Friday, October 9, 2009

Why Are You Still Smoking?!

One fine breezy morning about three weeks ago, I was out taking a walk around the block where my office building is located. The block where my building is located is surrounded on two sides by housing projects, a third side taken up by closed businesses and a hospital, and on the fourth by employee parking for the hospital.

Anyways, I was at the tail end of my walk, not thinking much about anything of note, when I was passed by someone who was walking at a rather brisk pace. I looked up, and as I'm want to do when I walk, and gave the passerby the once over.

The first thing that I noticed, was that he was carrying an O2 tank. The reason that I know this, is because of the long plastic tube that I saw running up the side of his body. The second thing I saw, which I was able to confirm by the aroma of a few seconds later, was a cigarette dangling out of his left hand.

You {insert a multitude of select adjectives here, chances are that you're thinking the exact same thing as I am}!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't SMOKING defeat the central purpose of being hooked up to a portable tank of O2? I mean, being hooked up to an O2 tank basically tells everyone that you have serious problems that interferes with your ability to BREATH!

BREATHING is the essential component, above all others, that keeps you ALIVE!

If you're so desperate to feed that nicotine habit, wouldn't it make sense to do something else that wouldn't interfere with you BREATHING?

Like chewing tobacco?

Chewing tobacco, while it can be a lot messier, is on the average a whole lot safer than smoking. Whereas smoking simply interferes with your breathing, snuff simply interferes with your ability to taste. Plus it's usually a couple dollars less per can/pouch than it is to purchase a pack of smokes.

And with chewing tobacco, you don't have to worry about stinking up your clothes or other belongings. No sir, all you have to worry about is making sure that you don't dribble, drool or swallow.

So, my erstwhile useless specimen of a human being, if you're hell bent on not listening to your doctor and making the insurance companies spend money needlessly, then do everyone a ginormous favor and by a sleeve/box of chewing tobacco.

It's cleaner and safer in the long run, because you don't have to worry about blowing yourself up into tiny little pieces, or worry about turning yourself into a BBQ meal for Ed Gein.


  1. I think I would worry more about the slight explosive hazard of an oxygen tank meeting with a lit cig...or are the tanks safer than I think?
    Chew is even more disgusting to me..the smell of the breath, and the obsessive need to spit every 2.1 seconds. ick

  2. So you made me look up Ed Gein. Ick! :) Nicotine must a difficult addiction to shake - so many people do it.

  3. Oh, that brought back memories..chewing tobacco. Not me but my great grandfather. He carried his tomato juice can around with him everywhere. I can still here my mother yelling at him that he missed the can. I assume she was talking about the tomato juice one. He would keep a plug inside his cheek forever, it seemed. He died of heart failure but I bet throat cancer would have loomed in his future.
    It's a hard, hard habit to break. I sometimes wonder why the powers that be who decided on the "war on drugs" never even considered tobacco. :)Bea

  4. A general comment: I am non-smoker by choice, having tried it as a teenager, but never really got addicted to it. I am not a virulent anti-smoking advocate, as I frequently hang with smokers during breaks if I want to chat with someone. If I have a problem with it at a given time, I solve it by removing myself from the situation.

    Kim: I think that if they're used responsibly, then explosion shouldn't be an issue.

    I agree that chew is inherently more disgusting than smoking, but if I had a choice of putting up with the aroma of smoke on clothes or someone spitting into a couple or the ground, I usually go with the second.

    Lynn: Of course. :-O

    I believe that nicotine is a brutal habit to shake. I've seen a couple of family members suffer from the ravages of it.

    I also believe that while it may be a bad habit to have, there are infinitely much worse vices to have that in the long run can do much more damage than smoking.

    For the most part, I don't chatise people for smoking. If they wish to do, so be it. I just find it incredibly bad to smoke and use an O2 tank at the same time.

  5. Common sense should be renamed to uncommon common sense!

  6. Bea: Because to really declar "war" on tobacco, would punch a hole in the budgets for all 50 states.

    In my state, they just got done raising the tobacco tax, so that a pack of smokes (without a discount) cost about $8, and tin of chew costs about $5.50.

    Talon: Perfecto!!!

  7. Wow. I'm speechless.

    I have a problem with smokers, especially when I can't remove myself from the situation. I feel bad for them, but it's bad enough getting within sniffing range when they're NOT smoking, let alone when they are.

  8. Natasha: I'm somewhat jaded when it comes to smoking.

    On one hand, because I lost a relative to smoking, it does make me angry that someone like that smokes.

    I mean, for God's sake, this should be a wake up call to do something, anything, about your health.

    And on the other, it is what it is, and I understand how difficult it is to quit.

    Having said that, I'm pretty much in the same boat as you are. I have asthma, and developed a rather intense dislike of aromatic clothing, having worked/currently working in a smoke free environment for the past 14 years.

  9. I don't smoke but I feel for the poor guy who was smoking while on oxygen.

    He must know he's dying and giving up smoking may be just too hard to do at this stage. We have a patient like that - he leaves the oxygen in his room and goes outside for a smoke 3 or 4 times a day. Says it's the only thing he looks forward to and it keeps him calm. Sad isn't it?

    Chewing tobacco sounds disgusting! I'd rather clean up faeces than any sort of oral expectoration

  10. Nursemyra: I suppose it is at that. Sad that is.

    The nicotine habit can indeed be a crushing addiction to kick.

    And while I agree that chewing tobacco can be extremely nasty, it does seem to be the safer (there's an oxymoron for ya) nictoine alternative to smoking.

  11. I just talked about this kind of behavior in my Pscyhopharm class as we were talking about addiction.

  12. Charles: I wish I could say that this is a rarity to see, but unfortunately, I seen it a lot where I work and where I live.

    I mean, can you imagine how bad the nicotine addiction is if you continue to smoke while you're carrying/wheeling around a O2 tank?

  13. I met a guy named Ozzie (long ago deseased) who lived in a house on wheels who did that, with emphazema, caused by that which he took his chances with. Yes, it could explode- only if the tank leaked, n was lit by a strong spark. He always shut the valve off-
    It is a belief n excercise in futility causing the denial of danger.

    Nicarette gum use also comes to mind- For addiction is the worst problem there-

    I'm a reformed smoker, quit years ago. I can't stand it when the smoke from downstairs party people gets my apartment reeking- it makes me choke, (asthma), n get very angry! That's what I often have to deal with- My home life has been difficult since these kids have been here- Hope they all quit with the new taxes- about 8bux here too-

  14. Septembermom: You be amazed at the amount of people I see take it for granted.

    Snaggle: It's sad, but people really do get into deep denial when it comes to any kind of addiction.

    It's funny, but I think that subconsciously, sometimes I avoid dealing with a few of my co-workers, simply because they're incredibly heavy smokers.

  15. I have a number of coworkers that smoke, and most of my coworkers don't. The smokers have to walk a couple hundred steps to a "smoking building" where their aroma won't offend the rest of us, until they walk inside with a cloud surrounding them.

    I have asthma and an asthma attack can be kicked off by the exposure to the lingering odor on someone's clothing. But I never say anything.

    After all, I GOT asthma when I smoked as a teenager.

  16. Pheromone Girl: We have the same thing at our place. Technically, they're not supposed to smoke on state property, but every state office building has a designated smoking area within the complex for them.

    Here's an interesting tidbit. The hospital that is near where I work is attemtping to institute a policy of making their entire complex a smoke free environment. Which means if you happen to walk through the complex, you can't smoke.

    Should be interesting to see how they're gonna enforce it.

  17. My cousin (Peggy -- who married Lester 30 years ago,) said quitting smoking was the hardest thing she's ever done.

    I too wish people would just give it up. So harmful. Darned old cigarettes.

  18. i NEBBER gonna starts smoeking.


  19. Jannie: I would have a tendency to agree. Quitting is the most difficult thing that someone can do. Problem is trying not to find something as a substitute addiction.

    Blue Bunny: I's would hopes knot. If yous starts, lotsa peeples willl be bery angry indeed.

    Bery angrie indeeed.

  20. It is very interesting how we become our habits and allow the habit to own us even when it does not serve us.

  21. Mark: Thanks for visiting.

    So very true. My one and only vice has been (and still is) the lottery. At one point, it became such a habit that I actually picked up a second job to help pay for it.

    Now that I got it under pretty decent control, I can understand what a smoker goes through sometimes. I don't have to like it, but I do understand.

  22. I hate google - a bunch of posts JUST NOW showed up in my following blogroll, and this was one of them.

    I have heard from friends that fellow chemo patients take smoke breaks outside?! What the fuck!

  23. Sorry about that. If it makes you feel better, I experience the same time lag when my blog gets updated by Facebook.

    It can be really hard to quit sometimes, even if it's for only a couple of days.

    That's why it should be interesting next month at the local hospital. They plan on making their entire complex and satellite complexes smoke free. I would really like to see how they're gonna enforce John/Jane Q Public from lighting up as they walk through the complex.


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