I've never been a fan of cigarette smoke.
Before I go any further with this, I should point out the fact that I live in California. I should also point out the fact that I grew up in the 80s and 90s, not the 50s and 60s where everybody pretty much smoked. So I'm aware of the fact that me having never smoked isn't really all that remarkable.
With that said though, I gotta say that I just don't get it. I've known people who've smoked all my life - from family members to friends. My parents smoked when I was young, but quit (for the most part) when I was still a kid. I had friends who smoked - some of them still do, if only during social events like when they're drinking.
I don't even get that. Here's the thing: it's stinky. Yeah, I'm aware that it causes cancer and all that stuff. Even if it had vitamins in it though, I don't think that I'd be interested in doing it. It's like carrying around a little cloud of pollution everywhere you go.
I remember when I would go to the bars before smoking was banned from them and I would come home with my clothes completely reeking of cigarette smoke. It was extremely nasty. I suppose that if you smoke, you get used to it, but I guess that's also true if you handled dog shit for a living (not sure what that job would be, exactly).
I remember I had an aunt and uncle who smoked a lot. They were from Germany, and when somebody here asked them about how so many Germans were smokers (I understand that's starting to change though), my aunt responded with how she did it because she "liked to enjoy life." I found that amusing, because while she was staying with us, I had to hear her wheezing, hacking cough in the mornings. I wonder how much she enjoyed that. So yeah, Bogart might look cool with a cigarette in Casablanca, but I'm sure if you got close enough to him, he'd be pretty darned stinky too. Plus, if the booze hadn't killed him, it's safe to say that the cigarettes would have done him in eventually.
I'm also baffled how there are people whom I generally respect who smoke. That's fine, I guess, but some people like comedians Greg Proops and Bill Hicks don't just smoke, but they incorporate their reasons for smoking in their bits. Generally speaking, their humor is pretty intelligent, but they sound like they're really reaching when they go there. It's almost like they have some sort of an addiction that they'll try to justify any way they can.
Let's not forget the tobacco industry. If ever there was an evil cabal of supervillains, it's those guys. Their representatives actually testified that there's no link between cigarette smoke and lung disease. (I don't remember the exact details - if it wasn't that exactly, it was something just as outrageously stupid.) As far as I'm concerned, these guys are just as bad as any Pablo Escobar out there. They make their money off of the suffering and misery of others. If that's not evil, I don't know what is. Yeah, sure, they also provide people with some temporary enjoyment - but didn't Pablo do the same? (I realize that I'm being a bit extreme with this analogy - but not as much as you might I was.) Why the hell would anybody want to support these devils?
I'm also sick and tired of the smokers who are out there acting like they're some kind of oppressed minority. Here's a newsflash, smokers - you chose to smoke! Sure, you might be choosing to stop, but the monkey on your back won't let you, but that doesn't change the fact that it was your choice to begin with. Yeah, you can't smoke in the office. Yeah, you can't smoke next to the door of the building. Boo-fricken' hoo. You want to complain about your rights? What about my right not to have to smell your filth? Do I have a right to smear poop all over the place? What if I want to smear it on myself? After all, I'm only hurting myself, right? Wrong. (Again, a bit extreme with the analogy - but only a bit.)
The bottom line for me is that I've always noticed that the people I knew who did smoke almost all wanted to quit. Many of them were trying to quit. Many of them had tried many times but couldn't quite seem to do it. (Oh, and as an aside here, it's really annoying when you have to constantly stop because your smoker friend has to light up before going in the car, right after coming out of the car, etc. etc. etc.) Surely when they started smoking, they knew people who were in similar situations. Why would I want to start something that most people who do it are trying unsuccesfully to quit?