Prevent me from killing a smoker, please.
April 8, 2005 4:06 AM   Subscribe

Prevent me from killing a smoker, please.

I'm an ex smoker (smoked for 10 years and have not smoked now for 1 year) and now I can't stand the smell of burning cigarettes. It's got to the point where I don't go out in social situations because the odour just messes with my head. When I go on my morning walk too (or anywhere in public for example) I have to walk off the footpath (in the gutter or on the road alongside traffic) because people smoking outside of buildings and shops is extremely frustrating to deal with. My question to my MeFi peers therefore is what can I do in light of this situation? I figure I'll never really be able to lower my sensitivity to passive smoke, hey. It's not totally hopeless though is it? I seek advice from people who have been there.

Related: If you have ever smoked...
posted by sjvilla79 to Health & Fitness (48 answers total)
 
First, lighten up. Second, campaign for whatever legal changes are necessary to ban smoking in public spaces.

I've never been a cigarette smoker and here in London, where it is still legal to smoke in public places, there's barely a pub or bar that isn't absolutely mired in smoke. A good number of restaurants don't even have non smoking areas. It's just completely accepted.

The aim must be to encourage government to ban smoking in public places, which would at least allow you to go back into social situations.

But with regard to your morning walk I just think you need to chill out. Even as someone who suffers from allergies including asthma, I would be happy to live with people smoking outside if we could just get an indoor ban on smoking. There has to be some compromise between the desires of the smoker and my desire to breathe clean air indoors.

Finally, you've been a smoker, so you'll know how fruitless it is trying to communicate your complaints to most other smokers. Plus if they know that you were a smoker until a year ago, they're just going to think you're a hypocrite. So lay back on the "killing a smoker" talk, okay?
posted by skylar at 5:08 AM on April 8, 2005


I also smoked for ten years, and remember well what it was like after I quit (five years ago). Going to a pub was absolute murder. Fortunately for me, the city where I live has since banned smoking in all public places (bars, restaurants, etc.). Now the only time I have to deal with it is passing the smokers standing outside the building where I work. Seeing otherwise sane people go into a Canadian blizzard in dead winter for a smoke is a powerful reminder of why I quit in the first place.
Your post has me wondering what your problem is, exactly. Does the smell tempt you to go back to the dark side? Or is it just that you now find your former habit so disgusting? Try using your strong reaction as positive reinforcement . . .
posted by pooligan at 5:10 AM on April 8, 2005


i thought sjvilla79 was asking for advice on how to overcome the excessive reaction they have to second hand smoke, not how to kill people.

presumably stopping smoking takes a lot of effort for some people and it doesn't seem that odd that it can "go over" into obsessive dislike. i'd suggest seeing a psychiatrist that specialises in obsessive behaviour or phobias.
posted by andrew cooke at 5:17 AM on April 8, 2005


Um, perhaps the killing title was a little over the top. I'm not in that position so sorry if I gave some of you the wrong impression. I'm a pretty reasonable guy actually. Smokers just annoy me. Perhaps I'm jealous.

I think all the points raised above are really good things to go with. Thanks skylar and pooligan. Andrew, I'm taking about my reaction to passive smokers. Just wanted to be clear on that.

> Second, campaign for whatever legal changes are necessary to ban smoking in public spaces.
Yes, I wish it was that simple. In Australia, you see, it would seem that the lawmakers like all the taxes they make of smokers just way too much. Yeah, we've banned smoking in restaurants, with pubs, clubs and bars to come soon (2007 I think). But there's no huge legislative push to resolve this issue that I've seen or been able to resource.

> I would be happy to live with people smoking outside if we could just get an indoor ban on smoking.
Great that you'd be happy with this option. I wouldn't, however. I think that eventually -- in public places like the CBDs of big cities -- smoking should be/will be an activity restricted to bus-shelter-like cubicles on the side of the street. These spaces would be enclosed (essentially sealed off) and purposefully exist solely for smokers to light up. You might laugh now but I reckon it's not too far away. Perhaps in our lifetimes at least. I think that smoking will always be around and it's therefore reason enough for governments across the globe to start addressing the issue in a practical way that looks out for the health of non-smokers. We all have a choice, after all.

>The aim must be to encourage government to ban smoking in public places, which would at least allow you to go back into social situations.
Yes, yes, and more yes. I totally agree. It's just a shame that many governments aren't willing to enforce such laws quickly enough.

> Your post has me wondering what your problem is, exactly. Does the smell tempt you to go back to the dark side? Or is it just that you now find your former habit so disgusting?
The smell does rouse/trigger memories, yes. I find that somewhat hard to deal with. I also do find the habit totally disgusting. I guess it's a mixture of these elements and more which has led me to this point. My feelings are strong enough to speak out at least. I'll be writing to my local council, too.

Honestly, though, I'll never smoke again. Anyone can quit if they really want to quit. Don't think it's hopeless if you're a smoker struggling to kick the habit. And trust me when I say I've kicked some serious habits. Smoking was the hardest by far, too.
posted by sjvilla79 at 5:48 AM on April 8, 2005


I'm an ex smoker (smoked for 10 years and have not smoked now for 1 year) and now I can't stand the smell of burning cigarettes.
I grew up with a LOT of second hand smoke, and couldn't wait to get out on my own and away from that shit. My wife is even worse about not liking smoke. Also, our kids were allergic to the smoke when they were younger. So I know where you're coming from.

It's got to the point where I don't go out in social situations because the odour just messes with my head.

That is kind of a problem. We've moved a few times, and it seems like everytime we move, we tried new places to go out and many of them were smokey. We simply didn't go back. In areas that don't have strong ordinances that ensure at least a no-smoking section, this gets difficult, but we still managed to find several places that were decent for non-smoking people like us.

When I go on my morning walk too (or anywhere in public for example) I have to walk off the footpath (in the gutter or on the road alongside traffic) because people smoking outside of buildings and shops is extremely frustrating to deal with.


I know what you mean, but you have to pick your battles. For instance, you can't smoke in grocery stores here. Often, workers will stand just outside the front door and smoke during their break. If it's just too smokey, I complain to the store manager and ask that the smokers go around back to smoke (I shouldn't be assaulted by tobacco smoke when exiting the store, and the manager can do something about that.) For people that are just walking around outside, though, there's not much you can reasonably do.

My question to my MeFi peers therefore is what can I do in light of this situation? I figure I'll never really be able to lower my sensitivity to passive smoke, hey. It's not totally hopeless though is it? I seek advice from people who have been there.


Although I HATE tobacco smoke, there are times when I grin and bear it. For instance, I used to work for a company that had a plant in Canada. I found that during their smoke break, a lot of the workers let their guard down and were more willing to talk, so I would go with them into the smoke room on their breaks in order to get on their good side. Even though I didn't smoke, hanging out with them during break time helped make me "one of them" and I got better cooperation from them.

It's kind of like picking your battles-- try to control what you can (i.e., your own reaction and emotions) and don't try to change others since you'll most likely fail.

On a related note, I've noticed a similar attitude on my part with respect to weight. I've recently slimmed down somewhat and find that I have a real disgust for heavy people-- not in the traditional sense, but more out of disgust and empathy for their situation. I wanna go up to them and shake them and say, "You know, you don't have to be this heavy!" Of course, that isn't very socially acceptable to do, so I don't.

Bottom line is, people have a right to smoke. Even if you find it socially unacceptable, the rest of society accepts it, at least for the time being.
posted by Doohickie at 6:24 AM on April 8, 2005


Brilliant, Doohickie. I feel like I can really relate to you. Thanks for the feedback.
posted by sjvilla79 at 6:31 AM on April 8, 2005


Yeah, you just gotta chill and think of how much healthier and happy you are every time you pass a smoker. It's one of those things that looks really cool (decades of marketing will do that to you) and desirable but ultimately is the most revolting and pathetic habit. I smoked for 4 years and have been clean for a year, but I am very very sensitive and like others in the comments here I will not be able to stay in a smokey bar or otherwise chalked-up atmosphere. It agitates me (physically) so much I have to avoid it or end up sneezing/coughing/in fits, not to mention the residual smell on everything you wear/your hair, etc. I'm not a big barfly so I don't really care about bans or legislation - just like Doohickie said, pick yer battles.
posted by prostyle at 6:52 AM on April 8, 2005


As a smoker, I have to point out that people with this type of righteously indignant attitude make me laugh. Hard.

If you have that much of a problem walking down the street, how do you manage to get through your day?

Can I suggest some medication to help curb your desire to "kill"?
posted by hummus at 6:59 AM on April 8, 2005


Andrew, I'm taking about my reaction to passive smokers. Just wanted to be clear on that.

yes, i understood. as i said, it sounds like an over-reaction that a psychiatrist who deals with phobias and obsessions could help with.
posted by andrew cooke at 7:35 AM on April 8, 2005


Visualize the person you see smoking dying a slow, morbid, crippling death from emphysema, or cancer, or vascular disease, and all the preceding years they will get to enjoy a prematurely aged visage, yellow teeth, money flushed down the crapper.

Smile inwardly, chuckle.

Repeat.
posted by docpops at 8:07 AM on April 8, 2005


On preview:
hummus - it isn't righteous indignation. Most people would go far to avoid someone that chronically wore too much horrid perfume or that was an intractable pants-shitter, too. If I had to smell either of those things in the course of a normal day I would get tired of it pretty quickly. Smokers are an interesting study in human behavior - the cognitive dissonance necessary to convince oneself that the rest of the world just can't cope with their individuality is baffling.
posted by docpops at 8:40 AM on April 8, 2005


docpops - fyi, "on preview" means that you're adding something to an ongoing post because you pressed "preview" to check how your post looked and saw/read a new comment, posted since you started writing, that you wanted to respond to (unless you're posting from two computers that's not possible in the case above).
posted by andrew cooke at 8:49 AM on April 8, 2005


Have you tried lighting a match?
posted by thomcatspike at 8:54 AM on April 8, 2005


AC,

Thanks for the clarification. I realized that. I think I like to say "on preview". It's an affectation that I'm guilty of. Since I don't wear an ascot (yet), or use a monocle (anymore), I'm struggling with this a bit.
posted by docpops at 8:57 AM on April 8, 2005


There is no smoking inside restaurants, bars, offices, and countless other places so people have, somewhat logically, gone outside. Now people gripe about that too? To be honest, I would assume that most smokers simply do not care about your foibles and idiosyncrasies.

When it appears that nothing will make you happy, I would venture that it is typical human nature to stop trying to appease you.

Furthermore, the car that is barrelling down on you while you walk in the niddle of the road is much more dangerous than walking on a sidewalk next to a smoker.
posted by hummus at 9:03 AM on April 8, 2005


Well, I'm not a smoker, but I think asking smokers to stop smoking outside is going too far (as if we haven't gone too far already).

Of course, where I live, smoking is banned from everywhere, bars, restaurants, workplaces, etc, etc by government order (not owner's choice). So the smokers have to line up outside and smoke. If you ban them from that, you're going to find plenty of workers filing claims that they need 1 hour off work every 2 - 3 hours to drive home and smoke. And they'll get it, too, since smoking is deifinitely a disability in this case. And they won't get fired (disability).

Let's not take it to that point. Please.
posted by shepd at 9:08 AM on April 8, 2005


The nice thing about smoking is that it's visible--there's no usually no need to be suddenly assaulted by a smell you weren't expecting.

I also have trouble walking through second-hand smoke on the street. I've learned to take a deep breath in as I approach, and breathe out slowly as I walk through. I can usually make it, no one is the wiser, and I'm a lot more comfortable.
posted by frykitty at 9:38 AM on April 8, 2005


I have a similar problem in that I just can't stand to be around smoke. It's not deliberate and there's nothing I can do to stop it. I don't see it as a problem, though...

Like the above commenter I try to find places that are smoke-free, but in the evening that can be tricky - bowling alleys are particularly bad. I also do the deep breath thing and hope nobody tries to talk to me.Thankfully here in the UK we've got a partial ban coming in within a year, so that'll help.

It's nice to know that other people feel the same way - I do sometimes feel a little alienated :-)
posted by kryptothesuperdog at 9:46 AM on April 8, 2005


* Wear a gas mask

* Stop running in urban environments

* Move to a completely isolated area
posted by taz at 9:58 AM on April 8, 2005


I would have to say that people really need to lighten up about this. When I first quit, I couldn't stand to be around it. It passed. Aside from that, banning smoking outside is just plain dumb. If we are going to ban smoking outside because of the harm it might do to others, then your going to have to ban all petroleum burning machines since the exhaust from that semi is just as bad for you.
posted by chrisroberts at 1:12 PM on April 8, 2005


Fourteen year smoker, quit almost five years ago, and I hate hate hate second hand smoke now. I don't like walking through smoke when people smoking outside, but I agree that one has to pick one's battles. I'm a little uncomfortable supporting legislation designed to regulate behavior that probably has little detrimental effect on others. (Second hand smoke from people smoking in front of a building is probably considerably less dangerous than all the bus exhaust I inhale daily, for example, although I don't particularly enjoy that either. But I live in the city so what do I expect?)

That said, it drives me bananas when a group of smokers congregate around the doorways of my school. They stand within the shelter of the doorway and force anyone who wants to come inside to walk through the low hanging cloud of noxiousness that gets trapped there. The school puts ashtrays under there, so it's not the smokers' fault, but it still sucks.

I love going to bars and seeing live music, and my enjoyment of these pasttimes is seriously curtailed by heavy smoke. It mostly irritates my eyes, although I also resent waking up with that thick-lunged feeling that I used to have all the time when I was a smoker myself. But I understand that smoking bans have created whole new issues of malodorousness in bars -- the smoke odor is gone, revealing the underlying and everpresent but previously concealed scent of old booze, piss, and vomit.

So what can you do? Frykitty and Dohickie probably have it right. Don't give yourself a stress-related embolism in place of your smoking-related heart attack.
posted by jennyb at 1:14 PM on April 8, 2005


As a smoker, I have to point out that people with this type of righteously indignant attitude make me laugh. Hard.

When it appears that nothing will make you happy, I would venture that it is typical human nature to stop trying to appease you.


I don't think it is helpful at all to mock and berate the person who is asking for help. It is not a matter of him instantly changing his feelings about smoking, he is feeling this way now and needs ways to cope. He is sensitive, and smoke--cigarette smoke is still smoke, just like exhaust--can make people nautious, especially after the process of quitting or not being around it for awhile. Does anyone have any strategies? Are there mental exercises that can help him attain the more balanced opinion? Can anyone testify to exactly how they curbed their sensitivities or was it just a gradual process of getting used to it? Did anyone force themselves to be around it little by little, eventually until it wasn't bothersome?

I also wanted to add a word of sympathy since smoke drives me nuts now that I'm not around it so much in bars. However, I do accept that people have the right to make their own choices. Now that smoking is banned in New York it is shocking to go into a bar that allows smoking (all over Brooklyn), and then it lingers in my clothes for hours. There is a cigar shop down the street from where I'm working this week and men walk down the street smoking them, people caughing in their wake, and the 5' radius around the shop reeks. It does feel invasive.
posted by scazza at 1:28 PM on April 8, 2005


As previously said, I don't think you need to worry about killing the smoker, as they're killing themselves by smoking. I've been around smokers for a good part of my life, and even smoked for several years, but lucky for me quitting wasn't too hard. Anyway, my wife can't stand being around smoke, for the most part it doesn't bother me unless I take a full shot of second hand. I find it funny how she starts choking and I hardly perceive any smoke in the air at all. I think she is being sensitive to it.

I suggest a brief holding of breath or perhaps keeping a handkerchief in your pocket and pretend to wipe your nose as you go by, you could even scent it to prevent the smell of smoke getting to you.

Baring an outright ban on smoking, I don't see this going away anytime soon. I think you'll have to deal with it or eventually face execution for killing a smoker and then killing all of the inmates in your jail who smoke.
posted by Numenorian at 1:56 PM on April 8, 2005


I thought Oz laws were pretty restrictive sjvilla79 - most indoor places are offlimits definitely and most pubs/clubs I know have at least got non-smoking sections.
It's funny, I smoke, but I hate smoke. Hate the smell, hate inhaling it (2nd hand). I only like it via a cigarette and I like the exhaled smoke to be gone. So I actually have a fair bit of empathy. I also breathe in when coming up to a chimney site outside a building and give wide berth to smokers I'll pass when I go walking in the evening.
That said, people will always smoke. I still think it's a bit funny for society to nearly legislate it out of existence and at the same time ignore reality. Workplaces need separate areas and perhaps some other smarter urban planning would help. Rabid proscription will lead to fires and other safety issues not to mention littering, because people will continue to smoke; surreptitiously if necessary.
So by all means write to the local council but I would urge you to make constructive suggestions rather than merely complain. I'm wearing my logic hat rather than my smoking gown when saying that.
Now I'm going outside for a ciggie. This is all too stressful.
posted by peacay at 2:26 PM on April 8, 2005


I do the whole hold-my-breath and step-off-the-sidewalk thing on auto-pilot. Exhaust fumes may be unhealthy as well, but they don't give me headaches like even the slightest whiff of cigarette smoke does. The latter is a lot harder to avoid, imho.
posted by milov at 3:13 PM on April 8, 2005


What helped me finally quit (22 years on), and what helps me with people who still do it, is the realization that Happy People Don't Smoke. As in most things, empathy may help -- perhaps try to find the sadness beneath your anger; perhaps you have unresolved anger at yourself for having done it that comes up when you see others doing it -- perhaps it's time to mourn for whatever drive caused you to light up time after time after time even knowing it was a way of hating yourself...
posted by rleamon at 5:07 PM on April 8, 2005


Takes a deep breathe:

andrew cooke: i understood. as i said, it sounds like an over-reaction that a psychiatrist who deals with phobias and obsessions could help with.
Oh, well then. I'm not sure if it has got that far yet. I'm not in denial am I? Thanks for the comment, though.

docpops: Visualize the person you see smoking dying a slow, morbid, crippling death from emphysema, or cancer, or vascular disease....
That doesn't take the smell away nor stop passive smoke affecting me. Plus, I don't like to think ill of people for whatever reason. I don't hate smokers. Their habit just shits me, hey.

hummus: I would assume that most smokers simply do not care about your foibles and idiosyncrasies.
And you'll all die happy right? Hummus, you're a smoker, so good for you. Have another one for me, champ. Cough, cough, and splutter. Oh, yummy.

shepd: but I think asking smokers to stop smoking outside is going too far....
Smoking should be illegal in public. It's a health hazard, period. This might take some getting used to, yes, but I've seen reports of late where whole communities have adopted this approach. Will people realize when it's really too late? Probably. Perhaps it's too late already. We're already of the mindset that smoking is still acceptable. It's a harder drug than heroin for f$$k's sake and it's a clear killer however you look at it. Give the workers time off to go home and smoke. I can't see employers hiring smokers fast though. Can you see how this might change society's behaviour and approach to this issue? I can, hey, although perhaps I'm guilty of thinking too far ahead of myself (e.g. I'm thinking in 20 - 30 years this will be a reality).

frykitty: The nice thing about smoking is that it's visible--there's no usually no need to be suddenly assaulted by a smell you weren't expecting.
But I can be walking along the street and unexpectedly cop a whiff of smoke from a person walking over (or standing about) 10 metres in front of me. I've experienced this way too many a time, which is part of the problem here.

frykitty: I've learned to take a deep breath in as I approach, and breathe out slowly as I walk through.
I do this too. It's something that works 80% of the time.

chrisroberts: I would have to say that people really need to lighten up about this.
I'm a self-obsessed compulsive freak. I feel strongly about this issue and it needs to be addressed. We are a global society who strives to grow and advance day-by-day. However, we've got this thing (smoking) which is a terrible affliction on our general health and wellbeing. It's my right not to have my life threatened by another person (e.g. assault) so why can't it be my right to have my general health protected? Yes, be that smoking, cars, or whatever else is a threat to our health on a daily basis.

jennyb: I'm a little uncomfortable supporting legislation designed to regulate behavior that probably has little detrimental effect on others.
First, thanks for your reply. Again you're another non-smoker I can really relate to, so thanks. I don't think there has been enough practical studies to show/no show support for your statement. We know passive smoke is dangerous right? A lifetime worth of passive smoke is enough to cause smoking related illnesses I'm sure.

scazza: I also wanted to add a word of sympathy since smoke drives me nuts now that I'm not around it so much in bars.
It's just good to know there are others out there like me. Governments and policy makers really need to start taking notice.

Numenorian: I suggest a brief holding of breath or perhaps keeping a handkerchief in your pocket and pretend to wipe your nose as you go by, you could even scent it to prevent the smell of smoke getting to you.
The hanky trick is a great suggestion. It's not ideal but it is a good quick fix. Thanks, Numenorian.

peacay: I thought Oz laws were pretty restrictive sjvilla79
In public, no, Australia is crap. Smoking is still socially acceptable and it's only changing slowly. Too slow in fact.

rleamon: perhaps you have unresolved anger at yourself for having done it that comes up when you see others doing it
I think that I might be jealous, too. I mean other people can smoke but why not me I wonder. I know this sounds silly but the psychology behind the issue is pretty strong. The smell especially brings back memories which are both good and bad.

So thanks for all your comments guys. I tried to address everyone, too.
posted by sjvilla79 at 9:30 PM on April 8, 2005


In public, no, Australia is crap.

Fair enough.......but please tell me where isn't - I'd actually like you to cite something or point me in a specific direction to find any supporting material that any communities have banned smoking in public and advise exactly what place or places you have alluded to.

In it's absence, (or perhaps, even with it) after considering the tone of your comments here, I'm slapping you with a troll label.

It seems to me you've gone far beyond simply wanting advice as to what you can do in the face of strong dislike for secondary tobacco smoke. I sense you are using AskMe as a grandstanding forum and that you're question was a mere veil.
You don't accept reality pure and simple. You came here wanting advice and then you sprout rhetoric about why smoking needs to be completely outlawed. And the fact that I do smoke has no bearing on my conclusions - I hoped I had shown reasonableness and demonstrated that I can identify with the problem (and yes, I do regard it as a problem but one not readily eradicated by hyperbole and incendiary comments).
Join or start an association and lobby parliamentarians as is your right. But I think it's disingenuous for you to come here with an obviously preformed mindset and a spurious question in order to merely vent spleen and be dismissive of the wide variety of advice given out by MeFites.

Troll
posted by peacay at 10:47 PM on April 8, 2005


make that: '..reasonably dissmissive of the wide variety of advice...'
posted by peacay at 10:56 PM on April 8, 2005


jennyb: I'm a little uncomfortable supporting legislation designed to regulate behavior that probably has little detrimental effect on others.

Public smoking ban slashes heart attacks
The researchers attribute the dramatic drop to the "near elimination" of harmful effects of "second-hand" smoke - passive smoking.

and tons more (much of it about the above study, of course)
posted by Aknaton at 11:11 PM on April 8, 2005


That's intesting Aknaton. I wasn't aware of public bans and sit corrected.
I don't have much faith in the Helena Montana study though. Not because I doubt that passive smoking is harmful but because it is a very scientifically flawed paper - they didn't examine the change in actual exposure to smoke (or car fumes for that matter) - they have simply documented a change in hospital admission numbers. There are more variables than my weary typing fingers could list. But I would argue until the end of time that their conclusions have no weight - British Medical Journal or not.
If there was a sideline political agenda to the study then I think they've done themselves a bit of a disservice. There's many better ways to advocate for public reduction in smoking methinks - personally I'd favour a ban in CBD's of cities: people would then be restricted to private property.
posted by peacay at 11:41 PM on April 8, 2005


Smoking should be illegal in public. It's a health hazard, period.

Yes, it's a health hazard. However, you are about 10,000,000x more likely to die from the diseases sick people exhale over taking a few whiffs of second hand smoke.

Are you going to ban someone with a cold from going outside? Because that is going to make you a hell of a lot sicker than breathing 10 seconds of second hand smoke a day.

Aknaton, ask the WHO if second hand smoke is good for children. They will (begrudgingly, with a LOT of poking) provide you with their own reports that prove it so. Why are they so screwed up? Bad sample sizes and bad testing methodology. Just like that study new scientist quotes.
posted by shepd at 11:53 PM on April 8, 2005


Prevent you? Heck, I'd be your alibi. Just tell me what time "we were together".
posted by krisjohn at 12:44 AM on April 9, 2005


I am not a troll. Browse my FOAF file in my profile if you don't believe me. I'm a member of many online communities and I'm quite shocked to see I've been labelled with this undesirable title. I guess this post has made me realise that I'm quite passionate about this topic, so forgive me if I've come across stubborn and what not. This was not my intention. I stated I appreciated every comment above and each helped me draw a stronger conclusion in relation to my problem. Was this not clear?

"In it's absence, (or perhaps, even with it) after considering the tone of your comments here, I'm slapping you with a troll label."
Browse my del.icio.us health links and in amongst that lot you'll most likely find this and this. These are the articles I should have linked to (various links). Sorry you feel I'm trolling but again this is not the case. I'm a Leo. Go figure.
posted by sjvilla79 at 1:28 AM on April 9, 2005


Well this (free reg) ought to give you some solace.
I've no desire to read your health links thanks. I'm quite sure they will support the assertion that you are not a fan of smoking. My point is that your question was essentially rhetorical. As you say, you are quite passionate about this topic. I reckon the only satisfactory answer for you will have been a revolutionary call to arms from similarly disaffected antismokers.
posted by peacay at 5:13 AM on April 9, 2005


And shepd.......are you for real with that palaver about passive smoking being good for kids???? Can you cite something please.
posted by peacay at 5:18 AM on April 9, 2005


"I've no desire to read your health links thanks."
You asked for proof that I wasn't trolling. You've got proof but have failed to take back your statement. Not even an apology? The articles fully back up my statements, too. Again, you asked for this proof from me.

I don't see the point in you linking to those other articles. Are you saying I don't understand smokers? I disagree with you regarding my motives with this post, too. Again, I stress how I've approached each comment with fairness and equality. Why persist with telling me what my intentions are? I'm holding an olive branch here, hey.
posted by sjvilla79 at 6:53 AM on April 9, 2005


*sigh* I asked for citing of public bans. Aknaton supplied the links. I acknowledged it.

I linked those other articles because I was at one of the websites and it was on the front page today. The NYT was linked from that. It was meant as a contribution of sorts - no other subtext.

Despite your protestations I can't help but think you posted "Prevent me from killing a smoker, please" with no particular end in mind other than to shout out your frustrations. How could you expect to have been given a rational answer to your sensitivity to passive smoking? You're not stupid - you know the status of the world we live in - anything less than a gas mask would not work. Isn't it plainly obvious?

I've called you out because I judged it to be a rhetorical question. I'm allowed to read and judge for myself. That you had bookmarked links on the subject supports the contention that when you commenced this thread, you already knew how you felt about passive smoking. Your passion was evoked and your empathy aroused when you identified with posters who agreed for your dislike of passive smoking. But AskMe is about having legitimate questions answered and not polling for political support which is what I read. In that you are equally passionate about not being pigeonholed, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and recant the troll label.
I'm not going to withdraw the rhetorical question label, however. Just saying....for next time.
posted by peacay at 8:05 AM on April 9, 2005


your initial post described how your aversion to smoke was socially debilitating - I don't go out in social situations because the odour just messes with my head - and you then asked for suggestions of what to do.

but when you post inside the thread you seem to be more interested in criticising smokers than in curing your own problems.

so you're describing a condition that (apparently) seriously affects your social life as if it's a minor irritation, using aggressive language with smokers and then backing off when they come back at you.

i don't smoke and i don't like the smell, especially when it's in clothes the next day. but your behaviour on this thread is freaky. i don't know if this is a social thing (i see you're from australia, but perhaps you're a recent immigrant is english your first language?), but this whole thread has bad vibes.
posted by andrew cooke at 8:14 AM on April 9, 2005


peacay, my question is/was legitimate. It's more so how readers perceive the thread in how one might see otherwise, like you concluded. Cheers for following up your comments, too. I respect your position as well.

Andrew, you think too much, mate. Thanks, though. I've found your feedback worthwhile and appreciate your continued interest. Um why has this thread got "bad vibes", though? I'm intrigued.
posted by sjvilla79 at 8:34 AM on April 9, 2005


I’m a former smoker, and relate to your situation. After quitting, I was indifferent to second hand smoke for a while until I started exercising more. Getting healthier made me very smoke sensitive. For whatever reason, I found yoga has helped me tolerate things better, just a 15 minute routine I do a few times a week. If I go on a longer run, I still have to avoid smoke for the rest of the day, but yoga has helped out otherwise. Can’t really back it up with science/logic, but works for me.
posted by yorick at 9:09 AM on April 9, 2005


It's my right not to have my life threatened by another person (e.g. assault) so why can't it be my right to have my general health protected? Yes, be that smoking, cars, or whatever else is a threat to our health on a daily basis.

Then you better go on a crusade to stop yourself seeing as you are polluting the air you breathe more than the smokers on the corner. Even if you don't drive, I'm sure you don't grow your own food and you use plastics, electricity, etc. If you want to talk about how to deal with smokers, then yeah, take it in stride. People do things that bug other people all the time. Body odor, perfume, gross food, gross breath, germs, etc., etc. The only difference with smoking is that there is so much literature about how second hand smoking is bad for you. Walking through a cloud of it on the street, though, is no direct threat on your personal being any more than the car that's driving a few feet away on the street. And if you feel that it is such a threat to you and can't handle it, I would suggest perhaps getting out of the city altogether.
posted by chrisroberts at 10:30 AM on April 9, 2005


It's more so how readers perceive the thread in how one might see otherwise, like you concluded

Umm....I don't know what that means but....ok.

don't forget to mark the best answer

IMHO it's not really customary to provide links to prove or disprove behaviour such as trolling - it's how one acts in thread that's of most significance.
posted by peacay at 10:38 AM on April 9, 2005


Thanks to yorick and chrisroberts for their feedback. I appreciate the comments. I think what it comes down to is I myself need to become a little more tolerant of this behaviour and aware that things like this might always bug me. I now know, therefore, it would be wise to start approaching the issue in a different light. This thread has helped me achieve that. Contrary to some of the replies here, too, this is what I had hoped to achieve.

peacay, what that statement means is that it's up to the individual to make of this thread what they will. You were just one person with your opinion that I was a troll. I didn't see many other people piping up with their 2 cents worth. I only provided proof, too, because again you asked for it. Don't make an issue out of something that isn't one , please.
posted by sjvilla79 at 6:02 PM on April 9, 2005


You were just one person with your opinion that I was a troll. I didn't see many other people piping up with their 2 cents worth.

For what it's worth, you can count more than one person labelling you a troll.

This wasn't a question -- I agree that this was a call to arms. And if you are really looking for help, I stand by my suggestion of medication.
posted by hummus at 7:29 AM on April 10, 2005


This was not a "call to arms". hummus, I find it difficult to think how doping oneself is the answer here. As I stated before "kill a smoker" was a little over the top to include in my post's title. I made that clear, hey. Also, I only counted one person calling me a troll. And of course I'm not a troll anyway. Let's be clear on this.
posted by sjvilla79 at 3:38 PM on April 10, 2005


sjvilla79- Thanks for the "Best Answer" tag. I'm flattered.
posted by Doohickie at 8:24 PM on April 11, 2005


No problem, Doohickie. Thanks for your answer.
posted by sjvilla79 at 8:51 PM on April 15, 2005


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