: Much like the ‘Parks/Nature Preserves’, you escape to the mountains for some one-on-one with nature, snow and skiing. You look forward to the majestic views of the slopes from your favorite chair lift.
- Zoos/Amusement Parks: You look forward to seeing your children’s faces light up while watching the lions, tigers and bears. Oh, my! Smoke isn’t healthy for you and your children, nor is it healthy for the animals.
- At Entrances of Bars and Public Buildings: Yes, you found a popular bar to go to for your Friday night outing. If you have to wait outside on line, however, you are still exposed to the smoke from all of the smokers that crowd outside of the front door to have a smoke.
Are there any places that you wish would outlaw smoking?