The cigarette movement


As I write this I am sitting outside the Bronxville, N.Y. Starbucks, kicking back with a large (I refuse to use B.S. Starbucks corporate lingo) iced coffee and a book (research for my next project). The sun is shining, it’s about 75 degrees, a nice breeze coming in from the west … and a smoker is ruining everything.

Her smoke is blowing everywhere. It’s thick and gray, and she seems to go to great lengths to make sure we all breathe it in. The woman is probably 50, with black hair, red nail polish and excessive makeup covering her face. She’s loud and obnoxious. I don’t know her, but with each puff I’m learning to hate her.

Admittedly, I’m a cigarette hater. I don’t think smoking should be illegal but I strongly believe it should be:

A. Only permitted inside, in designated smoking facilities.

B. Taxed to the hilt. Wanna stop smoking? Make it $100 per box. Yeah, they’ll be an underground trade. But, mostly, people will stop.

C. Harder to obtain.

I want to use this post to try and start a movement. I understand the need to make money, but why are drug stores, gas stations, etc still peddling this garbage? Here’s CVS—a supposedly family friendly chain—hawking a product that, literally, causes cancer in a large portion of those who use it. In the front of the stores—cigarettes. In the rear—medicine. Baffling.

From this point on, I am committing myself to try and make a difference here. I want to start a letter-writing campaign to stores that sell cigarettes, asking them to stop. I am tired of seeing the local 18-year-old boys and girls hanging out outside Cosi and Starbucks, puffing away on this crap. One out of five high schoolers smoke. Think about it—you know it causes death, yet you continue to use. That’s powerful stuff.

If anyone is interested in joining me, drop me an e-mail at:

Fight the power.

8 thoughts on “The cigarette movement”

  1. Jeff Jeff Jeff Jeff Jeff.

    I too despise smoking, but you smart enough to know that charging $100 a pack and making it “harder to obtain” will accomplish nothing.

    Prohibition failed. Efforts to stamp out marijuana use have failed. So too would such a plan to put an end to smoking.

    The best that we can do is tax it at a level that will discourage smokers, while still ensuring that the bulk of cigarettes sold are not of the black market variety. And we can keep smokers in their designated areas. And hate them. A lot.

  2. I’m not a smoker and will never do it, but there has to be a point where enough is enough. People know the dangers of smoking. If they choose to do so, that’s there business. They already get taxed up the ass as it is. It’s already hard to obtain. If you don’t someone smoking around you, kindly ask them to put it out, or, better yet, just move. They have rights too.

  3. That woman might be God. She’s at least omnipresent, I think.

    I’m in NYC, and I actually sit inside restaurants and sweat, missing out on beautiful days, just to avoid her.

    Though, I might hate the guy in the park with the cigar even more. Oh man, I hate that dude.

  4. Jeff…I love the idea.

    I’m a former smoker–smoked about a pack a day, but that was when I was in the Army. What else was there to do in a “hurry up and wait” environment?

    Even then I was respectful of others. I wouldn’t smoke in restaurants, where others would be offended and I certainly never smoked around children.

    Today, I took my kids to a carnival. As we stood in line to purchase a rides wristband there were two separate people, one in front of us and another behind us, smoking.

    I simply don’t understand why it’s so important for people to smoke in a crowded area, especially with so many children around (including their own).

    Yes, we were outdoors, but in close quarters there is no difference.

    I couldn’t do anything about the guy in front of me, but the lady behind me paid the price. Yes, I farted…and being a Cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy, there’s a certain toxicity I leave behind!

    I hope she was half offended as I was due to her smoke blowing into the faces of my kids.

  5. I smoke cigarettes. I eat very healthy and exercise (anarobic and arobic) and my doctor tells me I am healthy as a horse…of course he says, “lose the cigs,” but they’re much too enjoyable. When I’m having a beer after a long week, playing poker with some buddies, or out on the river casting a fly…sometimes, it feels good to light up.

    Your anti-cigarette rhetoric is amusing, but it’s misplaced. The exhaust from cars is going to kill you faster than me smoking at an outside patio. Our grandparents’ generation huffed down multiple packs of smokes per day…I might have a pack of cigs every 10 days or so…you watch, man…lung cancer is going to start showing up in non-smokers at the same rates as smokers because of the air pollution from motor vehicles and coal burning electric plants.

  6. Gotta love the people who think that we should just let people smoke and choose to get sick. That’s all well and good except for the people with no health insurance and those with crappy health insurance. Guess who picks up the tab then? The taxpayers. Me. Why should my health insurance rates be so high to cover the cost of smokers? Yeah, they adjust rates downward because I’m a non-smoker, but not nearly as much as if we didn’t have the tobacco epidemic.

    And can you even imagine if someone tried to bring cigarettes to the market today as a brand new product? It smells, it stains everything around it, it’s expensive, it’s addictive, it’s harmful if used around children and there’s a high probability that extended use will kill the primary user. Mmmm. Who wants some?

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