Instead of giving you money, I'll buy food, drinks.. but, cigarettes?
June 30, 2014 11:35 AM Subscribe
If a homeless person requests cigarettes, should I fulfill that request?
posted by euphoria066 to Human Relations (42 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
So I've recently stopped giving panhandlers money in an effort to stop seeing them as some kind of weird threat I've been dealing with since moving to the city. Instead, I engage a little, offer to bring them some food or a drink or anything else from nearby they might like.
In general this has been well received by most, and it's been good for me too, helping me see people who are in bad situations as people.
But a few times now I've run into a weird situation where someone will ask for a pack of cigarettes instead of food or a drink, which.. I don't know what to do about!
I personally think that smoking is a bad habit which I took up when it was cool in college but then promptly quit because it's pretty bad for you and expensive and sort of gross. I think it's sort of a dumb thing for someone who is panhandling to spend their money on, but I wouldn't think I'd have any moral qualms with it, since I hardly think I need to be worried about what people spend their money on, however they earn it. Except that I do, apparently, balk at buying someone smokes. I think maybe I don't think it's the same THEME as food or drink.
I wouldn't buy someone drugs or alcohol, but I've had no problem with coffee, which is a substance of sorts, but, cigarettes are troubling me. So I thought I'd ask the hive mind. What do you guys think? Should I buy a person cigarettes if they ask?