This is something I have to say a lot during the winter time, the virus months. Well, I don't have to say it, but I feel that I should. It's the responsible thing for a smoker to do. I know that I myself feel anxious when I find myself sitting by someone who is hacking his lungs out as he sips his coffee, so I try to go the extra mile, allay fears, put people at ease, you know?
I try to be a responsible smoker. I try to observe the rights of others, acknowledge another person's space.
Would you like me to stand at least ten feet from this door? Would you like me to stand ten feet away from you? I would stand ten feet away, but you see if I did, I'd be standing in the middle of yonder highway . . . .
I appreciate the whole concern about secondary smoke, but then again there are a few basic concerns of my own which must be observed. As a pedestrian, I mean. As a human being.
Here is something that any smoker will have noted: There are people, nonsmokers, who upon passing will cough at the mere sight of the cigarette you are smoking. They will cough very notably, screw up their faces, turn their heads. It makes me feel like I should carry along a bag of complimentary oxygen masks. I'm so sorry, here, put this on. Don't gulp the air--just breathe in naturally.
I know this is bothering you, and I apologize, really. I know this won't make the smoke go away, but still, it may serve as some consolation that without smokers there would be no cigarette tax, and without the 500 percent tax on cigarettes, the schools would not be properly funded, your children would suffer from ignorance, the streets would be rutted and broken, the city itself might crumble.
Think of us, therefore, as philanthropists and sponsors. No tax, no matter how high, will stop us from giving.
And remember, smoking, for us, is breathing. It is medicinal. It is physically needful.