Five reasons why smoking in “NO SMOKING” areas makes you a terrible person
“Being a horrible person” ranks right below “breathing” and “blinking” on the list of the easiest things to do in the world, primarily because all it takes to accomplish this is two things: being a human and not giving a fuck. That’s also why it comes in different flavors: cutting lines, bribery, stealing, saying insensitive things, riding your stupid hoverboard across office corridors and accidentally breaking an escalator or two because of your nonsense… the list goes on and on.
This one’s pretty high up on the list, too.
Now, let’s focus on one of the most common examples of this: People who nonchalantly light a cigarette and start puffing away in non-smoking areas. As a matter of fact, I just saw this happen twice in a single morning, a few weeks ago: outside the Burger King Philippines branch across our office, and right in front of our office building’s taxi bay.
Now, it goes without saying that this post is NOT an attack on smokers in general; I respect your right to huff and puff and boost tobacco sales or whatever. This post is meant to be a wake-up call for people who don’t realize that giving the middle finger to a “No Smoking” sign doesn’t make them badasses – it makes them jackasses.
5. You Clearly Give No Shits About The People Around You
The effects of secondhand smoke, a topic that would admittedly be better discussed in an article of its own, is relevant here, because it’s one of the reasons why non-smokers prefer staying in non-smoking areas (in addition to not wanting to smell like an ashtray). Lighting a stick within a No Smoking zone is tantamount to urinating in a swimming pool, for two reasons: because you’re practically pissing all over everyone else, and because it means you’re a dick.
Should you really be reading this blog post? I think your friends are waiting for you.
4. You Are Proudly Embracing Weak-Mindedness
A fairly recent study revealed that, ironically, No Smoking signs seem to make smokers who see them more likely to pull out a cigarette. Now, before you use this as your Get Out of Jail Free card, one of the likely explanations for this is that cues from our immediate environment tend to be automatically accepted by our minds, regardless of whether they are reinforcing or prohibitive. Thus, negation takes conscious effort (i.e. actual brain power). Essentially, if you have no respect for No Smoking signs, you are also admitting that you’re either too lazy, too stubborn, or too stupid to understand a simple instruction. Feel proud of yourself yet?
Here’s a guy I’d like you to meet.
3. You Are Violating Safety Rules
Hey, did you hear about that one time a fire started just outside a Burger King branch? And no, it wasn’t because of the King’s awesome grilling – it was because some dickweeds decided to leave their used-up carcinogen sticks right outside the building. See, rules exist for a reason, and more often than not, the reason isn’t “to make things inconvenient for you” or “to be completely ignored.” That “no smoking” rule isn’t just there to keep you from turning everyone into cancer patties – it’s to stop the entire goddamn joint from turning into a burnt Whopper.
There are a bunch of other reasons, too.
2. You Are Helping To Perpetuate A Cycle Of Apathy
See, the (not-so-)funny thing about this is that it automatically adds everyone to a high-stakes game of Pass the Wrong Message. Light a cigarette and watch other smokers with broken morality compasses follow suit – you’re basically setting the norm and telling everyone else in the vicinity that it’s okay to have poor self-control and no conscience. “If non-smokers have a problem with that, they should approach me or management, right? Whatcha got to say to that, Internet-Tough-Guy-With-A-Blog?” is probably the response you’re thinking right now. Well, get that cigarette out of my imaginary face and consider these two words, J. Jonah Smoke-A-Lot: bystander effect. Let me spell it out for you: you are basically Smoker Oprah, pointing a finger at everyone and saying “You’re a shitbag, you’re a shitbag, everyone’s a shitbag.”
Or an emotionless cyborg.
1. You Are Making This Country A Worse Place Than It Already Is
We all want to live in a better place. Who doesn’t? We also complain routinely about corruption in the government, criminal elements, rapists, murderers, reckless drivers, and so on. Have you ever thought about what all those things have in common? Here’s what: They are all done by people who think they’re above the rules. So if you think that smoking in a No Smoking zone is nothing, then I guess you do deserve a president who force-feeds cigarettes to tough-talking shitheads who don’t respect regulations.
Or signs like these.
As for myself, I feel terrible for not doing anything about what I saw. I admit I’m neither brave nor foolish enough to straight-up confront these smokers in public places. I should have complained to management, but my desire to eat my breakfast in peace got the better of me. Then again, respect is the sort of thing that shouldn’t have to be pointed out to you – especially when it’s written in large letters hanging above your head.
Note: This was initially posted on my Facebook page, but I’ve decided to post (a slightly edited version of) it here as well (because why not).