Well, my place of employment finally banned smoking… in the restrooms. Baby steps, I guess. The smokers can still enjoy filling their lungs with toxic waste in the rest of the shop.
The sign on the restroom door simply says, “Please refrain from smoking in the bathrooms”, followed by a list of reasons. These include, “It’s bad for your health”, “It’s bad for my health”, and my favorite, “It stinks.” Apparently the author of that sign hasn’t had much experience with public restrooms, because the last reason seems to be pretty common even in smoke-free environments.
The office that I spend about 90% of my time in has been smoke-free for several years, so I can’t complain much. However, I would like to see our business go completely smoke-free. I know that will be a very emotionally charged process, so it’s not something that I am willing to initiate or get involved in.
I’ve smoked a few cigarettes in my life, mainly when I was in my late teens and trying to act like an adult. Looking back, it all seems so childish and I’m certainly not proud of it. I’m just thankful that I didn’t do it enough to form a habit, because I have a hard enough time staying away from soft drinks and chocolate.
There is one reason that I’m glad for the experience – I remember the terrible taste and smell of the tobacco smoke coming from inside my own lungs. That’s one of the reasons that I’ve never been able to understand the habit; what makes a person enjoy that enough to continue doing it until they need it all the time?
Many of the businesses in our area are going smoke-free, which is a rather big deal for an area that is well-known for tobacco production. Several of the restaurants have complained that they will lose customers over imposed smoking bans, but I haven’t seen any evidence of that. In fact, I am more likely to dine in a restaurant that doesn’t allow smoking and I’m sure that most people would agree.
Hopefully, in the not too distant future, our business leaders will realize that it is their responsibility to protect employees from the dangers of secondhand smoke. In the meantime, I’ll just keep holding my breath.