Thursday, November 19, 2009

Great American Smokeout.

Today is the "Great American Smokeout." I look back with interest at the ways in which our culture has changed throughout my life -- some things for the worse, and some for the better. When I was a kid, smoking was common. Between Bible class and worship on Sunday, the entrance into the church building would look like Indians sending up smoke signals. Many was the person that had that deadly combination of early-morning-coffee-cigarette-smoke-breath (Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about!).

As Beverly and I were cleaning the kitchen the other night, there was an old "Andy Griffith Show" on. Andy was relaxing and smoking, and Beverly went, "Wow." Seeing that now just seems strange. But that was once the norm.

I truly don't think smokers realize that their habit is so hard to hide. The smell lingers on them and anyone close to them. I used to not realize that. Having parents who smoked, everywhere I went I carried that smell. It seemed to especially cling to my clothes and my hair. Now my nose can pick up a smoker from a distance.

It's funny to me how different tobaccos smell so differently. Cigarettes stink to me -- but some more than others. I don't know if the difference is in whether they are menthol or if it is just differences in brands. But I like the smell of some cigars. And I enjoy the smell of a pipe. My granddad used to smoke a pipe -- cherry blend. The aroma still holds good memories for me. I'm sure the 2nd-hand smoke is no better for my lungs whether it is from good smelling cherry-blend tobacco or a stinky cigarette.

While I recognize people in our country have the right to smoke, there are times I wish they would be more considerate of those around them. There is an old saying: "Your rights end where my nose begins." Perhaps that is never so true as it is with cigarette smoking.

I wish every smoker who wants to quit the best of luck today. To give up cigarettes is to add years to your life -- more years to love your kids and grandkids. More years to give to living out the Christ-life. And it is also to live more healthily.


Jeff said...

The older I get, the more offensive smoke is to me. I grew up with a pipe smoker and none of it conjures up good smells or memories. I appreciate restaurants with smoke free environments more than I ever imagined.

Josh Ross said...

I think California has this one right.
Good post. We need more smoke-free environments.