I have grown to despise smokers. Not as people, but I’ve grown to hate the habit of smoking in front of non-smokers, because it proves to be nothing more than an insult to everyone around them.
I’m currently sitting in a restaurant with a smoking area; its guests sitting on the opposite side of me inhaling tiny white sticks and exhaling smoke that never seem to die out. The ventilators are tired, and so am I. My food smells like it’s on fire; my sense of taste completely dulled by the stench of burning trash that emanates from every man’s lips. Teasing me. Asking me why I bothered to come through the restaurant in the first place.
They cut off the senses of everyone else just for momentary satisfaction.
I don’t mind smokers who need to excuse themselves for a break every few hours. I don’t mind the addiction, because everyone has their vices—God knows I do—but it’s the laissez-aller attitude towards smoking in public that makes me wonder if they have any concern for anyone else but themselves.
To a smoker, smoke is simply the output to pleasure. To a non-smoker, it chokes us. It’s an unforgiving scent that lingers in our hair, our clothes, our breath. Like a virus we can’t shake off until we douse ourselves with water in the sanctity of our homes.
A smoker’s addiction is not mine to bear, nor is it anyone else’s.
Certainly not everyone thinks the same way I do. To some, smoke dances around them like lightly fragrant wind. To me, it reeks of disrespect. It seems strange to think that while there are people who devote their lives to eradicate cancer, billions choose it voluntarily and subject those around them to the same fate. This is why I will never give the same respect to someone talking to me with a cigarette between their lips than to someone without.
So I’ve learned to be stern to my friends.
When the host asks smoking or non-smoking in their lifeless, robotic voice, I would answer non-smoking faster than my friends could register the question.
Smoking in public is seen as the norm. We don’t question it. We let them be, and perhaps give them glances from time to time. We’d shift away from them in bars or remove ourselves from cloudy areas. Still, the smoke would hit me when the wind decides to have a sense of humor. The fiery end of the stick is like a magnet to my skin when dancing in the dark.
It’s an addiction that explodes from within and hits the people surrounding them like shards of metal.
It seems that they have absolutely no regard for anyone else, so in turn, I have no regard for them. Nor will I ever.