Day Eight

Days Without a Cigarette: 7.56041667
Days Without Nicotine: 0
Dollars Saved: $5.61

There’s some part of me that’s pissed off that the nonsmokers are gonna win.

I know this is stupid, but it’s also human nature – I spent thirty years of my life on “team smoker”, looking to my teammates and saying “can you believe these assholes on team nonsmoker?” And now I have to concede defeat and admit that theirs was the better team the whole time.

What’s more, I have to admit that their tactics were effective… eventually. And I really want to tell you otherwise. I really want to tell you that all the assholery was a waste of time, but it wasn’t. Every holier-than-thou rant from some nonsmoker about how stupid and disgusting my habit was sank in. Every one of them stuck. And in the moment, sure, I was smoking two cigarettes at a time in spite. But later on, when my brain revisited the moment in hopes of back filling a good argument into my mouth during the exchange, it would discover it couldn’t. At best I’d note some hypocrisy and hide behind a feeble tu quoque when I thought of something somewhat unhealthy that they also did, but ultimately I’d have to admit that my side didn’t have any good arguments.

Now, to be clear, I’m not recommending being an asshole to smokers, and I have no intention of turning into one of those people. Those people did help nudge me along towards making this decision, but I still fucking hate them. Whether or not your assholery is effective, you’re still an asshole.

Of course, I’ve gotta admit to a little bias in this assessment. After all, I was team smoker for three decades, but I’ve been team asshole for even longer.

Published by Noah Lugeons

Noah Lugeons co-hosts a bunch of podcasts: The Scathing Atheist, God Awful Movies, The Skepticrat, and Citation Needed

5 thoughts on “Day Eight

  1. I convinced my own father to stop smoking (according to my parents’ version of history) by having the audacity to develop childhood asthma. I was told my whole life that I am allergic to cigarettes, but I think it was their way of getting me to stay away from people who were smoking to keep from damaging my already weakened lungs. I definitely can’t stand the smell of cigarette smoke. It makes my nose run and my eyes burn and I find the scent unpleasant. I definitely have been the asshole complaining about it to people in my life who smoke. I think what finally stopped me from doing it was getting fat as an adult and starting to follow body positive social media accounts. The health and concern trolling was non-stop in the comments. We all do stuff that isn’t 100% optimized for our health, whether we sit too much or eat processed food or drink alcohol or whatever it is. Mental health is just as important as physical health and I can honestly say that all the weight shaming I’ve seen and experienced has had a huge impact on my health and quality of life. So if you’re reading this, please don’t take it as an excuse to go out and try to bully smokers into quitting. The way that it sticks in their head might be really harmful to them.

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  2. I grew up in an era when smoking was still almost everywhere: schools (I used to run errands to the “Teachers’s Smoking Lounge”), hospitals, and sports venues. I remember people blowing smoke not only in the stands at the curling rink, but also while on the ice waiting for their turn to throw a rock. Curling is that kind of sport. Years rolled on, and I started and stopped smoking a couple times myself, until I was forced to stop completely because of lung damage, caused by viral illness as well as smoking. I can’t be in places where there’s a lot of smoke anymore, or I have an asthma attack. Even a strong smell of smoke makes me tense up. I look forward to meeting you Noah, one day, when we can both breathe easy.

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  3. Yeah, that’s what I said — I’m never going to be one of those Team Non-smoker assholes who obnoxiously waves their hand at cigarette smoke, or makes an unpleasant face when people light up around me, or tell them they have to leave my house to smoke… Yeah, I said that. Loud sigh. I really, really hate being around people smoking now.

    I fly a lot for my job and when I leave the airport and the smokers are desperately puffing away while waiting for the parking lot shuttle or for someone to pick them up, I have no choice but to go through them to get to a parking lot or rental car place, I may not comment aloud, but my face probably involuntarily makes an unpleasant expression and I definitely think, “Ugh!.” When a smoker visits my house, yeah, I make them step outside. (Oddly, nothing to do with the second-hand smoke cancer risk, and everything to do with the smell that lingers.)

    I do not, however, obnoxiously wave my hands around. At least I’ve resisted that.

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