[The following was written as a response to a friend who posted an opinion that anti-smoking laws were infringing on the personal rights of Americans.]
I don’t have a problem with people who want to smoke. I figure that’s their right. But as for smoking in public, I don’t think anyone has the right to make me smell like smoke because they want to indulge their addictions. The same people who would want to kick your ass if you sprayed cologne on them without asking first have no problem with spewing smoke in all directions.
Non-smokers don’t realize that one guy in a bathroom smoking a cigarette can make everyone in that room smell like smoke. So to me it’s like being slimed, because I’ll carry that smell with me until I change clothes. It’s not just a matter of whether someone has the right to inhale tar and nicotine. Personally, I believe everyone should have the right to do whatever they want to themselves. But when someone blows smoke in my direction, they might as well spit on me, because I’m going to carry that smell with me for the rest of the day. To me it’s no different than an old drunk pissing on my leg and then telling me that he has the right to urinate in public.
I think the anti-smoking laws are a bit Draconian, but from my experience smokers have only themselves to blame. I think back to when I was driving a truck, our terminal in Medway, Ohio had two drivers lounges, one for smokers and one for non-smokers. Well, eventually the smokers got annoyed because they thought they should have the right to smoke in whichever of the lounges they wanted to (some contending the television in the non-smoker lounge was better). The company solved the problem by banning smoking in the building altogether. Ooops! I guess my point is that if smokers had a little consideration for non-smokers, instead of being of the opinion that it’s their God-given right to smoke anywhere they please, they might not be sitting out on the sidewalk like those truck drivers in Medway, Ohio.