Ode to Public Smoking

I could not be happier with the new no-smoking ban in Houston. So happy, in fact, that I didn’t even realize the no-smoking ban was in effect until returning home from Slick Willie’s a few weeks ago.

I’m used to going out at night and returning home reeking of cigarettes. I have never smoked, nor will I ever start. I think it’s a repulsive habit that not only puts yourself at risk, but also those around you. The perception that smoking is ‘cool’ can be blamed on movies and television.

When I returned home from playing some pool late one night, my first thought was to get my clothes washed immediately so the stench of smoke would come out easier. But as I headed to my room, I realized I didn’t smell like smoke. Come to think of it, I thought, I hadn’t smelled it all night. It was absolutely amazing.

Back in the days of Marilyn Monroe, the public wasn’t aware of the great risks involved with smoking. It was simply stylish and elegant back then. To some, smoking may still be stylish and elegant, but we now know all the harmful effects of smoking. Knowing how addicting it is, why would you even start? This isn’t even mentioning how expensive smoking is (which should appeal to college students).

Or, how about this: each cigarette you smoke takes 12 to 14 minutes off of your life, according to nutri.com/smoking. By the end of a smoker’s life, the site says, a smoker will lose an average of 8.3 years due simply to smoking.

There are so many side effects to smoking that smokers don’t think about. Just a few are increased chances of: lung cancer, emphysema, pneumonia, influenza, impaired hearing, heart disease, smoker’s hack and decreased sexual activity. Think about that before you start dating a smoker.

If this sounds like something you heard a hundred times throughout high school, it’s because you probably have. Just saying ‘no’ is more than a corny catchphrase. It can save you money, time in doctor’s offices and, ultimately, your life.

I hope I haven’t offended anyone too much with my view on smoking. But, on second thought, I hope I’ve offended you enough to consider quitting.

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