Atlanta, where I live, is very strict when it comes to smoking. Smoking is banned in public parks, and I seldom see many people puffing away these days.
Of course, that’s not to say people don’t smoke. My friend was out the other day when her party was approached by a young man. He asked if he could bum a cigarette, and when they all said, “Sorry, we don’t smoke,” he scowled and muttered some expletives under his breath. My friend wondered why he would ask them for a smoke, given that nobody in the group was actually smoking. Did he just assume they all had cartons of Camels on them?
Another friend of mine jokes that smokers never seem to have cigarettes or lighters, as they are always going around asking for them. “I have plenty of bad habits,” she says, “but I don’t stop people in the street for a Krispy Kreme or a glass of champagne.”
It’s one thing to rely on others for a cigarette and a lighter (though, if you do smoke, I think it’s up to you to take care of that). To get rude when people can’t supply either, or to assume that they are judging you, is simply bad behavior.
Of course, nothing tops having cigarette smoke blown right in your direction, or getting lit stubs flicked your way. I don’t appreciate making an effort to look nice and then coming home reeking of cigarette smoke because someone didn’t have common courtesy. I also have a friend who had a lovely jacket ruined because a guy she was passing on the sidewalk suddenly thrust out his hand with a cigarette in it. He didn’t bother to apologize or pay for the cost.
Smokers, I know it’s not easy for you, but do try to have some courtesy for those of us who don’t share your habit.