Saturday, September 20, 2008

Blow It Out Your Ash-Hole!

This weekend we went to a huge car show.  As we lined the streets to watch the cruise route I noticed that all around me people were lighting up cigarettes.  They didn't seem to care that they were less than five feet away from my 17 month old son.  Many of them were smoking with their kids right next to them.  It was just disgusting.  While they might profess that it was their right to smoke I will argue that it is my right to not breathe their second hand carcinogens and it certainly isn't right for them to subject innocent children to poisons.  In fact during the burnout competition while we were in the grandstands there were two men behind us that were puffing away almost the entire time.  Stephen asked them if they were smoking and they lied to him and told him they weren't but I was sitting there watching them do it!  It was just infuriating!  To have them lie to us was one thing, but for them to continue to expose my child to smoke knowing that it bothered us was unacceptable. 

Most smokers I know of are considerate, and I do give them credit.  However, this weekend I must have just been surrounded with real winners.  Generally I am a very non-judgemental person and I try to see things from all points of view, but ignorance about the harmful effects of smoking is intentional.  From a very young age we see the anti-smoking commercials on tv and we are taught in elementary school to "just say no."  One thing that completely frustrates me is seeing panhandlers who smoke asking for money.  Did it ever occur to them that their habit need not be funded by the kindness of others and maybe if they quit they might have some extra money for food or clothing?

So without sounding too preachy I just have to voice my complete and utter disgust with smoking.  I have had enough of kids that come into the hospital with asthma whose parents reek of cigarettes.  I am tired of keeping my toddler from picking up cigarette butts and eating them as we take walks.  This last Wednesday I wanted to slap the parents at Disneyland who took their kids into the smoking section so they could have a cigarette.  Why does your habit come before the health and safety of your children? 

I have sugar coated a lot of things here.  But if you are a smoker I will not do that for you.  If you smoke expect that your life will be shortened.  Expect that it will affect those around you.  Expect that your children will imitate your behavior.  Expect that you will be disabled by your habit.  Expect that you will be socially outcast.  Expect that you will be throwing away money.  At the same time you need to realize that you can make the choice to stop.