It continues to be true that my physical tolerance for tobacco has diminished over time. I was in a restaurant parking lot last month where a guy, now 30 feet from me, had been walking, and I had to change my route because of the lingering smell of his cigarette smoke.
This summer, and into the fall, one of my brothers-in-law has been coming up to our area almost every weekend, cleaning the apartment he and his wife had rented to his sister-in-law and her husband. These are long trips he’s been making, of about 280 miles (450 km) and five hours each way. The cleaning involved scrubbing the walls, taking up the carpeting, replacing the ventilation system, and all sorts of labor-intensive tasks. His father has helped a bit; his wife tried, but the place was making her ill. I’ve only been there once, early in the process, and after three minutes in that location, I developed a raging headache that did not dissipate until I spent over an hour outside.
Yes, the tenants were smokers – heavy smokers – and they did massive damage with their toxic habit over a nine-year period. I know the couple peripherally. Right after our daughter was born, they came to visit us in the hospital, as delegates of sorts for my brother-in-law’s family. My wife and my new daughter were in bed, I was sitting next to them, and we could smell them before they actually entered the room for a fortunately short visit.
Oh, look at the percentage of cigarette butts in this list of waste products.
Tomorrow is the Great American SmokeOut. If you don’t quit smoking for yourself, do it for me, because you probably reek.
(Picture from The Bad Chemicals – how appropriate! Used By permission.)