Thursday, May 31, 2007

From the archives- Butting In

I originally had a blog on FunTrivia, where I am an editor and site administrator. FunTrivia will soon be discontinuing its blogs, and these are some that I wanted to keep for posterity.

Butting In- originally posted Feb. 24, 2006

I will probably never be able to dine in a sushi shop in Japan, or experience the frigid vistas of Iceland. I will probably never be able to experience the faded glory of the Acropolis in Greece, watch wildebeests course over the African plains or taste a fresh baguette in France.


Not finances or time; both could handle such journeys in my lifetime. Not lack of interest. It’s because all these places have some of the highest rates of smoking in the world.

You see, I’m allergic to smoke. Wait a minute…the smoking apologists claim no one can be allergic to smoke. Fine. Call me sensitive to smoke. Call it whatever you want…the truth is that, with even mild exposure to tobacco fumes, I cannot breathe.

I am lucky to live in California, where smoking is banned in all indoor spaces, and to own land in Washington, which recently passed a voter’s initiative that banned even smoking within 25 feet of a doorway. Even with these restrictions, I must dodge those who think that, for example, it’s perfectly acceptable to puff away in line at the movies, or at the beach.

Visits to places like my mother-in-law’s in Las Vegas are logistical nightmares. Like a general, I must plan every move. Where to eat? (the number of totally non-smoking restaurants in Las Vegas is minuscule) Where to stay (do you have to go through a smoky casino to get to your room?) What to do? (does that mall allow smoking?)

If you smoke in public, stop and consider. There are many like me. Our lives are made miserable by your habit. Does your addiction give you the right to limit my life? Our society does not allow you to douse me with lye or pour arsenic in my food. Why should you have the right to pollute the air I have no choice but to breathe?

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